Post Corner Pizza, or “PCP” as it is affectionately known, remains a Darien staple for mouthwatering pizza and large bowls of fresh salad topped with cheese. Throw in a pitcher of cold beer or a carafe of house wine, and Mom and Dad are just as happy as the kids. While I love digging into the cheesy pies that have made PCP a success, it’s those tasty Greek specialties that I often crave.
My friend and I arrive at PCP during what I refer to as “family time.” There are lots of children clambering about, deep fried zucchini and mozzarella sticks in hand; but no one seems to mind, and neither do we. The atmosphere is casual and breezy, customers are happy be there, and the PCP staff seems just as happy to have them. The décor is diner’esque with rose color Formica tables, light wood furnishings, slate flooring, large mirrors, and a fabulous panoramic corner view of the corner of the Post Road and Mansfield Avenue, including the Darien Firehouse (very popular with the kids). The place is always spotless, and in my book, one of the cleanest restaurants around.
Comfortable in our booth, we are ready to dig into some authentic Greek fare. Sure, the pizza toppings are numerous, and the overstuffed grinders of veal parmigiana and sausage and peppers are satisfying, but often overlooked are the foods from the owner’s own Greek heritage.
We began with spanakopita, a spinach and feta cheese pie, wrapped in phyllo dough triangles and baked until crispy. They are light and flavorful and come six to a plate. The thin layers of phyllo crumble as you bite into it, and the filling has a generous portion of sautéed spinach and just enough salty feta cheese. We dip these morsels into the yogurt based tzatziki, a creamy mélange of shredded cucumber, garlic, fresh dill and lemon. Soft pita bread is served alongside, but you can really spread the Greek dip on anything–and we do. We try to save the fried eggplant appetizer (skip this one) with it, but the breading was far too thick and the eggplant far too thin.
Other Greek appetizers include stuffed grape leaves and tiropita, a sister of spanakopita, made with three cheeses instead of spinach. And let's not forget the Greek salad. My dinner companion and I get into a long conversation as to what makes this such a stand-out salad. Let me count the ways: crisp, clean iceberg and romaine lettuce, thin slivers of sweet red onion, chunks of cucumber, ripe grape tomatoes, and those hot pepperocinis.
“It’s the dressing that brings it all together,” my friend says. “It’s that perfect ratio of oil, vinegar, water, and just a little bit of salt.” I have to agree. It’s spot-on and always has been.
Much of the menu is Mediterranean in style, a fabulous combination of land and sea ingredients. Italian dishes include baked ziti, eggplant parmigiana, spaghetti with meatballs, and beef ragu lasagna. We go for the Greek version of lasagna, moussaka. Hearty layers of potato, eggplant, and seasoned, ground beef is topped with a thick creamy béchamel sauce and baked until golden. This mammoth size portion is fit for a king–or in our case, two very hungry gals. This is comfort food at its best and can easily be shared. It comes with that famous Greek salad too, making it a great value at $14.95.
Chicken kabobs are seasoned nicely and remain juicy after being grilled just long enough to capture that essence of grilling flavor. Large pieces of onions, peppers, tomatoes and peppers are stacked in between and served over rice, which soaks up all those great juices. Pork souvlaki and gyro sandwiches and platters (Souvlaki is a general term but usually refers to sliced rotisserie meat) are plentiful, brimming with meat, warm pita bread, onions, tomatoes, and that decadent tzatziki sauce to schmear on top. We go for the chicken version which is just as juicy as the kabob.
The housemade baklava had us at hello. Thin layers of phyllo dough surround chopped walnuts, sweet spices, and the whole thing is soaked in perfumed honey. It's fabulous with a hot cup of coffee, and a sweet ending to a good meal.
Look past the no-frills decor and the pizza, and a delicious, authentic Greek meal awaits. Simple and consistent, PCP continues the tradition of fresh food done right.