March 14, 2012

Connecticut Diner Observes Orthodox Lent

Caroline Sadowska
March 13, 2012
Stamford Patch

For the past eight years, City Limits Diner has observed Greek Orthodox Lent and offered their distinctive Greek Lenten Menu throughout the season.

In keeping with traditions of the Greek Orthodox Lenten fast, all dishes are free of meat, dairy, or fish. The full menu is available after 5 pm, while a select number of dishes are available during the day. Chef Peter Assue, executive chef of City Limits, also makes sure they’re available for Sunday brunch when many come in after church.

“We try to keep it the same menu, a lot of people look forward to it and come in looking for the crispy scallops,” Chef Peter Assue said. “Some people write me notes asking to please put it on the menu.”

The crispy scallops with skordalia and marinated beets is one of the most popular dishes on the Greek Lenten menu. Skordalia is a puree of potato, garlic, vinegar, almonds, and seltzer water that produces a thick garlic sauce.

“The vegetarian moussaka is very popular with vegetarians,” Assue said. “It’s eggplant, potatoes, zucchini, tomato, and squash all layered like a lasagna.”

Other menu items include a Greek seafood salad, okra and tomato stew with lentil rice pilaf, and grilled octopus with roasted red pepper orzo and lemon oregano olive oil. A vegetarian lentil soup, made with homemade vegetable stock and fresh lentils and simmered for 45 minutes, is another popular option.

Of course, you don’t have to be Greek Orthodox to come in and enjoy the menu.

“It’s very tasty food, everyone loves the vegetarian moussaka, the seafood salad, it’s all great,” Assue said. “I grew up on okra so I have a taste for that too.”

For dessert, Assue makes karydoptia — a traditional Greek dessert made with raspberry and orange spoon fruits.

The Greek Lenten menu is available for the entire 40-day Lenten fast — February 29 through April 14. On Orthodox Easter Sunday — falling on April 15 this year, one week after Easter is observed by Western Christianity — City Limits will serve a Greek Orthodox Easter meal.

“We break the fast with lamb, roasted leg of lamb,” Assue said. “I made hortopita, it’s spinach, leaks, and greens cooked down and used to fill cups lined with phyllo dough.”

Visit City Limits website to view the full Greek Lenten menu.