Another great review from Steph! And it's not even a chain...well not a big chain anyway!
Yia Yia's Euro Bistro
7615 Farmington Blvd
Germantown (Saddle Creek)
On one of the last nights of our recent two-week Christmas break, I decided I could not bear to cook another thing. We started our usual debate over where to go. Chip kept suggesting yummy, ethnic restaurants. I convinced him that I was looking for an easy meal, not a place where the menu would freak Connor out. Then I blew his mind by suggesting Yia Yia's.
Yia Yia's is a place that Chip and I go fairly often. It has great food, a good wine list, and is close to our house. The quality of the food is always consistent, and it's a place we go when we want a "nice" meal but don't want to spend the kind of money you might spend at River Oaks/Circa/Interim/etc. For some reason, we've never even considered taking the kids there. "Do they even have a kids' menu?" Chip wondered. I had no idea, but I was sure I had seen kids in there before, so off we went.
At 6:00 on a Friday, we got a table right away. The restaurant was not full- stupid economy!- but it was still noisy enough that I didn't have to worry about whether the kids' voices would stand out above the din. The kids were each given a large, two-sided coloring menu with a package of crayons. The kids' menu absolutely blew me away. The choices were:
Cheese PizzaAll included a drink and a dessert of "Dirt," or ice cream topped with crushed Oreos and two gummy worms. And all were $4.95! (Except for the filet, which was $6.95.) There was no mention of side items, so I assumed that most of them came with fries. That is my only complaint about the kids' menu- I would have liked to see a choice of vegetables or fruit on there. I didn't ask, but I'm sure I could have gotten something else if I had asked. I just think people are more likely to substitute fries for something else if the choice is staring them in the face, so it would have been helpful to see it on there.
Connor excitedly started reading words he recognized off of the menu and begging for help with the word search on the back. As Chloe colored the picture of a giant hamburger, she informed me that she would like a hamburger. I went through the choices with Connor and he requested the pepperoni pizza, his meal of choice for the past month or so. With that settled, Chip and I could turn our focus to the real menu.
We had been informed by the server that the menu had recently been updated, something they do quarterly. It still had plenty of dishes that we recognized, including Chip's favorite fried calamari. We knew we'd have to get that, and soon I found myself stuck in the appetizer section. "Can we just get three or four appetizers and share?" I suggested. Chip was happy to go that route.
We started with the hummus, which is house-made with chili oil and pita chips and is something Chip and I have had often. Chloe was happy to share this with us, although Connor wouldn't even eat the pita (but he did at least try it!). Then we all enjoyed their free, fresh-baked bread while waiting on the rest of the meal. No one got antsy, as we had food to snack on and plenty of restaurant-supplied activities. When the rest of the meal came, we were all very pleased. Connor's pizza was on a homemade crust and was at least 12 inches across. It was definitely big enough to feed Connor three times (or Connor for dinner, and both kids the next day for lunch, which is how it actually went down). For $4.95! Chloe's burger was gorgeous, served on homemade ciabatta bread and topped with the requested cheese. Unfortunately, that was a little too much bread for an almost-three-year-old. I think the fancy bread was a better idea in theory than in practice, but it was easy enough to serve it to Chloe open-faced. It also came with loads of crispy fries, which all four of us shared.
Chip and I had the calamari, perfectly fried and served with agrodolce sauce, which is an Italian sweet and sour sauce. It was excellent, as always. We also had the Marsala Chicken Pizzetta, which was as good as it sounds. A delicate pizza crust topped with marsala, carmelized onions, mushrooms, chicken, thyme and cheeses. My favorite, however, was the gnocchi. It's topped with roasted chicken, spinach, spiced walnuts and gorgonzola cream sauce. It's so rich and wonderful! I could eat it until I made myself sick. I can see why they only serve it in an appetizer portion- a person could go into cardiac arrest if they ate a full-sized portion by themselves! Although that wouldn't be a bad way to go.
During the meal, Chloe needed to visit the facilities. Although it is a nice, big bathroom, I was disappointed to find it rather messy. The garbage can was overflowing onto the floor, and there was a big pile of toilet paper in one of the stalls, etc. When Chloe and I were sitting down back at the table, I made a comment to Chip about what a disaster the bathroom was. A server who was standing nearby came over and said he couldn't help but overhear, and wanted to know the problem. He apologized and insisted it would be taken care of immediately, then came back over to the table a few minutes later to apologize again and let us know the situation had been handled. We were more than a little impressed that someone who wasn't even waiting on us was willing to go out of his way to make sure our restaurant experience was the best it could be.
After the meal, we shared the two free orders of "Dirt." It was plenty for all of us. When the bill came, we were happy to see that all that food plus one glass of wine added up to only $52. That's more than we usually spend on a meal out with the kids, but was less than we expected to spend on four people at Yia Yia's. Although it's not something we'd do on a regular basis, it's a great alternative for a "nice" night out with the kids. I highly recommend Yia Yia’s, either for a family meal or for date night.