Taverna Cretekou invites J. Petermanesque musings, especially if you're lounging on the vine-trellised patio with a tumbler of licorice-flavor ouzo.
Inside, the plaster walls and vaulted ceilings evoke Mykonos or Santorini. Not surprising, since the taverna goes beyond spanakopita-moussaka
clichés with a raft of Greek-island specialties, such as saganaki--sautéed kaseri cheese to spritz with lemon--and broiled squid stuffed with whole shrimp. Grilled whole red snapper and rockfish scented with fresh
oregano and sprinkled with lemon and olive oil are among the sleepers on the menu. So are the Symrna-style beef-and-lamb meatballs. A few more ouzos and you just might want to hoist a
white handkerchief and do the murzurlu.
Taverna Cretekou, 818 King St.; 703-548-8688.
Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.