Desfina Restaurant

Desfina is a cozy little family-owned Greek restaurant tucked into the residential part of East Cambridge. It’s also right down the street from my mom’s house, and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to go there. My mom tried it for the first time with some friends last week and raved about it, so she insisted that we go for lunch last weekend. (I wasn’t going to argue.)

We started with the Pikilia (Assorted Appetizers), which included Tzatziki, Scordalia (Puréed Potatoes and Garlic), Taramosalata (Greek Caviar Spread), an Eggplant Salad and pita. While the potato puree and caviar spread were tasty, the eggplant and tzatziki were the highlights for me. The eggplant was wonderfully smoky, and the tzatziki was creamy and refreshing. My mom said, “can you learn to make tzatziki like this?” I need to try!

Next, we split the Grilled Octopus appetizer. I’m still dreaming of this dish. The octopus was really mild tasting and melt-in-your-mouth tender. The char from the grill gave it a little crunch, and the acidity from the lemon juice rounded out the smoky flavor. It was served over a small pool of olive oil, which only enhanced the flavor. You need to try this.

We also split the Mousaka. The layers of eggplant, potatoes, and ground beef were topped with a creamy, rich bechamel sauce to hold it all together. I would have liked the meat to be a little more spiced and for it to be a little heavier on the eggplant. But that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it. And to be fair, it was hard to follow the octopus.

The Mousaka came with a Side Salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and feta. The best part of the salad was the homemade vinaigrette that they keep in bottles at the table.

Overall, our experience at Desfina was great. The service was friendly and welcoming, and the octopus alone is worth going back for.

Are there any restaurants you wish you had discovered sooner?

202 3rd St
Cambridge, MA 02141
Desfina on Urbanspoon

See my favorite dishes at this restaurant on Tasted Menu

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  • Emily @ A Cambridge Story

    Looks excellent! My husband works around this restaurant and recommends it as well. A must try!

  • Amy

    My boyfriend and I have been saying we need to go here for years!! I think we’re finally going to get our butts in gear and go. The food looks and sounds amazing!

  • Beantown Belly

    This looks like a fantastic place- close by too! Thanks for the post. I’m going to bookmark this. (Nice picture of the grilled octopus)

  • Elizabeth

    Gorgeous photos! I love getting a bunch of appetizers at any sort of Mediterranean restaurant, they’re the best.

  • Megan

    I actually just heard about this place recently. If I still lived over there, I would go check it out without even thinking about it. Now I’m going to have to plan a visit! 

  • Joanne

    I really feel like I’ve been to Desfina before but can’t remember actually eating there.  A shame because it sounds like it was really tasty!

  • Katie

    Bonus points – it’s close to my office now that I live here! YAY!

  • Simply Life

    Greek restaurants always seem to be hit and miss with me so I hesitate going – but I love when I find a good one! This looks like one I need to try!

  • Greenthymeblog

    Thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂 It’s nice to find someone local who has tried so many restaurants.  Haven’t heard of Desfina before, but will definitely check it out. Great blog you have here.

    • Colleen

      Thank you! The recipes and pictures on your blog are great.

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