"Brothers Phil and Alex Hobson showed everyone how proud they were of their mother when they named the Greek restaurant they were opening with her last December. Three words — Our Mom Eugenia — pretty much convey the sense of family customers can expect at the homespun enterprise, a replacement to a pizza place tucked in a shopping center in Great Falls.
Two words — Eugenia Hobson — are all the tip you need to check out the menu. Before going into business with her sons, Hobson cooked at the reputable Nostos in Vienna and Mykonos Grill in Rockville. She knows her way around spanakopita and lamb chops.
Having dropped by a couple times recently, I admire the chef as much for her parenting as for her cooking skills. Phil, a former basketball player in Greece and Italy, and Alex, a former Internet executive overseas, are solid ambassadors in the dining room, turning first-timers into regulars with their ready smiles and carefulness. Watching the brothers inspect the tables with the eyes of generals surveying troops makes me wish more restaurants made sure to brush crumbs from seats between uses.
If there’s more than one of you, ease in with some spreads. Eighteen dollars buys a trio, and practice has taught me to spring for the puree of yellow split peas sparked with minced red onion (fava, not to be confused with the bean), potatoes mashed with garlic and olive oil (skordalia) and fish roe, olive oil and lemon juice whipped into a pink dip. The last, taramasalata, touts the silken texture of mayonnaise and a delicate taste of the sea.
If you only ate vegetables here, you’d dine well. Fresh-tasting spinach, onions and feta enhance every bite of spanakopita, phyllo-wrapped triangles offered as both an appetizer and a main course. On another plate, thick-cut beets shine. Tangy with balsamic vinegar and showered with crushed pistachios, they circle a scoop of mom’s good mashed potatoes, set off with an olive garnish.
The chef hails from the Greek island of Zakynthos, where fish gets a lot of attention and the food tends to be lighter, says Phil Hobson. Fingers of fried cod in a light batter, a starter served with skordalia, back him up. Moussaka does not. Then again, no one orders layers of eggplant, ground beef, potatoes and a curtain of bechamel thinking it’s going to be light. For my taste, the construction here is a smidgen sweet with warm spices."
Read the full review here: www.washingtonpost.com