In the heart of Greektown in Baltimore, you can find Ikaros Restaurant. Owned and operated by the Kohilas family since 1969, Ikaros serves up authentic Greek dishes that are both affordable and delicious. The decor of the restaurant is obviously Greek themed, having blue and white walls, with photos of Greece all around the restaurant. Most would probably agree that the interior of Ikaros is a bit outdated; however, it reminds the diner that you are in an old fashioned, “homey” Greek restaurant, which of course is a good thing.
The menu is very extensive. Offering every type of protein, from fish, to chicken, to shrimp, to lamb. There are also a wide array of authentic appetizers such as stuffed grape leaves with rice and ground beef, spinach pies, flaming cheese, calamari, babaganoush, and of course Greek salads. The babaganoush is absolutely sublime; rivaling anything I have ever had in my travels to Turkey and Israel. The Greek salad is a large portion of greens, tomato, cucumber, onion, Greek feta, and anchovies in a house-made dressing, also very delicious. The stuffed grape leaves will most likely be the slate to which you compare all other stuffed grape leaves to, they are that good. In terms of entrees, there are many options, but you would be crazy to choose anything other than lamb or fish. Every time I eat at Ikaros I order the whole broiled Sea Bass, a white, flaky, and juicy fish that is seasoned with sea salt, lemon, olive oil and dill. The fish is cooked whole, making the flavor very intense and savory. There are other offering of whole fish as well, including red snapper (seasonal), and rockfish.
There are also many lamb dishes on the menu, ranging from chops, to lamb shank, to leg of lamb. I have tried the leg of lamb and the chops; both properly showcase the lamb in flavor and preparation. The lamb is always fresh and is served in larger portions, perfect for diners wanting a hearty meal. All entrees come with a choice of sides, varying from Greek style green beans in a thin red sauce, different preparations of potatoes, steamed broccoli, and rice. None of the sides are anything to write home about; fortunately the entrees are so delicious that no side is really even necessary. Ikaros also offers some traditional Greek pastries for desserts, such as baklava and other assorted filo treats.
On a final note, Ikaros offers that home-style Greek charm in an affordable and comfortable setting. While I haven’t tried everything on the menu yet, I can highly recommend the whole fish or anything lamb. Although Highlandtown/Greektown is probably a hike for most of you, you will no be disappointed with the food or the service. Overall rating, 3.5 out of 4 stars.