12 Islands Greek Taverna

My coworker friend told me about this Greek restaurant, and they came with high reviews. The great thing about a restaurant in NJ is that they can get pretty big size land, with a big parking lot. This restaurant was kind of screaming out Greek with the blue and white, and their flag alongside American flag. It reminded me of My Big Fat Greek Wedding a bit… LOL

They had big murals on both side of the walls at their entrance. Even though it was in the middle of Winter, we were being transported to a tropical island… It was a nice vestibule with sofas for customers waiting for their tables.

Once we were fully inside, we were welcomed by a large fish tank. Since it was around the Holiday, they had a very pretty Christmas tree and other decorations. It was lovely and welcoming atmosphere.

Their dining area is to the left of the entrance. It was divided to a large bar area and the regular seating area. The bar was impressive, both in size and style. The dark furniture against light, white-ish walls created nice contrast, making it look elegant.

The main seating area was massive, underneath the blue and white cloths. The color was very strong here, everything reminding me of blue sky, blue ocean and white sands. I really liked how they went all the way with their island decorations. They had plenty of tables, and since we were there shortly after they opened, we were the first customer of the day.

They have daily lunch special menu, which includes soup or salad, drink, dessert and a choice of main dish ($11.99). I chose iced tea and one of their soups of the day, Cream of Broccoli. The soup came in a small cup, it was creamy and comforting. Nothing really special but good for the soul on a cold day.

For main dish, it was not easy to decide since they all sounded pretty nice. I went with Moussaka. It thought it is good to try one of the very traditional dish. It came with Baked eggplant, zucchini, potatoes & ground beef sauce topped with bechamel. My co-workers went with Greek Salad with Lamb (additional $5), and Gyro Sandwich with Lamb. Their dishes came with mountain of food, almost overflowing from their plate. The funny thing about that was that my food was so very, VERY small… While they are getting mountain of food, to the point it was too much for them to finish, my moussaka barely covered a quarter of my plate… Now, it was really tasty and flavorful, but it was almost comical how small it was. So, I think I talked about the size more than enough… The moussaka was really good, all the ingredients were cooked just right in a perfect harmony. Bechamel & potato concoction was rich and more firm than “sauce” yet still creamy and velvety. The pasta on the bottom was nice too, cooked al dente with some crunchy texture on the edges. The middle part was very meaty, packed with flavor, and all in all, it was delicious. If I think about the calorie count, maybe the size I received was good enough…

For dessert, I chose strawberry ice cream. It was just a regular ice cream, nothing special. I added cappuccino ($5) to go with my dessert, and it came with whipped cream and cinnamon on top. And yes, of course I liked that.

It was a nice lunch, very affordable, great atmosphere and delicious food. The service was friendly, polite and welcoming. I would love to go back again, but this time, I will be ordering something else that will be more quantity and less calorie. LOL.


12 Islands Greek Taverna – 1255 Valley Rd, Stirling, NJ 07980

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