A couple of weeks ago, my kids had just finished up their Wednesday night swim lesson and I was trying to think of somewhere to could grab dinner. They were begging to go to McDonald’s Playland (again) but I can only take so much of that place, so I told them it was closed (they are still young enough to believe this, bless their little hearts). I decided to pull up seacoastkidscalendar.com on my iPhone and see what the area had to offer for Kids Eat Free. Wednesday Night is Kids Eat Free at Café Nostimo in Portsmouth which happened to be right around the corner from where we were. Score!

The Vibe
Café Nostimo is a family-owned, authentic Greek restaurant located in the former Artisans Plaza (for all you old timers, you know exactly what I’m talking about) on Mirona Road. The inside of the restaurant hosts about twenty tables and also has a cute outside deck where you can dine al fresco on a nice summer evening.

The service is a mixture of counter service (ordering) and waistaff (they bring your food to you and assist you in getting additional items, should you need them). This was my first time here and I was more than pleased when the woman behind the counter was extremely patient and helpful when I was trying to navigate my way through the menu and kids’ options. After ordering, we found a table by the window (everything is so clean!) and because I had called ahead to inquire about crayons and coloring books (they don’t have them), we instead brought a few games of our own to occupy us while we waited for the food to arrive. And because it was Wednesday night, the restaurant was filled with other families and kids…we felt right at home.

On The Menu
Although Café Nostimo’s tagline is “Deliciously Greek”, they do offer both Greek and American cuisine—which was good because I was a *little* nervous about how my kids would welcome stuffed grape leaves or Spanakopita on their plate. My daughter wanted pasta (with no sauce, naturally) and I ordered the Chicken Souvlaki dinner which consists of two large chicken kabobs, rice and a Greek salad. My kids don’t eat a ton, so I figured this would be plenty for all of us to share.

Additionally on the menu are appetizers ($3.95-$7.95), a large selection of pita wraps ($5.95-$7.95), soups and salads ($2.95-$6.75), classic burgers ($6.50), traditional Greek entrees ($9.45-$14.95), seafood dinners and pasta dishes ($9.95-$13.95) and all entrees are served with your choice of a salad or green beans and fries or rice. The Kids’ Menu has your typical pasta, hamburger and chicken tender options, as well as Souvlaki (kabobs) and Gyro wraps for those slightly more adventurous eaters. Each kids’ meal comes with a drink (milk, chocolate milk or a fountain soda) and a chocolate chip cookie which is incredible with its solid chocolate center, yum!

Our dinners arrived and the waitstaff was extremely helpful by supplying us with extra plates and bowls for sharing. The pasta was a bowl full of ziti with butter (just how my daughter likes it) and my Chicken Souvlaki plate had two big skewers of chicken served over a bed of rice and a deliciously fresh Greek salad. Now, because all kids have an inherent love of food on a stick, my son wasted no time in procuring one from my plate and claiming it as his own. He devoured it! We all thought the food was really tasty and since the servings are quite large, we were full and happy at the end. Then the waitress came by with our chocolate chip cookies…soooo good.

What’s The Damage?
On Wednesdays, a kids’ meal comes free with the purchase of one adult entrée. On that particular night, we escaped with a bill of around $12 (plus we left a tip). So inexpensive and even CHEAPER than what McDonald’s would have cost me! I ended up going again the following week with my kids and my parents and with three adult entrees (and two free kids’ meals), our bill was still only $32! The food is quite good, the staff is phenomenal and the restaurant’s atmosphere is extremely clean and comfortable. We’ll be back. Opa!

*It’s also worth mentioning that the owners of Café Nostimo have opened a Greek provisions store next door to the restaurant where you can buy Greek wine, authentic products and homemade (frozen and ready to bake at home) Greek bakery items and dinners.

The Bottom Line (based on a five-star rating):
Distraction Offering: ?? (no crayons, etc. so we brought our own)
Atmosphere: ??? (clean and comfortable, we like the option of outside dining)
Food: ????  (good portion sizes, great homemade taste)
Affordability: ????½  (can’t beat it on a Wednesday night, we like the drink/dessert that comes with kids’ meals)
Service: ?????  (amazingly helpful and accommodating)

    

    

Café Nostimo
Madison Village, 72 Mirona Road, Portsmouth NH (603) 436.3100

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