Often compared to the family-run eatery from the blockbuster movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding,
Athena by the Sea serves as Lauderdale-by-the-Sea's lively little neighborhood Greek-American tavern. A casually friendly breakfast and lunch spot by day, the modest Ocean Drive hut transforms into a dynamic dinner joint by night, complete with smashing plates, music and live belly dancing Friday and Saturday evenings. (Bring your dancing shoes, as sometimes audience members are asked to participate!) The menu of traditional, Mediterranean home-style cooking proves particularly appealing on Athena's stellar list of appetizers. Greek sausage, spinach pie and some of the best hummus in the area are all outstanding, while the flaming saganaki
cheese starter often outshines other less, uh, flammable dishes. A long list of salads, kabobs and meat dishes such as roasted leg of lamb and grilled veal chop supplement the impressive selection of seafood entrées, including fresh, whole yellow tail snapper, jumbo baked shrimp and a standout calamari.