5 Biggest Romance Fails

Charles Bukowski, that old sweet-hearted grouch of a poet, once said, “Love is a dog from hell.” In honor of this, let’s break away from the felt-tinged plastic rose petals bought at the nearest convenience store and all the lovey-dovey shenanigans for a moment, shall we?

You can be honest. You’re probably dreading Valentine’s Day. Some of you may not roll your eyes at the mention of the holiday (including us, on account of the Baked Quince and red wine), but many are.

A few lighthearted laughs at the expense of others will mellow your heart and steel your strength! So check out our five biggest romance fails and be merry. Chances are, your Hallmark holiday probably won’t be as bad as these:

1.) The Strong Hand
We’ll start with the old proposal at a game – in front of thousands of strangers – how cliché. But Minnesota must be the wild west of proposal fails. Not only does the would-be bride reject her boyfriend, she slaps him! What could be worse than knowing a jumbo-sized you just got slapped by a jumbo-sized hand on a jumbo-sized screen? Hopefully someone bought this guy a jumbo-sized beer after that.

2.) Straight to Hell
Is this guy going to fall to sudden death before completing his proposal to his girlfriend of four years? The only fail here is actually the girl’s mouth, when she thinks her boyfriend just died in an office complex parking lot. You could host a Super Bowl in that cave. Seriously, she looks like a Wes Craven character. Other than that, this guy should look into stunt doubling. Jackie Chan would be proud.

3.) Food Court Fail
Watching a guy’s dreams get crushed under the weight of a “Sweet Caroline” rendition is tough – especially under the lights of a Sbarro. Like the onlooker said, “It’s all right, man.” Just head to the nearest Men’s Warehouse and you’ll be rolling in phone numbers. You’re gonna like the way you look, I guarantee it.

4.) Under… Where?
It’s only fitting that “Bitter Sweet Symphony” by The Verve would play as this star-crossed couple walk down the aisle. (Side note: Why is the groom even walking her? Isn’t that her dad’s job?) The hilarity that ensues is timeless. This one speaks for itself.

5.)Mr. Schrute’s Perfect Valentine’s Day
Lastly, Dwight from “The Office” doesn’t want you to enjoy your Valentine’s Day, but we do! Don’t let Dwight snag your reservation – check out our Valentine’s Day dinner specials and make your reservations early. Whether you’re proposing, experiencing first date jitters, or you just want a glass of Greek heritage, we at Estia will give you the hair off our backs to make sure you have a great night!

Hairy Valentine's Day

P.S. Just kidding about the hair…

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The Greek Reception

Part II

The Greek Reception

It's not Greek unless there's circle dancing. Opa!

After having her college graduation party at Estia back in 2008, Demetra said half-jokingly, “I want to get married here.” As the pieces of the wedding fell into place, Estia became a defining brush stroke in the day’s painting. She stated that it was the stunning architecture of the restaurant and the strong, yet classy, ties to Greek culture were undeniably perfect for her reception. Demetra noted the flexibility and availability that Estia offered for planning their big day; not to mention she thought that, “The service was fantastic and the food was obviously out of this world.” Estia was the perfect fit for this bride and groom.

The space was decorated with the family’s lace tablecloths, as well as dollies that Demetra had sewn herself.  Keeping with the Old world feel, she created a family wedding timeline from an old window pane that included six pictures of the couple’s own parent’s and grandparent’s wedding pictures.  Demetra notes, “I feel like I had my hand in every decoration, place setting, nametag [and] koufetta. I worked very hard to make sure that when people attended our wedding they felt at home.” With tasteful arrangements surrounding the space and vintage touches all around, Demetra achieved her vision and it was time to get the party started.

Anthony and Demetra surprised everyone with an electrifying first dance.

The newlyweds surprised their friends and family with a well-choreographed first dance that set the boogie standard for the night. From there, the keen-eyed photographer Michael Smith of Ash Imagery began to capture all the laughs, kisses, and Greek circle dances that took place that night. Truly, the floors and walls of Estia came alive with love as heels kicked off and ties hung loose as all the guests danced the night away to celebrate Demetra and Anthony as one. “Everyone just looked so happy and it was just perfect”, recalled the bride. From Estia, the dream continued as the couple flew off to the serene and tranquil Bali for a two-week honeymoon.  (We are so jealous!)

Estia wants to thank Demetra and Anthony for allowing us to host their blissful night. We wish you all the happiness and luck in your life together. Opa!

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Part I: The Old World Wedding

Part I

The Old World Wedding

Anthony & Demetra, newlyweds, share a kiss in one of Estia's fine banquet halls.

The Old World Wedding

On September 22, 2012 Estia was happy to host the wedding reception of Demetra Exarhoulakos and Anthony Baron.

A Saturday in late September – a patient groom casts his eyes for the first time on his radiant bride on a narrow cobblestone Philadelphian street. Her sheer veil trails behind her as she lifts her Allure-couture gown to reveal custom cut crystal-pink heels. The photographer captures the first of many beautiful moments as the groom, Anthony, and bride, Demetra, begin their waltz- hands entwined- towards St. George Greek Orthodox Church.

This love story began in the couple’s college years at Drexel University where Demetra became friends with several fraternity brothers. After attending some Greek-life events, she crossed paths with Anthony. Initially writing him off as a “typical frat boy”, Anthony snuck into her heart bit by bit. Still having her reservations about college romance she went to visit her parents in San Francisco to clear her head. However, she realized that she had left her heart back in Philly with Anthony. Demetra, beaming, recalls, “He picked me up from the airport and the rest, as they say, is history.”

Demetra wanted to plan a wedding that would be romantic, vintage, and with a twist of Greek culture. An Old world feel. She began to draft her wedding dream-team, starting with Love n’ Fresh Flowers, who helped create arrangements from flowers picked, seemingly, right from the meadow. Family and romance were joined in her own bouquet, which was wrapped with a piece of her mother’s wedding dress. Demetra planned the majority of the wedding herself but recalls that she could not have done it without the guidance of her step-mother. “She was my rock. She told me when I was getting overwhelmed, but she also worked with me to get things that she knew were really important to me. She stuck up for me when I needed the extra boost.”

It's all smiles in a Greek family wedding!

For the wedding day, the couple chose to use Angela Malicki and her team of wedding planners to help coordinate all the bells and whistles of the day. Demetra states, “Having them there was a true miracle because myself, step-mom, and mother-in-law didn’t have to do one thing except enjoy ourselves which made me so very happy”.

When the day commenced, so did Demetra’s vision of romance, vintage, and Greek heritage. Her father waited atop the white steps of the church to walk his white-gowned daughter down the aisle and give his blessing to Anthony. Demetra noted that, “Having an intimate wedding was important to us; inviting people we actually speak to on a daily or weekly basis.” The church brimmed with 115 of the couple’s closest friends and family to witness the vows and kiss. The bridesmaids wore satin-pink dresses that were perfectly complimented by the wildflower bouquets. Anthony and the groomsmen looked sharp and fresh in tan suits, with accented pink neckties. The Greek twist of the wedding began with a traditional one-hour ceremony and climaxed with an enchanting reception at Estia Restaurant.

To be continued in Part II: The Reception

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Estia’s Restaurant Week Lunch & Dinner Menus

What start back in 1992 has become an anticipated event in cities around the country, around the world, and right here in Philadelphia! Restaurant Week offers diners an opportunity to visit their favorite restaurant (or one they’ve never been to) at a affordable price.

Estia is excited to be participating in the first Restaurant Week of the New Year. Start off 2013 with a happy stomach. Whether you’re a regular foodie or just looking for a great date at great price, Estia’s got what you’re looking for.

Our three-course pre-fixe lunch and dinner menus will take your taste buds on a Greek experience sure to blow you away.

View Lunch Menu

View Dinner Menu

And if your really looking to go to town, follow restaurant week on Twitter: @PhilaRestWeek

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Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Estia!

Start 2013 off the Greek way!

Join us on New Years Eve to ring in the new year. Stop by for an a la carte menu from 5 to 7pm or reserve a spot for the Four Course New Year’s Dinner Menu for $85 per person.

Included with dinner is a champagne toast at midnight, party favors, and a live DJ until 2am. Check out the delicious dinner menu we will be serving.

Let’s celebrate 2013 together!

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Cirque Éloize iD Comes To The Merriam!

The circus is coming to town!

Cirque Éloize iD – that is – is coming to Philadelphia for the holiday season!

Cirque Éloize is a Quebec-based nouveau cirque (contemporary circus) troupe. Founded in 1993 by Jeannot Painchaud, Daniel Cyr and Julie Hamelin. Having created seven original productions so far, it has presented more than 3000 performances in more than 375 cities and 30 countries. Éloize means “heat lightning” in Acadian French (éclair de chaleur in Standard French).  iD is their latest spectacle!

Set in the heart of a big city,  audience members can expect acrobats, break dancers, contortionists, and stunt bike riders to flood the stage with energy.  iD combines the best of urban dance with the thrill of live circus acrobatics.  Expect over fourteen artists on stage, performing thirteen circus disciplines.

Tickets are now on sale for shows from December 26th to 30th, 2012 at the Merriam Theatre. Prices range from $25 to $65. Since we’re so close to the theatre, doen’t forget to dine with us before the show with our fixed price pre-theatre dinner menu! Nobody wants to miss the opening number.

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Christmas In Greece



After Easter and the Lenten season, Christmas is the most celebrated holiday in Greek culture. Along with presents and family, come some very rich traditions in cuisine. Almost every dish served has serious historical roots, and each dish is often seen not only on the table – but around the house in the form of decorations! (Think gingerbread cookie, but more Aegean.)  One thing to remember is that the art of baking is the most important part of the Greek Christmas treat tradition.

Christopsomo or “the bread of Christ”, is broken on Christmas Eve with family around the table as part of the Christmas feast. The bread is sprinkled with honey and is often served with dried fruits and nuts. This bread is very traditional because flour and yeast used to be so scarce they were only used for special meals. The Greeks continue this tradition and make this bread the focal point of the meal on Christmas Eve.

Melomakarona are traditional Greek cookies and are often one of the many desserts served during the holiday season. They are flavored and spiced with orange, clove, and cinnamon. And lets not forget the international crowd-pleaser, baklava. You all know and love this desert, and it is always included in the Christmas feast.

Some other festive food traditions in Greece incorporate a multitude of simple foods you can find on their bustling streets. For example, many European vendors sell chestnuts that have been roasted over an open flame. (Chestnuts roasted on an open fire – get it?) Also pomegranates, with their red hue, are a symbol of prosperity, and are used to decorate food, trees, wreaths, and almost anything.

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Lasso Something Different This Weekend

As you know, we’re big fans of exquisite cocktails and even better cocktail dresses, but sometimes we like to get in touch with our inner cowgirl. This weekend we’re going to dust off our boots and head to a place where the Wild West meets refined sophistication: the Kimmel Center. It’s a hoedown without all the messy hay! Cowboys, Caballeros and Copland is an interactive concert that will be hosted by Jamie Bernstein – yes, that Jamie Bernstein, daughter of famous composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein.

In true Kimmel Center fashion, The Philadelphia Orchestra will be there to bring the event to new heights. They will be performing the music of the late, great Aaron Copland. If the mix of orchestra and wranglers leaves you scratching your head, unsure of how the two things relate, don’t worry. According to the Kimmel Center website, “Copland’s music evokes the adventure, beauty, and spirit of the American West.” As one of the city’s experts in performance, we’re going to trust them on this one.

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Kids at the Kimmel

The Kimmel Center isn’t just for classical music and ballet. It’s also a place to bring the little ones to introduce them to the world of music. The Sound All Around event on November 17 and 19 combines master storytelling from the award-winning Charlotte Blake Alston, sing-alongs, and the opportunity to get up close and personal with an instrument. Don’t worry, the kids don’t have to sit tight for this one. They can get up and move to the music with you.

Sound All Around was named Best of Philly: Music Program by Philadelphia Magazine in 2007 and it’s still enticing families and engaging children five years later. It’s such a smart way to get youngsters involved in music from an early age, teaching them how to recognize instruments by sound and look. We all know how difficult it can be to hold a child’s attention for long, but add music into the mix and you’ll have them spellbound!

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Our Favorite Fall Rituals

Sadly, bathing suit season is officially over. But before the winter sets in, we’re taking advantage of the crisp autumn weather. ‘Tis the season for cabled sweaters and hearty meals! This is the best time to huddle in close with friends and share stories over a plate of tender lamb chops and a glass – or two – of mellow red wine.

There’s so much to love about Philadelphia in the fall. For starters, we can’t get enough of the buzzing outdoor markets scattered around the city. Really, what’s better than strolling through vendors on a Saturday morning, coffee in hand, and scavenging for a few great relics? Sometimes we get lucky and find quaint little treasures, and some days we head home empty-handed. At least we know that there will be no shortage of fish on our grill come dinnertime.

For those who love the alluring air after the sun has set, the nightlife in the fall is still going strong. There are so many gallery openings taking place, and of course the theater season is starting up again. Our favorite date night itinerary? Pre-theater dinner for two followed by sumptuous baklava, and completed with a powerful performance on stage. We love sharing dessert with our date, chatting in anticipation of the show we will soon see.

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