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This snug, 52-seat eatery dishes home-cooked Greek taverna fare free of contemporary tweaking. And that's it. Although Maria Sotiriou's recipes are not likely to inspire Homeric verse, they aren't meant to. Daughter Angela and her husband Kostas Albanis run the operation now, and they seem content just to hear patrons sing its praises -- which they have been doing for Maria's various incarnations since 1973. Our favorite starters here are the smooth, lemon-garlic-ticked hummus, scooped up via soft, warm, wheaty pita circles; and spinach-feta spanakopita, whose baked phyllo cap is uniquely crustlike rather than papery. Maria's uses top-quality American lamb, which makes the char-broiled lamb chops and the lamb kebab the most recommendable of items. Fried calamari is cut thicker and is thus plusher than usual, but most menu items bring standard renditions of familiar favorites such as pastitsio, moussaka, souvlaki, and the like. Dancing on Maria's tabletops would likely generate more disapproving stares than clap-alongs, so when you get the check, use an alternative means of expressing your joy. Most main courses run between $11.95 and $18.95, and low beverage/appetizer/dessert prices help keep the bottom line in line. There's something to be said for the personal touch that only an intimate, family-run eatery can provide. That something is this: Maria's Greek Restaurant has outlasted just about every other dining establishment in town.
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