When I decided to throw a Greek-themed dinner party, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to find my stuffed grape leaves, taramasalata, and fresh feta in Fairfield County. Ye of little faith. After doing a little research, I found a place that sounded promising on Main Street in Norwalk called Steve’s Market. Filled with imported Greek produced specialty grocery items, prepared foods, religious relics and wonderful baked goods – Steve’s couldn’t be more authentic. It was like walking into a little shop on a side street in Athens, Greece. Little did I know that after one visit to Steve’s, it would become one of the stores on my “weekly visit” list.
On the prepared food front, Steve’s Market has a great selection of homemade items made on premises, the perfect solution if you have a Greek craving but don’t really feel like cooking. Their Tzatziki is made from scratch with strained Greek yogurt, and sells for $3 - $5 depending on the size. They have homemade chicken and pork souvlakis, flaky spinach pie, sausages with leeks, marinated octopus, and a wide variety of other prepared dishes made fresh daily. These delights are all sold by the pound, and the prices are reasonable, with my favorite- souvlaki @$5.99 lb.
As you head towards the rear of the store, you enter a food shopper's fantasy. The aisles are packed with Greek grocery items of every shape, size, and flavor. There are canned items including five different brands of stuffed grape leaves, every grain you can imagine and then some, and at least ten types of olives and olive oil. There is also a refrigerated aisle with fillo dough, taramosalata, and prepared appetizers-- I could go on and on. I pulled myself away from the frozen section and eventually made it to the back of the store to check out the cheeses and desserts.
To the left, there is a modest chalk board featuring a decadent selection of greek cheeses and fresh olives sold by the pound. They offer the obvious feta (with nine different types from which to choose – ranging in price from $5.99-$10.99 per pound), but also import harder to find cheese selections. I selected some feta for my party in the medium price range, and it was hands-down, the best I have ever tasted. It was strong in flavor and creamy, yet firm in texture. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to the supermarket variety.
And then, in all their glory, was the most fantastic array of decadent deserts– all wrapped in honey- drenched fillo dough. One tray looked better than the next! They had four different types of baklava alone– as well as a container of assorted mini-baklava– which I ended up leaving with, for a mere $7.99. They were fabulous– super sweet and nutty- the real deal. (p.s. I'll tell you about my fetish for sweet nuts another time!)
Steve’s, as you would expect, is a family owned and run business. Kiki, the daughter working at the front counter alongside her father, has helped me on both of my visits so far. She was sweet and patient, answering all of my long-winded questions, and making astute recommendations regarding the best brands and the can’t-live-without items. Her recommendations were all right on. For example, their fresh, dried oregano, Calamata Olives, Mediterranean Stuffed Grape Leaves, home made tzaziki, and Palirria Baked Giant Beans were all undeniably delicious. She even let me sample the different fetas to select the one I liked best (a hard decision because they all tasted great).
I highly recommend that everyone visit Steve’s Market. Whether you are looking for your favorite olive oil, or wish to fill your panty with a dozen new specialty items, you will not leave Steve’s disappointed. I know I didn’t. And my dinner party was a total success!
Steve’s Market 69 Main St Norwalk 203.853.4020