Cherry Hill, NJ – I won’t pretend to be a food expert or for that matter a connoisseur. But when I taste good food I know it. Kuzina by Sofia is all that and more. Ok, many of us Greeks know about our family cuisine and bragged about our mothers cooking. So here’s mine. “My mom’s Greek cooking is so good, (how good is it?) when I was growing up, my friends only hung out with me so they could come over and eat her food.” So when I say I know good Greek food, I’m gonna qualify myself based on that history.

None the less, I’m not really gonna talk about the food, just the visit to Kuzina by Sofia. Last Friday evening, we visited the Zagat rated restaurant and saw first hand what turned out to be “nothing but the truth”. We pulled out a mic and camera and let the customers do the talking. Then we sat down with a few friends, blogger Harry Karapalides and his daughter Demitra.

A handful of Greek musicians were setting up as dinner went on and we made the rounds. “Excellent meal”, “great hospitality, friendly”, “I keep coming back here”, “We love it”. It went on and on. The customers at Kuzina by Sofia, from 1st timers to regulars, were all fans. I’ll go as far as to call them ambassadors of their dining experience. Some of their comments were simple hand gestures and smiles, confirming their pure joy of Greek food.

By 10:30, the restaurant metamorphosed. The strumming sounds of the Bouzouki mixed with Greek chatter. The local Greek community had strolled in and taken over. A boisterous crowd had nearly turned this place into a Greek taverna/bouzoukia scene. Traditional dinner hours had now become aligned with Grecian nightlife.

At our table, we sampled an assortment of Greek dishes and mezes, which left us reminiscent of a perfect Greek style home cooked meal. The hospitality that accompanied the warmth of home was evident with the owners, Assad and Sophia. They were a constant on the scene, checking on the meals. No matter what the table was served, with just a little hand gesture across the room or wink of an eye, they communicated with their customers and catered to all their needs.

Now that’s service and quality that’s unmatched, except for one other place in my book. I’m calling my mother and inviting her out to Kuzina by Sofia. She deserves to be treated the way she raised and fed her family. I only hope she doesn’t feel threatened by someone else who does it just as good.