If you aim to dethrone Dmitri's legendary grilled octopus, you'd best have a few tricks up your sleeve. And it appears that Estia does, and does: Its extraordinary octopodi is sourced from Portugal and Spain, cleaned and tenderized with sea salt in a dedicated washing machine (that's right, just the rinse and spin cycle), braised in red-wine vinegar, and grilled over charcoal. Over the fire it's basted with the house vinaigrette, which slowly caramelizes, yielding a crackling, sweet crust. The tender, white coins are served Greek style with a dill-flecked salad of onion, pepper and capers. Serves two, three, even four.
Grilled octopus appetizer, $17, Estia, 1405 Locust (just off Broad), 215-735-7700, www.estiarestaurant.com.