The delicate-but-assertive spices of Greek cookery are familiar to most in a limited variety of dishes, but Eleni's, a romantic bistro in Sellwood, goes far beyond the gyros-and-grape leaves formula into serious Cretan cuisine. Tired of hummus? Try the skordalia, a garlic-packed potato-walnut spread, or gigantes, mild beans jazzed up with chili and feta. Entrees include moschari, a sirloin in spiced tomato sauce, like a gourmet Swiss steak, and various preparations of spaghettini and orzo, but the knockout is a dish that bridges Portland and Athens: a nutty-rich bowl of fresh wild mushrooms over orzo, saut�ed with thyme and topped with a gentle feta. Our table was split over the merits of a sugary poached pear in whipped cream and chocolate sauce, but not Eleni's unique baklava, a crumbly, dry version pungent with cloves and oranges and topped with housemade stewed fruit�a sensual ending for two. Stuck on the Westside? Visit Eleni's other outpost, Eleni's Philoxenia (112 NW 9th Ave., 227-2158). (KA)