As a Boston resident for 11 years, I've always wondered why our city has a lack of good authentic Greek options. Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, I grew up surrounded by Greek culture, family and amazing restaurants such as the Olympia, Athenian Corner and Olympos Bakery. Boston once had Steve's on Newbury but the 30 year old staple closed in early 2014 leaving our city a Greek food desert! Boston once had a "Greek corner" within its South End, but that population dissipated to Roslindale and the suburbs while taking along with them their culture and food.
Twice a year, St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church hosts a Grecian Food festival in the South End. My friends and I look forward to the festivals but we need more! Thankfully, our city has come to its senses as many new Greek & Mediterranean eateries are opening their doors across town. Check out my list of new & soon to open establishments:
Committee, at 50 Northern Ave. (http://committeeboston.com/), served its first souvlaki in June of last year and is frequented by late 20-somethings who mingle and nosh on small plates within the rustic loft-style decor with high ceilings and brick accent walls. Try the grape leaf dolmades filled with rice, sumac, pine nut, and saffron avgolemono; the grilled haloumi with blistered grapes, and ouzo, or the carrot kofte with shredded carrot, kefalotyri, greek yogurt, pomegranate petimezi.
Doretta Taverna & Raw Bar, 79 Park Plaza at The Heritage On the Garden (http://www.dorettaboston.com/), last September. Inspired by his wife Adrienne’s family recipes, Michael Schlow transformed the former Via Matta space into Doretta, with an expanded outdoor seating area and an approachable menu that avoids Greek names for dishes. Try the grilled octopus with sweet onions, capers, & greek olive oil, the crunchy eggplant with smoky yogurt, harissa compote & crushed pistachios, or the 15-hour lamb shoulder that’s served on the bone and great for sharing with the table.
KAVA Neo-Taverna 315 Shawmut Ave http://kavaneotaverna.com/ across from the South End Buttery. Kava, in Greek means a neighborhood wine and spirit shop. I've now been three times and can't get enough of this place and it's authentic Greek cuisine and atmosphere. Try the lahano dolmades (stuffed cabbage leaves), the maritha (fried smelts), spanikopita, horiatiki salad, layraki (sea bass), and a bottle of the Thalassitis wine from Santorini—it's a light and crisp white wine to die for!
Pelekasis at Wink & Nod, 3 Appleton St. (www.pelekasisboston.com), started its 6-month residency at the South End incubator space. Labeled as modern Greek, Chef Brendan Pelley bridges tradition and modern techniques through his menu of small, medium, and large dishes. Respectively, check out the foie gras dolmades with brown butter, pine nuts and golden raisins, the rooster giouvetsi that’s braised in a cinnamon-tomato sauce, and the pan roasted local fish with quinoa, braised fennel, cara-cara orange ladolemono, and pickled caper leaf.
Saloniki 132 Brookline Ave. (www.salonikigreek.com) by Jody Adams (Rialto and Trade), projected to open March 14th, near Fenway. Adams is partnering with Trade team members Eric Papachristos and Jonathan Mendez on this new Greek concept. It gets its name from the Greek city of Thessaloniki in Northern Greece.
Reviews written by Boston Herald food writer Kerry Stanton.