Greek restaurants outside of Greektown
- Buford Aug 6, 2004 07:34 PM
Back in May someone posted a very intriguing message asking about Greek restaurants outside of Greektown. Does anyone have any knowledge on this topic? I am interested in particular in a place mentioned by the poster called Dionysius. I can't find this place either at yellow.com or through Google. Does anyone have details on this restaurant? Many thanks.
I might be the one. I think Dionysius is on S. Harlem in the 90s, which might be Worth, Palos Heights, or Bridgeview. On 111th St. west of Cicero is a funkier looking Greek restaurant. It might be called Greek Taverna and might be in Worth, but I might be all wet. Around Naperville there's a Greek spot named Mythos, I think, and Pat Bruno has in the last quarter favorably reviewed a Greek restaurant in Lombard.
Near O'Hare is a Greek restaurant named Mykonos, and in Glenview is one named Periyali (sp.?) which has been the subject of lots of positive threads on the LTH Forum.
If you scroll down a few weeks you might find a short thread on Greek restaurants which contained a tantalizing post by "Hellene."
Like you, I'm after non-Greektown Greek restaurants. Please share what you turn up.
Almost forgot my favorite Greek restaurant anywhere: the Greek Islands outpost in Lombard just down Roosevelt Rd. from the Oak Brook Shopping Center. This is the only one of all the joints I've mentioned at which I've eaten.
A few other restaurants worth noting:
- Downtown/River North - Papagus. Not by far the best of the LEYE chain of places, but it is a LEYE place, good broad menu, interesting space and a decent option in the area.
- Lawrence Ave - just West of Western there are about 5 or 6 Greek cafes and bakeries. As far as I can tell there have been few or perhaps no posts about them on Chowhounds, but they certainly appear to be very worthy of some exploration (might help if you have a grandfather who plays dominos and speaks greek however, seem somewhat clublike).
I haven't had the time myself to explore them, but there are three of them in one strip mall just west of Western that look interesting, may try to get up there in the next few weeks and try them. Not clear if any of them serve full meals or if they just have drinks and baked goods.
The Greek restaurant you are thinking of is Barba Yianni Grecian Taverna. The name was to distinguish it from the Grecian Taverna that occupied the space where Bad Dog Tavern is now. Judging from a recent article in Inside (linked below), it is no longer Greek-owned.
I would not go out of my way to eat here. It is OK but no more than OK if you want Greek food in the neighborhood but would be wiped out in comparison with just about any restaurant in Greektown.
Through much of the 1970s the Lincoln-Lawrence-Western area was justly referred to as Greektown North. None of the real restaurants or nightclubs from that era survive (Barba Yianni dates only to 1979). One pastry bakery is left on the southeast corner of Talman and Lawrence. Tom's Bakery, the last bread bakery, closed a few weeks ago. There are a few coffee shops left that are functionally or legally men's clubs. Much of the remaining Greek population is elderly and not affluent. The others moved to the suburbs (particularly Niles, Glenview, Northbook and Park Ridge)in the late 1970s and 1980s. The existence of good Greek restaurants in some of those suburbs shouldn't be a surprise. The sequence was Germans selling to Greeks who later sold to a mix of Eastern Europeans, Hispanics and yuppies. More German businesses than Greek survive today.
I moved into the Ravenswood Gardens portion of southwestern Lincoln Square in 1976. That area never followed the ethnic sequence that occurred in much of the rest of Lincoln Square. Watching the changes over the years has been quite interesting. Now nightlife is approaching the level of the mid 1970s with just a slight southward shift.
Costa's is excellent--in Oak Brook Terrace, I think, on Midwest Road? (I think there is a branch in Chicago also, but I've never been there.)
I don't recall the name of the place on Lake Cook Road. It's in the spot formerly occupied by Shaw's Seafood. A good friend went there a while back and reported the food was good, but expensive.
He said he would continue going to Periyali in Glenview instead.
I'm a bit surprised no one mentioned Periyali before as a few weeks ago it was the site of a gathering of chow people. The consensus was that the food was quite good -- among the better places in the Chicago area.
The preferred dishes included pastisio, grilled zucchini, grilled lamb chops, grilled octopus and Greek sausage. The taramosalata was much less salty than usual and many appreciated the subtle approach.
I believe the restaurant you are thinking of is Dionysos in Worth. The address is 10700 S. Harlem, and the phone is 708-361-1710.