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Georgio Bakatsias is at it again in Chapel Hill

Seems like Georgio (sp?) doesn't know when to stop. He is apparently opening a Greek themed restaurant in the Pyewacket space in the Courtyard at Chapel Hill. No word on opening or total concept.

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  1. Oooh, I'd love to have a Greek restaurant in town. I don't know what the Pyewacket space is, never noticed a place with that name in the Courtyard. Can't wait to hear more info. Given his last name, you'd guess he could do this one with his eyes shut.

    4 Replies
    1. re: LulusMom


      I hope it is better than Spice Street (that was him too, right?).

      1. re: brokegradstudent

        Ah, thank you. Yes, Spice St. is him too (although it has changed its name to City Kitchen). I think that one can't possibly ever be great because the menu is just all over the place. The sushi is pretty bad, but I've had some ok flatbreads and salads.

        1. re: LulusMom

          I remember one of his downtown Chapel Hill venues offering the best Bouillabaisse I have ever had. This had to have been at least 25 years ago.

          1. re: Windsor

            Yes, Bakatsias's was in the basement of U Square. I went there for prom night 26 years ago.

    2. Well his Parizade is suppose to be greek based but it's just so-so (like the majority of his establishments). Out of all his places that have come and gone, I think his best is Vin Rouge. I guess Bin54 does alright but I'm surprised it is still around. I know he had a place called Grasshopper at one time and he had Georges Garage. Truthfully though Med Deli will still be my go to for Greek/Lebanese food in Chapel Hill.

      2 Replies
      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

        Bin54 is terrific and easily the best of his restaurants that I've dined in.

        1. re: romansperson

          Totally agree. I even think it is one of the best steak houses I've eaten at all over the US. Now, this should be taken with a grain of salt because I don't eat red meat more than maybe 4 times a year, but I've been to plenty of steak houses (my husband sure loves a good steak, and I'll eat one occasionally). They have a nice wine selection, good appetizers, freshly made rolls/bread.

      2. This is in preview from today through weekend. You can make a reservation on Open Table. I believe they are opening on Monday. If anyone goes, let me know how it is.

        3 Replies
        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

          Kind of unfair to judge a place on opening weekend though, don't you think?

          1. re: burgeoningfoodie

            I received an e-mail about it. Not sure, but it seemed as though one or two specific dishes are being offered each night during the soft opening - with each night being different. If someone has limited dietary needs regarding proteins they may want to double check!

            NOTE: Mods, I am not affiliated, etc. Just cutting and pasting to save some time!


            Soutzoukia Smyrneika 16.00

            Lamb Meatballs with Potato Puree in Smyrna Tomato Sauce


            Lahanodolmades 17.00

            Cabbage Parcels of Cumin Beef in Avgolemono Sauce

            Pork Ladocola

            Kipos Vegetables, Herbs & Kefalograviera Cheese 17.00


            Youvetsi 18.00

            Stone-Oven Baked Short Rib with Braised Tomatoes & Orzo 18.00

            Stiphado 18.00

            Eight-Hour Braised Wild Rabbit, Pearl Onions, Georgio's Garden Bay Leaves


            Whole Herb Roasted Lemon Chicken 19.00

            Oregano, Roasted Potatoes, Extra Virgin Olive Oil

            1. re: meatn3

              Oh yeah.. that did seem true.. So nevermind but glad t here is a traditional greek spot in the area.

          2. Am looking forward to reading some reviews. I looked at the menu and it looks interesting. Contrary to a lot of reviews here, I really like Parizaides, although haven't been there in a long time.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Jeanne

              Okay my dad and I just ate there Sunday, it seems it was opening night, we just rambled in from the gym. It's been done over charmingly with a big open kitchen with rotisseries going. The food is very good indeed. They have a regular menu, then one with small plates, mezzes and we ordered from the latter; feta, gigantes, salad, beef keftedes, fried calamari, vegetable fritters, washed down with a carafe of white wine. We had plenty of food and familiar things like Feta were amazing, the vegetable fritters like little puffs of air but you could taste the fresh herbs. We both agreed that the food was fantastic. The place filled up but our server was lovely and very attentive, the atmosphere very pleasant, live bouzouki music and the chef making the rounds. I was sorry I didn't have a slice of the leek or spinach pie. The desserts didn't fail either, I had walnut honey cake, light and delicious and my father a milk pastry. The bakery is open all day until 10pm and they'll sell coffee & pastries which is excellent. We loved our dinner and looking forward to returning.

              1. re: Rory

                Thanks for the report. I had looked over his menu including the rotating part. It seems more traditional and familiar greek fare which is good and a welcome addition to places like Med Deli and Tallulah's. Is the milk pastry the Galakto.. something or other? (not looking at page right this moment). I'll have to give a try sooner rather than later. Hope it stays strong and that it survives in that place since there is parking and that space has been underutilized.

                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                  Yes, the Galakto is the milk custard. I'd say Med deli is for cheap food; I never eat there. I ate at Tallulah's a while back, October and it was nice, but not up to the quality of Kipos. There was quite a crowd there yesterday.

                  1. re: Rory

                    If you never eat at Med Deli then you're missing out. When they expanded a couple of year ago (?) the best thing they did was making their own pita bread using organic flour from nearby Hurdle Mills. Freshly made pita is so different from the stuff you get in a package, far less chewy much more pillowy soft. I don't bother making roti when I want them with my curries now, I just get freshly baked pita bread from Med Deli. They also use the pita bread dough to make Lebanese versions of pizza (I'm blanking on the name) that are delicious. I love sweets so I always have to get some borma and/or katifi. I don't know anywhere else in Chapel Hill or Durham where you can get these.
                    Yes, Med Deli is cheap eats but it's freshly made with quality ingredients. I'd much rather go there than spend the same amount at Mickey D's across the street, for example.

                    1. re: bbqme

                      Agreed re. Med Deli. Good lunch at the store.

                      For years I only knew them through their offerings at campus coffee shops (ugh.). At the place is a totally different thing.

                      1. re: brokegradstudent

                        agreed about Med Deli, they are way better than fast food. Didn't realize about the pita either.

                    2. re: Rory

                      Right I know the differences. I mean Mediterranean Deli is more broad appeal instead of Greek which Kipos is. I'm glad that there is someplace nearby that does traditional greek (your mousaka, pasticchio and such) as long as they keep it up.

              2. So what's the name of the place?

                2 Replies
                  1. It's called Kipos

                    I realize that snickering at Parizade is a board staple, but this is a serious and good place, folks. Giorgio Bakastias seems to have decided that the area is stable enough for him to do the restaurant he always wanted to do, a Greek Taverna like those he grew up with. He brought his sister over from Athens to do the bakery, and another friend from Athens as chef.

                    The website is very loving, with family pictures everywhere.

                    The space is great -- Pyewacket is long gone. Open kitchen more accessible than Parizade, bakery at the entrance with lots of great stuff to take home for breakfast, etc.

                    Was there for dinner on Wednesday -- place packed, active bar. All Greek wines and many Greek beers. And the food was really special. Wife and I made a meal of four mezzes -- spicy sausages in sauce, koftes with dressing, calamari with tzatziki, and baked eggplant with onion and tomatoes and cheese.

                    Great service, including from Mr. Bakastias himself who was hosting and facilitating service. I've spent time in Greece, and this place is for real. It has a great feel, with UNC couples, Greek families (friends of the owner probably in these friends and family early opening period?), academics, BFF tables, etc.

                    It was a happy experience, good prices, really tasty (and a lot of locally sourced) food, and we'll become regulars it seems. What's not to like?

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: walras

                      FYI after 6pm the baked goods are half-price, found this out as I was taking some home after dinner, the nut pastries and cookies are excellent, so fresh.

                        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                          they told me they bake every day & since restaurant baking is early in the morning let's say they're done by 9am. I do believe them as I cook and bake with nuts all the time - not fresh nuts taste like sawdust.

                          1. re: Rory

                            Some raw nuts like pecans taste that way anyways (to me) but better when roasted.

                            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                              raw pecans, almonds, cashews, walnuts taste great in vegan cooked loaves or raw food entrees and desserts...

                    2. We tried Kipos last night and liked the food very much. The room is really nice looking too. We shared the eggplant/walnut/pepper spread and thought it was great. I got the ouzo salmon cold mezze, husband got a salad. He had the grilled lamb while I had a couple of hot mezze (sorry, I don't think this is the greek word for this) - the vegetable balls and the grilled octopus, both of which I loved. Having ordered this we agreed with the waitress that it was probably enough food and that we'd hold off on the spanikopita and only get it if we were still hungry. Only moments later a couple of people who work there came by our table and asked if we would like to try the spanikopita (they did this with others around us too), and we figured they were giving it for free so "what the heck" and took it. The waitress came up to us a few minutes later and said (with chagrin) "did they mention to you that this isn't free? They've been doing that and people are complaining." I can see why. Not a big deal, but yeah, don't give people the impression that they're getting a free taste of something when you'll be charged for it. Small irritation to watch out for. I also don't care for only giving out one menu per table - my husband and I were sitting across from each other and while the idea of being able to look at the menu and discuss it is nice, it is pretty difficult when one of you is viewing it upside down. We asked for another menu. Easily enough fixed, but another little irritation. But the main thing is that the food we tried was wonderful and the room is great looking and the place was bustling. A hit for us; we'll be back soon.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: LulusMom

                        I went with my wife on Tuesday night and the place was packed. We had a reservation but it still took them about 10 minutes to seat us. Not horribly inconvenient but then whats the point of a reservation system? I ogled the less familiar desserts.

                        Anyways, I was not impressed with the dinner options I had compared to the lunch options I had about 2 weeks earlier. I had the grilled octopus mezze which was overly salty and lacked any bite (that is it was too soft ) and I had the Mousaka which was just a bad representation of the dish. There was hardly any eggplant and it came across more like a Shepherd's pie. The pastitsio is loads better as is the octopus salad. We shared a cold mezze of the split pea santorini which was different and refreshing. Almost like a hummus but different flavor. We were also presented with the Spanakopita (fyi its done more like a stuffed pizza from Sbarros then the small triangular pockets you may be use to seeing). We hesitated for a moment and the server finally said it is 4.50 or whatever price it was. We figured why not and we'd give it at try. Suffice to say it wasn't bad and it could easily be a cheap meal for someone. My wife started with the Avolemono soup. Contrary to the version my friend had at lunch, this soup was thick and lacked any lemon flavor at all. I think they were just having an off kitchen night. Lastly, my wife had the Gigantes Plaki, which are fava beans in tomato sauce, she liked it but commented that it lacked seasoning at all.

                        Other notes, the service is friendly but sometimes disappears when you are wanting a refill on water. The noise carries but I didn't find it hard to understand my wife. The olives and tzaziki are not extra and my wife really loved the chunkiness of the latter. Also as mentioned, the one menu is a bit weird and will win no favors.

                        Suffice to say, I would definitely go back because I think it is solid for the most part. I know nothing of their bar or bakery, but will be interested in sampling some of the bakery goodies soon.

                        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                          It sounds like yours was an off night and ours was a very on night. All the food we had was really good and well flavored and the octopus was especially good (although I will grant you it was tender, but I don't know that I'd use the word soft) with lots of garlic in the oil. We did not get any free olives and tzatziki - wish we had! George himself was walking around, which may account for the good work from the kitchen.

                          I should have mentioned that I had a really nice and different cocktail. I don't remember the name, but it was Hendricks gin, a bit of lime juice and a little mashed dill and sparkling water chilled and served in a martini glass. Very different, and quite nice.

                        2. re: LulusMom

                          I'd offer to do a double date with you 3 and us 2 but I'm not sure I could convince my wife to immediately return so soon.

                          1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                            That is very thoughtful - most of my double dates have Lulu as my companion!

                            1. re: LulusMom

                              You sure you don't want to get a bumper sticker saying Lulu is my co-pilot?

                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                I think she'd prefer it to be the other way around.

                        3. The other side of Kipos is open and serving his take on Greek Street food


                          1. We went for lunch last Sunday and found that they offer a limited selection brunch menu. We shared two dishes. The spanakopita was a disappointment. Not enough phyllo and butter. It was overcooked so the dough was burnt and dry. But the calamari salad was a winner. I count the calamari as the best I have had anywhere in this country. Perfectly tender squid without any rubbery tendency at all, coated in an extremely light coating that added just the right hint of crunch. Absolutely to my liking, and I want to go back and just start ordering plates of the stuff until I can't eat anymore!

                            Our server could not have been nicer, and when I mentioned that we were a bit disappointed in the pie, he immediately insisted in taking it off our bill.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: klmonline

                              Next time I'm in there I aim to get some items from the bakery. No one mentions it much and I fear it will disappear if no one is getting anything from it.

                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                It always looks like at least one person is in line to buy something when I'm there, and of course people are getting desserts from it too.

                                1. re: LulusMom

                                  Well it isn't getting mention on the boards compared to the main restaurant.

                                2. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                  Their sourdough bread should not be missed. But don't have them pre-slice it. They go way too thin and they have to double-cut it to fit the machine. Slice it yourself.