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Georgio Bakatsias is at it again in Chapel Hill

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burgeoningfoodie Oct 12, 2012 07:37 AM

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. LulusMom RE: burgeoningfoodie Oct 12, 2012 11:11 AM

    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
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      brokegradstudent RE: LulusMom Oct 12, 2012 11:29 AM

      Pyewacket==Penang

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

      1. re: brokegradstudent
        LulusMom RE: brokegradstudent Oct 12, 2012 12:12 PM

        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
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          Windsor RE: LulusMom Oct 12, 2012 02:50 PM

          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
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            jcbarr RE: Windsor May 2, 2013 10:24 AM

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

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      burgeoningfoodie RE: burgeoningfoodie Oct 16, 2012 08:33 AM

      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
        romansperson RE: burgeoningfoodie Oct 17, 2012 01:18 PM

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

        1. re: romansperson
          LulusMom RE: romansperson Oct 17, 2012 01:39 PM

          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.

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        burgeoningfoodie RE: burgeoningfoodie Mar 7, 2013 01:34 PM

        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
          LulusMom RE: burgeoningfoodie Mar 7, 2013 01:40 PM

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

          1. re: burgeoningfoodie
            meatn3 RE: burgeoningfoodie Mar 7, 2013 03:31 PM

            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!

            THURSDAY

            Soutzoukia Smyrneika 16.00

            Lamb Meatballs with Potato Puree in Smyrna Tomato Sauce

            FRIDAY

            Lahanodolmades 17.00

            Cabbage Parcels of Cumin Beef in Avgolemono Sauce

            Pork Ladocola

            Kipos Vegetables, Herbs & Kefalograviera Cheese 17.00

            SATURDAY

            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

            SUNDAY

            Whole Herb Roasted Lemon Chicken 19.00

            Oregano, Roasted Potatoes, Extra Virgin Olive Oil

            1. re: meatn3
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              burgeoningfoodie RE: meatn3 Mar 8, 2013 01:06 PM

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

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            Jeanne RE: burgeoningfoodie Mar 8, 2013 10:36 PM

            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
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              Rory RE: Jeanne Mar 10, 2013 08:00 PM

              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
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                burgeoningfoodie RE: Rory Mar 11, 2013 08:41 AM

                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
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                  Rory RE: burgeoningfoodie Mar 11, 2013 02:18 PM

                  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
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                    bbqme RE: Rory Mar 12, 2013 08:06 AM

                    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
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                      brokegradstudent RE: bbqme Mar 12, 2013 08:43 AM

                      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
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                        Rory RE: brokegradstudent Mar 12, 2013 02:35 PM

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

                    2. re: Rory
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                      burgeoningfoodie RE: Rory Mar 12, 2013 01:00 PM

                      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.

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                TerryG RE: burgeoningfoodie Mar 11, 2013 08:29 AM

                So what's the name of the place?

                2 Replies
                1. re: TerryG
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                  burgeoningfoodie RE: TerryG Mar 11, 2013 08:39 AM

                  Kipos

                  1. re: TerryG
                    meatn3 RE: TerryG Mar 11, 2013 10:27 AM

                    Here's the link:

                    http://www.kiposgreektaverna.com/

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                    walras RE: burgeoningfoodie Mar 22, 2013 07:38 AM

                    It's called Kipos
                    http://www.kiposgreektaverna.com

                    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
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                      Rory RE: walras Mar 26, 2013 08:03 PM

                      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: Rory
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                        burgeoningfoodie RE: Rory Mar 27, 2013 11:25 AM

                        when do they actively stop baking?

                        1. re: burgeoningfoodie
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                          Rory RE: burgeoningfoodie Mar 27, 2013 03:06 PM

                          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
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                            burgeoningfoodie RE: Rory Mar 28, 2013 07:34 AM

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

                            1. re: burgeoningfoodie
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                              Rory RE: burgeoningfoodie Mar 29, 2013 12:43 AM

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

                    2. LulusMom RE: burgeoningfoodie Apr 4, 2013 05:35 AM

                      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
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                        burgeoningfoodie RE: LulusMom Apr 4, 2013 09:58 AM

                        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
                          LulusMom RE: burgeoningfoodie Apr 4, 2013 11:15 AM

                          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
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                          burgeoningfoodie RE: LulusMom Apr 4, 2013 09:59 AM

                          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
                            LulusMom RE: burgeoningfoodie Apr 4, 2013 11:18 AM

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

                            1. re: LulusMom
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                              burgeoningfoodie RE: LulusMom Apr 5, 2013 06:19 AM

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

                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                LulusMom RE: burgeoningfoodie Apr 5, 2013 11:48 AM

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

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                          burgeoningfoodie RE: burgeoningfoodie Aug 7, 2013 12:11 PM

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

                          http://blogs.newsobserver.com/food/ka...

                          1. klmonline RE: burgeoningfoodie Aug 24, 2013 12:30 PM

                            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
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                              burgeoningfoodie RE: klmonline Aug 26, 2013 06:10 AM

                              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
                                LulusMom RE: burgeoningfoodie Aug 26, 2013 07:14 AM

                                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
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                                  burgeoningfoodie RE: LulusMom Aug 27, 2013 08:50 AM

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

                                2. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                  klmonline RE: burgeoningfoodie Aug 26, 2013 08:53 AM

                                  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.

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