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Oct 29, 2013 06:14 AM

Kipos in Chapel Hill

Been waiting for four years for decent Greek food since moving here from Philly. Then Greg Cox gives Kipos 4 stars. We jumped on it! Ugh! Mediocre was the night - service, wine, food. We never got any bread! What a disappointment!

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  1. I've been probably 8 or 9 times at this point and I've been very impressed almost every time. Last time was about 2 weeks ago - great food, wine, service, and they brought out a little bag of cookies for my daughter at the end. Did you mention that you'd like bread (I agree - you shouldn't have to, but sometimes they figure you'll be ordering something that comes with pita and forget, but are happy to bring the bread if nudged)? Can you tell us what happened food and service-wise that was so bad?

    5 Replies
    1. re: LulusMom

      The difference could be simple. We have been spoiled by Greek food in NYC, Baltimore, Chicago....etc. This is a pale imitation...

      1. re: TriangleTangle

        OK. Can you give us some examples? I've eaten around the world (including Cyprus, Greek town in Toronto, DC, NYC, London - not that this in any way makes me an expert on Greek food). I'm just curious if there were some particular things you could point out that you found especially dismal. I'd like to know what I'm missing out on so I can look for it elsewhere.

        eta: I think Greg Cox tends to over-rate local places; if he's ever given a bad review I've certainly never seen it.

        1. re: LulusMom

          Ditto ate in Athens, just back from several Europeans trips and grew up and went to the best Greek restaurants in NYC and Kipos is wonderful. And like LM, I've been there 6-7 time plus having coffee and sweets in the bakery the quality has always been first class.

          1. re: Rory

            I spent only two weeks there so I'm no expert but Kipos' offerings seem close enough to what I remember, although if I were to recall the most surprising thing about eating in Greece, it was that what I get here in the states is pretty close to what I got over there(though I did the normal island hopping thing so I'm sure I got the tourist-trap food).

            What I don't agree with Greg Cox on is that it's that much better than the rest of Greek restaurants here, particularly Papas Grill(which is now Bleu Olive). Aside from the location and chic interior, I don't see this one being that much better than the others in terms of the food and drinks, though I concede I've only been to Kipos once and haven't tried nearly as many dishes as Cox did. I do think Kipos has the rest of dining experience covered better than the rest, though. I'm just skeptical, based on my one visit, if their food is distinguished enough to say that it's the best around. I will say, though, that I think I did like Papas Grill better than Bleu Olive for some reason I can't quite put my finger on.

            For me, the the service was fine; it wasn't as bad as like some known popular restaurants around here, and it's not as distinguished as others. It's fine. I can't comment on their wine since I'm more of a liquor/girly cocktail guy and I had no problem with it. I do recall ouzo dominating the menu at the places I ate while in Greece(and again that could be a function of where I was eating), and it was always served with ice and I don't know if it's offered there, but I don't miss it that much.

            I got bread while there unlike the OP, but you didn't miss much, FWIW. Overall I'm not opposed to going back, but I'd probably go back when school is out and parking is easier, which is my default stance on restaurants over there except for a few restos and on special occasions.

            Probably the two things that stuck out the most is:
            1. The food came out fast. Saganaki, the roasted lamb, everything. Now, I know that the stuff I ordered isn't exactly made to order so that's not that surprising, but the speed at which the food came out was more in line with Mexican restaurants with the best microwave ovens. Patrons can see the kitchen so I'm sure that's not what happened here(and it didn't taste microwaved) and I'm not complaining, but I was surprised. I should be pleased. I was!

            2. Not as expensive as I thought it would be. Not complaining. I'm totally cool with this.

          2. re: LulusMom

            Samos in Baltimore, Molyvos in NYC, Greek Islands Chicago...

      2. Had an early pre-game dinner at Kipos and the meal was great. Server was very personable and took good care of us. Loved the Greek wine list, and ordered a few glasses of white to sip with our meal.

        We were promptly served bread, which I didn't eat to save room for the barrage of food we ordered. Across the board, the food was very good. Started with house cured salmon (nice beet and ouzo flavor), stuffed grape leaves (above average, leaves themselves had nice texture), grilled octopus (cooked perfectly, not tough and not too soft), fried calamari (obviously fresh, perfectly fried), grilled stuffed squid (my least favorite thing we ordered, a little chewy and uninteresting rice stuffing), spanikopita (tasty, great homemade phyllo), tiropita (another good pie), marinated vegetable salad (ok, not something I would have ordered), pastitsio (tasty version, could have used some finishing sauce. massive portion and a great deal on Franklin st. for 12 bucks.), leg of lamb (good flavor, simple, rotisserie cooked and then grilled to order. Served with roasted Yukon potatoes that could have used some more flavor. some kind of sauce would have been a nice addition. I ended up drizzling very good olive oil over the meat), and finally whole roasted bronzini (Fabulous, cooked perfectly and served with a simple lemony sauce on the side. Also came with a rice concoction that was tasty.)

        After our one visit, I can't wait to go back and hit the many items we didn't try. One visit isn't enough to declare Kipos great (or mediocre, for that matter), but they are using good products. fresh fish, high quality meats, really good olive oil, homemade phyllo, etc.. The wine list alone is worth a visit if you're into Greek food and wine. Is it as good as Molyvos? No, but it's not the same. More casual, much less expensive, perfectly authentic Greek food that I could afford to eat every day. Two thumbs up.

        1 Reply
        1. re: veganhater

          Sometimes I just make a meal from the appetizers there, including the cured salmon, octopus (isn't that killer?), the vegetable balls, and the saganaki. The tzatsiki is also better than average (for my taste). And the wine list really is great. We've found some pretty killer red wines at very good prices (the Northern Greeks have tended to be our favorites, especially the ones from Lazaridis vineyards).