Fig Dakos at Opa | Photo via Opa
When Opa first opened, it was loud, brash, crowded and dull. The kitchen seemed incapable of dependably executing the most basic dishes. The cooks were occasionally flummoxed by the simple interaction of meat and fire and would season things like toddlers given a spice rack to play with. I’d seen dudes in the park fresh off the spike who moved with more purpose than the floor staff on a weeknight, and the crowds that mobbed the place were a weird collection of neighborhood regulars and knots of sports-coated business bros who’d cluster like wolves at the corners of the bar, laugh too loud, and order rounds of Heineken and Amstel Light like they were on the last night of their package tour to Ibiza.
Back in the day (August 2011, to be exact), Trey Popp, Philly Mag’s restaurant critic at the time, gave the joint one-and-a-half stars, which I thought was too many by three. I hated the place pretty much unreservedly, and in the augmented-reality Terminator vision I have while clocking restaurants in this city, I always saw Opa with a big red X through it and the words AVOID AT ALL COSTS.
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Spanakopita: spinach, kefalotiri and feta cheese, house made filo
Owners George and Vasiliki Tsiouris and chef Bobby Saritsoglou are celebrating the fifth anniversary of Midtown Village’s Opa today with a special menu of $5 bites and drinks all day.
The menu includes favorites like hummus with yellow fava bean puree, slow cook roast pork and spanakopita stuffed with spinach, kefalotiri and feta cheese.
Drink deals are also available including:
- Xinouli – a Greek-style margarita
- Gai’a Notios Red Wine
- Trace Ouzo – a Greek Spirit
The specials are available all day as is the rest of Opa’s menu of Greek dishes.
Full anniversary menu »
Chef Bobby Saritsoglou will be cooking with celeb chef Diane Kochilas.
On Tuesday, December 15th, George and Vasiliki Tsiouris, along with chef Bobby Saritsoglou are hosting author and Greek chef Diane Kochilas at Opa.
It’s a two part event starting with Kochilas demoing a few dishes from her book Ikaria: Food, Life and Longevity from the Island where People Forget to Die. The demo will be followed by a five-course collaborative dinner prepared by Saritsolgou and Kochilas.
Kochilas is an award-winning cookbook author, and cooking school owner, she has been at the forefront of bringing Greek cuisine to an international audience for many years.
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Just some of Opa’s new brunch items.
When chef Bobby Saritsoglou was at Santucci’s at 10th and Christian, his brunch was a great, under the radar choice and now he’s rolling out Sunday brunch at Opa and it is really appealing to us right now.
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saritsoglou will be enticing with a menu that includes:
- The Spartan Breakfast with house-made sausage and ham, fried haloumi cheese, two eggs any style and served with pita bread
- Pancakes, Greek-style with powdered sugar and cinnamon or nutella and banana
- Greek Benedict served with ham, soft boiled egg and house-baked bread
- Breakfast Gyro served with scrambled eggs and house-made sausage
- Everything Bagel with scrambled eggs, ham, house-made sausage, hash browns and kaseri cheese
And all November., brunch will come with a complimentary Mimosa, Bloody Mary (bacon-feta garnish) or house-made Pastry Basket. And for you Saturday revelers, Saturday brunch is coming up next.
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Adam Erace was already a fan of Bobby Saritsoglou’s cooking from Saritsoglou’s time at Santucci’s. There, Erace realized the pizzeria was also a really good neighborhood BYOB. Now Saritsoglou is cooking Greek food at Opa and Erace says the Midtown Village spot is now a “great restaurant.”
[M]eat was where Saritsoglou really shined, whether in the bite-sized dolmades, smoky charred grape-leaf bundles rolled around aggressively spiced keftedes that positively quivered with juiciness, or the shareable Meat Board, a carnivore’s playground that shortly will become a new must-have dish in Philadelphia. Inspired by Greece’s kebab-and-beer psistaria, this scene co-starred four perfectly cooked proteins on a butcher-block backdrop: oregano-rubbed chicken so moist, the word “confit” hardly does it justice; uncased pork-and-beef soutzoukakiasausages shot through with woodsy za’atar; a take on loukaniko, a true sausage deeply perfumed with orange zest and fennel seed; and bifteki, which was like the most unearthly delicious burger patty you’ve ever eaten. The bifteki sat on a thick slice of tomato, a king on a scarlet cushion. I cut into the crunchy caramelized crust of the pan-fried 80/20 beef patty (a light dredge in flour is the key), revealing a glistening interior as red as the fruit it sat upon.
A new chef brings a fresh new menu to Opa [City Paper]
Fried rabbit at Opa
Bobby Saritsoglou, the mustached head chef who took over the helm of Opa in early March, has released his new menu, which will be officially available starting today.
The menu is divided up into Mezedes (small plates), Spreads, Dakos (Barley toast), Gyros, Salates & Lahanika (Salads and Vegetables), Pites (Filo Pies), Macaronia (Pasta), From the Grill, and Trapezi (For the Table).
Highlights include: flash fried smelts with grilled lemon, marinated grilled sardine and heirloom tomato barley toast, duck gyro, wild boar ragu house made egg pasta, swordfish souvlakia with fennel salad, and buttermilk fried rabbit with slaw and bobota corn bread. Maybe not what you think of as Greek food, but the spices were all Greek and it was delicious.
Full menu and photos »
Celebrate the first official day of summer with a Summer Souvla at Drury Beer Garden. On Saturday, June 21st and July 5th, Drury Beer Garden, behind Opa, will be celebrating grilled meat. Roasted goat will be served up on the 21st and roasted pig on the 5th. Drink specials, which will be announced the day of the roasts, will also be available too.
Drury Beer Garden [Foobooz]
Opa is celebrating Greek Independence Day (we linked out to Encyclopedia Britannica because it was nice to see them at the top of our search results) today.
During Opa’s happy hour (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.) there will be free bites at the bar. The Bekris cocktail, Metaxa (a brandy based liqueur is regarded as the spirit for the holiday in Greece), gin and bitters is available all day for $5.
A special four-course prixe fixe menu is available all day for $25. An optional $25 wine or spirits pairing is also being offered.
Full menu »
Today is Opa’s third anniversary and the Greek restaurant is celebrating with a menu of $3 drinks and food. The menu is offered all day and night, at the bar and also at the tables.
Skewers, croquettes, Greekified fries and baklava make up some of the food options while all drafts, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale and a vodka cocktail are all available for just $3.
Full menu »
Estia Greek Taverna – Dining Room
The Pashalis family that owns Estia in Philadelphia is in expansion mode. Brothers Pete and Nick along with Pete’s brother-in-law, John Lois are bringing their take on Greek and Mediterranean cuisine to Marlton in early 2014. Estia Greek Taverna will replace the former Pietro’s (which they also own) at 140 W Route 70.
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