New Chef, New Flavors, and Old World Greek Cooking at Opa

Chef Bobby Saritsolgou: New Tastes, New Menu, and Old World Greek Cooking at Opa

Chef Bobby Saritsolgou with owners George and "V"
Chef Bobby Saritsolgou with owners George and “V”

A child of Greek parents and a recipient of formal culinary training in Greece , Chef Bobby Saritsolgou knows what it means to cook home-style Greek cuisine. But as the new chef at Opa, it’s not enough for him to just follow tradition. Since taking charge of the kitchen at the beginning of 2015, Chef Bobby has started preparing food at the modern Greek restaurant with a “from scratch” ethos. But more than anything, he’s taking the familiar Greek dishes of his childhood and serving them up with modern twists.

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Chef Bobby’s new menu offers a selection of Greek cheeses—all served as small plates perfect for sharing. The crunchy filo exterior on his homemade tiropita gives way to a creamy feta stuffing just salty enough to balance out the dish’s sticky-sweet ouzo and honey glaze.

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Juicy rabbit legs are soaked in buttermilk, then dredged in breading rich with oregano and fried until hot and crispy. American style coleslaw accompanies the dish, but Greek inspiration finds its way onto the plate once again in the form of cornbread—a Greek take on the Southern staple called bobota. Chef Bobby’s version—which uses freshly ground Anson Mills cornmeal—is slightly sweet and arrives at the table just after being lightly charred on the grill.

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The bread course at Opa comes in the form of pita—soft, fluffy, and perfect for scooping up stray bits of sauce or pieces of food into makeshift gyros.

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Glossy house-made pasta like the hilopites hits the tongue like a fresh sea breeze—bringing salty sea urchin, meaty gulf shrimp, and sweet littleneck clams together onto one plate.

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Lighter dishes have found their way onto the menu as well. Salty splashes of feta and bright pomegranate seeds punctuate the sitira salad, a cool and refreshing mixture of nutty wheat berries, lemon-scented quinoa, and crisp  celery root. It’s just the thing to cleanse the palate between richer dishes.

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Chef Bobby’s new menu will launch at Opa on April 30—just in time for a post-final exam or graduation dinner. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner from Monday to Friday, with extended dinner hours on Fridays and Saturdays and all day service from 1-9pm on Sundays.

You can take a look at the full new menu here and reservations can be made on their website, or by calling 215-545-0170.

-Chase Matecun

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