Opa Brings Modern Greece to Midtown Village Philadelphia 02/09/2011
Nestled in the heart of Midtown Village is the highly anticipated Opa. The word “opa” is a traditional Greek exclamation of glee, used to express the carefree aura that embodies the Greek spirit. The new Modern Greek restaurant-bar, opening February 10, 2011, evokes the Gazi neighborhood of Athens, with a warm and welcoming ambiance. The striking design features an expansive bar, dramatic wooden canopy and an intimate banquette area, providing a perfect setting to feature Opa’s fresh interpretations of traditional Greek fare.
Raised in the Philadelphia area, Greek-American brother-sister team, George Tsiouris and Vasiliki Tsiouris have deep family roots in the local restaurant scene. This dynamic pair is excited to bring their passion for Greek food and hospitality to their hometown.
“Our focus was to ensure a comfortable setting that promoted social interaction,” says George Tsiouris.
“We wanted everyone that steps through the door to leave with a taste of Greece’s hospitality and food,” says Vasiliki Tsiouris. “Great cuisine, dynamic conversation and festive moments are staples of our culture.”
Opa’s appetizing menu includes traditional family recipes finessed and plated to contemporary standards. Among the mezedes include Gyros, served slider-style with grilled lamb, yogurt sauce, cucumber, onion and tomato; Octopus, cured, grilled and plated with a chickpea fondue and chili oil; and Zimi, a baked pita filled with feta cheese. Mezedes range in price from $3 to $14. Opa features large plate offerings that span land and sea. They include the hearty Pastitsio, made with semolina pasta, ground sirloin and béchamel, baked individually in a cast iron pot; Bifteki, a feta-stuffed local grass-fed burger topped with a tomato, dill,
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Opa Brings Modern Greece to
Midtown Village Philadelphia
cucumber relish and served with oregano fries; and Striped Bass, served with a garbanzo bean soufflé and sautéed spinach. Entrees range in price from $11 to $24. Executive Chef Andrew Brown has been cooking professionally for 20 years and his culinary philosophy is based on simple freshness. His strong relationships with Lancaster County farmers result in consistent procurement of fresh organic, locally grown foods. “Greek food is intrinsically bold and inventive,” Brown said. “We are introducing a fresh take on the cuisine with a focus on natural ingredients and sustainable seafood options – basically, let the food speak for itself.”
Celebrated designer Jun Aizaki of Crème, transformed the formerly vacant space on Sansom Street with the Tsiouris’. “We wanted to challenge how people generally associate Greek restaurants in terms of concept and design by creating a global platform for Greek cuisine that is both authentic and modern,” says Aizaki. “Blending Vasiliki’s personality which is warm and earthy with George’s vision of a modern sleek destination spot was vital. The space transcends from a restaurant to a great place to gather and socialize in the banquette area and the island bar that exude energy and vibrancy.”
According to Aizaki, Opa captures the essence of a bohemian yet sophisticated setting boasting a 24-seat bar made of river rock that is back-dropped by an impressive canopy constructed of birch branches. A plaster wall houses candle-lit lanterns in colorful recesses, casting a warm glow among the back wall and suspended hand-made terracotta fixtures. Tables made of reclaimed oak complement the natural elements used throughout the space. A custom-made metal screen with a circular motif sets the stage for fun and celebration.
The signature beverages at Opa infuse Greek-inspired flavors such as the refreshing Antho made with cucumber vodka, lemon and dill; and the succulent Kerasi made with bourbon, lemon and cherries. Signature cocktails will range in price from $9 to $11. The wine selection focuses on Greek varietals designed to complement the flavorful dishes.
Opa seats 70 and is located at 1311 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107. For reservations, call 215.545.0170 or go to www.opaphiladelphia.com. Opa is open for dinner Monday through Saturday beginning at 5:00 p.m.
Media inquiries, please contact Garden Wellington-Logan at 267-307-0922.