Beneath the old Café Reese sign on Northwest 23rd Avenue and Marshall Street, there is a new restaurant where the server (and owner), Takki Chalkiopoulos, is speaking Greek to a few elderly women sitting around a table.
Beneath the old Café Reese sign on Northwest 23rd Avenue and Marshall Street, there is a new restaurant where the server (and owner), Takki Chalkiopoulos, is speaking Greek to a few elderly women sitting around a table. In fact, the restaurant is so new they don’t even have a real sign, just a simple clapboard that reads “Dorio: Greek & Mediterranean Restaurant.”
Open for a mere month now, Dorio (which is named after the town that Chalkiopoulos’ family is from in southern Greece) is a restaurant heavy with warmth and comfort.
Family recipes fill the starting menu, which Chalkiopoulos assures is “just the beginning.” The one-page menu for their soft opening includes several Greek favorites: peppery kalamari served with lemon and tzatziki, two gyro sandwiches (one veggie, the other with marinated lamb-beef strips), souvlaki (a tender grilled lamb skewer) and warm pita bread and keftethes, which the menu proclaims as “Grandma’s Greek spiced meatballs (recommended with a shot of ouzo!).”
The meatballs are a dish that seems to represent Dorio as a whole: delicately crafted with a fragrant dusting of cumin and coriander, but designed on the plate with style next to a fan of sliced garlic. Sure, the meatballs taste like your grandmother might really be in back, slowly spending time on each one, but the restaurant also has enough elegance to plate them in an interesting and beautiful way.
Yiayia’s burger, which is served with kasseri cheese, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, aioli and red onion is a lot like what Chalkiopoulos ate as a child.
“When we were little kids, we would beg my mom for McDonald’s, but she would slap down a piece of awesome grilled meat on a friend’s homemade bread with kasseri and give it to us instead,” Chalkiopoulos said.
Chalkiopoulos went straight from the Portland State University Business School to the University of Las Vegas’ prestigious hospitality program before opening his first restaurant. Although he has the education and the culinary kicks, he seems to shy away from too much attention.
“My main goal for this place is just to have good food that is non-pretentious,” said Chalkiopoulos. “I just want people to come and have a good time and feel comfortable.”
It is likely that Chalkiopoulos will get what he wishes for. The menu doesn’t go over $8, and if the warm burgundy and wood interior doesn’t make guests comfortable, the drink menu will. There are a handful of tasteful Italian and Californian wines for purchase by glass or bottle, in addition to a full house cocktail list.
Among some of the most interesting are the beautiful Aphrodite Sunrise (offered for just $5 during happy hour, 4–6 p.m. daily), which consists of mandarin vodka, ginger ale, pineapple juice and grenadine, or the Volos Café which has vanilla Stoli, Kahlua, and ouzo. The ouzo is really the best choice to imbibe with, though. Served ice-cold with its distinct anise flavoring, it goes down smooth and keeps you warm inside, much like Dorio itself.
1037 NW 23rd Ave
Open 7 days a week
11 a.m.–9 p.m.
4 out of 5 stars