Greek Restaurant Somerset West
While dining at Skara Estiatorio, a year-old Greek restaurant in downtown Caldwell, I experienced an epiphany. Then we realized that the term originates from the Greek, indicating a revelation. Exactly what Skara tends to make manifest is old-fashioned Greek cooking, featuring its assortment of salads and spreads and its charcoal-grilled seafood and meat, is just one of the world’s great, timeless cuisines. And Skara, a 70-seat store with a pleasant blue Aegean mural, may be the all-around most useful associated with the a large number of Greek tavernas and fancier estiatorios I’ve evaluated in the usa and Canada over the years.
Skara exposed final March as Kefi Taverna. When a New york restaurant of that name got wind from it and trademarked the name, lovers John Kananis and Manos Angelopolos rechristened their spot Skara—skara becoming the Greek term for the old-fashioned charcoal grill they use. As well, the lovers enhanced from Taverna to Estiatorio.
“We started with taverna, ” Kananis, 42, said over the phone after my visits, “because that’s in which the Greeks go for the best food. But tavernas classically have a far more luncheonette feel, whether in Greece or right here. Paper tablecloths, no decent glassware or silverware. We cook our meals with all the TLC of tavernas in Greece, nevertheless the dining knowledge is much more of an estiatorio.”
That is true. As well as off-white linen tablecloths and blond lumber chairs with upholstered chairs, Skara has rough-hewn stone articles, a Greek key design in the flooring, good tableware, and therefore tiled mural of Mykonos and Santorini, coated because of the owner of Art Devons, the framing shop next door.
“exactly what we’re cooking could be the genuine Greek meals that Greeks consume, ” Kananis stated. In Greece, “a destination wouldn’t endure per week offering reheated moussaka cut from a lasagna cooking pan, or unfortunate pink tomatoes or yesterday’s shrimp. Greeks go right to the hole-in-the-wall on the side road, where Yia-Yia [Grandma] or Uncle Yiannis is preparing the century-old dishes.”
Kananis’s moms and dads emigrated from Athens before he had been produced in 1972. He was raised in Jersey City and Bayonne, “a Jersey boy in school, a Greek child at home, where in fact the stove was busier than the TV.” He worked “front of the home in mom-and-pops” and was able Ruth’s Chris Steak homes in Weehawken, Parsippany and Tarrytown, New York. “Then I dabbled in technology startups for a while, ” he connected. “But restaurants are my real calling.”
In November 2014, Kananis was about to go on to Greece for a couple many years whenever Angelopolos called. Their old buddy had been about to launch a Greek restaurant in Caldwell, but his partner had out of the blue dropped out. He convinced Kananis to step-in, “nonrefundable air travel ticket and all sorts of, ” Kananis claims with a chuckle.
Angelopolos, 54, Skara’s cook, was raised in Athens and prepared all over the Greek capital, including “the highest volume restaurant within the city, inside the main grocery store, ” he explained. That no-frills eatery, meant for the market’s anglers, farmers and purveyors, “was mostly of the restaurants allowed to stay available all night—so the disco individuals would come here after the groups.”
Angelopolos settled in nj in 1986, founded a house-painting business and performed some catering. “I’m happiest when you look at the kitchen area, ” he stated. Each and every morning, he helps make the rounds of a few fish and produce areas. “we purchase only exactly what seems gorgeous.”
Angelopolos tends to make every selection product in-house, except for the pita and louganiko sausage, both brought in from Greece. (The surface for the Greek pita, served toasted, helps make the domestic things look like Wonder loaves of bread). Also perhaps not produced in household may be the beef “gyro cone.”
Beef gyro? “Turning classic Greek meat meals into lamb is an American version, ” Kananis asserted.