Greek Bites Grill is one of a handful of eateries I frequent when I’m not on duty reviewing restaurants. Since it opened last November I’ve been a regular for lunch and dinner. Apparently I’m in good company, when I was last there I asked owner Spiro Laopodis what Rocco Dispirito’s favorite menu item is – Laopodis texted him to find out: Lamb Chops. Greek Bites’ authenticity and service are outstanding. I asked my son to write this review because dining at Greek Bites was more of a fresh experience for him. (Of course I went along to eat.) – Stacy Dermont
Spiro Laopodis took some time out of his busy night last Wednesday to show us his beautiful, new “two restaurants in one.” Greek Bites Grill, situated centrally on Country Road in Southampton, offers both a take-out place and a tasteful sit-down dining room.
Laopodis is proud of the work he has accomplished within the dining industry, including his work with many famous chefs and restaurants such as La Cirque and the Park Avenue Cafe. However, when Laopodis decided to open his own place, he wanted something that people could easily approach. He opened a small Greek Bites Grill and Cafe in Moriches five years ago. And, this winter, Spiro made the choice to open another of his restaurants in Southampton. During my winter break from school, my family and I ate there and agreed that it was worthy of a review this season.
Laopodis was more than happy to give us a sampling of the food he offers at his (in his words) “home run” of a restaurant. While sampling a good portion of the Greek Bites delicious menu, some of the dishes stood out. The Greek Bites Sampler was the first thing on the table and, without much delay, the most quickly consumed. The Sampler consists of triangles of pita served alongside four amazing spreads variously made from potatoes, caviar, feta with red pepper and eggplant plus tzatziki sauce in the center.
If that was not enough to start you daydreaming, we were also served a fresh Greek Salad with a generous hunk of tasty aged feta and a plate of tender fried calamari. Needless to say, we were full by the time the entrees came out. But we forged ahead.
The entrees are meant to please every possible customer that comes to Greek Bites. While we ate the more traditional foods, we could have easily dined on the Porterhouse Steak for two or even a cheeseburger. But, if you’re going to Greek Bites, don’t hesitate to eat the generously portioned, yummy Greek food. Among the entrees, the two types of Souvlaki that we tried were truly great. One – village style – was served with red pepper rice pilaf and the chicken was cooked perfectly. The gyro Souvlaki was equally flavorful and well-prepared. But the real “home run” – according to Spiro – was the Moussaka, and I agree. With a perfect blend of the savory and sweet flavors, the Moussaka put the baseline flavor of the beef and tender potatoes against the light flavors of cinnamon and tomato. We finished with traditional desserts, rice pudding with strawberries and Galaktobouriko – a semolina dough and honey masterpiece. My mother said she couldn’t possibly eat dessert and proceeded to down an entire rice pudding.
Laopodis, who grew up on an olive grove on the island of Corfu in Greece, is about as Greek as they come. When he left Greece at the age of 13, he eventually made his way to New York, where he began his career in the dining industry. He would make it to the kitchens of the likes of Peter Luger and David Burke. But home was never far from his heart. He says, “Greece was the country of my birth, but America raised me and made me a man.”
Laopodis is very happy with the way Greek cuisine is represented away from Greece. He told us that oftentimes, “Greek food away from Greece is more authentic. In Greece people try to change the food and make it better, but they lose that authenticity.”
Greek Bites is – above all – an authentic Greek restaurant, down to the feta cheese from a wooden barrel. I was happy to fill up at Greek Bites, and it won’t be long before I return.
Greek Bites Grill, 1746 County Road 39, Southampton. 631-488-4388. You can sample some of the best that Greek Bites Grill has to offer at Dan’s Taste of Two Forks on July 14. Check out the many participating restaurants, wineries and food purveyors and get your tickets now at www.tasteoftwoforks.com.