Review: Plaka siblings give new life to The Greek

Molly Abraham
The Detroit News

Correction: Dino Karadimas is one of the owners of The Greek. His name was misspelled in an earlier version.

Greektown’s newest restaurant is the offspring of one of the old timers. Plaka was a presence on Monroe Street for 30 years, and now its space is in the hands of the daughter and son of the founders. Christina Karadimas Hapipis and her brother, Dino Karadimas, took over the slim space at number 535 in the summer.

They brought the interior down to the bare walls and started from scratch, hoping to appeal to a younger crowd while not turning off the traditionalists.

A mixed grilled plate for two with sliced original gyro, chicken gyro, pork gyro, loukaniko and lamb chops served with pita and tzatziki.

They’ve added dishes beyond the expected saganaki and gyros, but named it The Greek to underscore the street’s heritage. One major addition under the new regime is the liquor license that allows them to serve craft cocktails and other millennial-attracting beverages.

The lounge-like atmosphere has seating at all high tables along the wall under wagon-wheel light fixtures set with Edison bulbs. The sophisticated, subdued color scheme is defined by deep grays and browns. Barware is upscale Riedel crystal, with stemless glasses for everything from wine to martinis. Tables are uncovered and napkins are paper to preserve the casual approach the street has always been known for.

Service is notably friendly and efficient by the crew in black shirts emblazoned with Greek proverbs.

One of my favorite dishes in two visits was the house-made spinach pie, a rectangle of phyllo dough wrapped around fresh spinach with a scattering of feta cheese — definitely a cut above the usual. Also notable is the lemon-rice soup.

Among the not-so-Greek dishes they’ve added are grilled chicken wings, grilled salmon, New York strip, fish and chips and an array of sandwiches and burgers. Still, there’s no mistaking that there’s plenty of Greek soul here.

The Greek Restaurant & Bar

535 Monroe, Detroit

(313) 209-6667

Rating: ★★ 1/2

Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight Mon.-Tues., 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Wed., 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Thurs.-Sat., noon-midnight Sun.

Prices: Appetizers $4.50-$12, sandwiches $7.50-$11, entrees $11.50-$26, sides $4-$5.

Liquor: Full bar

Noise level: Moderate

Wheelchair access: No barriers

Parking: Nearby lots and structures

What the ratings mean

★ — routine ★★ — good ★★ 1/2 — very good

★★★ — excellent ★★★★ — outstanding