Greek-style tapas served up on Shrewsbury Street.
The concept of sharing small plates (mezethes) at Meze Greek Tapas Bar & Grille, 156 Shrewsbury St., Worcester, has paid off for owner Sotirios "Sam'' Georgiadis.
Since opening the restaurant in May in space formerly occupied by Portobello Restaurant, Georgiadis has provided customers with a pleasant, friendly atmosphere for sharing a variety of delightful little dishes and socializing with friends and family.
Georgiadis is not new to the local food scene.
Owner of Uncle Sam's Pizza locations in Worcester, Leicester and East Brookfield, Georgiadis at one time had 12 pizza shops.
He was born in Greece and has lived in Worcester since the 1970s. He and his wife have three adult sons.
Meze Greek Tapas Bar & Grille took about seven months to renovate, according to Georgiadis, who said he did his "homework'' before opening the restaurant. "I wanted everything to be right,'' he said. "I went to food shows, you name it.''
Nikolaos Georgiadis and Giannoula Kaneloglou prepare the food at the restaurant. "My cousin and his wife are great cooks,'' said Sam Georgiadis about the chefs. "They recently came to the United States from Greece, where they owned a restaurant. The food they make at Meze is what you would eat in Greece. It's the real thing.''
Georgiadis said some ingredients used in the kitchen, such as salt and olive oils, are shipped directly from Greece. "If we can't buy it here, we get it from Greece,'' he said. "We want everything to be as authentic as it can be.''
A note on the restaurant's menu reads, "To preserve an authentic Greek experience we strongly recommend not altering dishes or substituting ingredients.''
Georgiadis said he wants customers to try the food as it is prepared and served. "If someone has a dietary concern, we completely understand,'' he said. "For people watching their carbs they can substitute our cabbage for rice.''
On the menu: Salads, soups, cold plates, hot plates, "from the grill,'' "from the sea'' and desserts.
Already popular with customers are octopus, served grilled on a bed of red onions, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, Greek grilled lamb chops and grilled calamari (sliced down the center), seasoned with olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon and sprinkled with shredded Romano cheese.
The Rooster's Egg is one of the specialty desserts that has Greek yogurt topped with a slice of peach and drizzled with honey.
Meze Greek Tapas Bar & Grille has a main dining room, which seats 43, and a lounge (with a full-service bar) that accommodates 32. About 18 people can be seated outside (seasonal) in front of the building. Valet service is available.
Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday; 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. The lounge is open until 2 a.m. daily.
Visit www.mezegreektapas.com for complete menu and more information; phone is (508) 926-8115.
While the restaurant is relatively new to the long list of established Shrewsbury Street businesses, Georgiadis said he already likes the idea of competition on the street. "It keeps all of us on our toes,'' he said.
Meze Greek Tapas Bar and Grille will be among Worcester area restaurants offering prix fixe, three-course meals for $23.14 per person during the summer edition of Worcester Restaurant Week, Aug. 4 through Aug. 16.
Taco Bell, 463 Lincoln St., Worcester, and Worcester KFC, 418 Park Ave., Worcester are among participants in the Jimmy Fund's " Strike Out Cancer'' pin-up campaign.
Customers who visit the restaurants now through Aug. 12 will be invited to contribute $1, $3, or $5 to the campaign and in return will receive a baseball pin-up on which they can write their name. The pin-ups will be displayed in participating restaurants and stores, showing customers how easy it is to make a difference in the fight against cancer.
Taco Bell has supported the Jimmy Fund since 1999. In 2007, KFC joined their support. When customers purchase a baseball pin-up, 100 percent of the proceeds benefit cancer research and care at Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
FOX Network and the TV reality show "Hell's Kitchen'' are holding casting calls in cities throughout the country, including Cambridge.
The local "Hell's Kitchen'' casting call will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 6 in Le Cordon Bleu, College of Culinary Arts, 215 First St., Cambridge.
For more details and to apply, go to www.theconlincompany.com.
Have you got what it takes to brave Chef Gordon Ramsay's wrath?
A Don Q Rum event is planned from noon to 2 p.m. Aug. 2 at Yankee Spirits in Sturbridge.
A tasting of tropical drinks will include Blue Hawaiian, Watermelon Mojito, Coco Bongo and more. Live music and Caribbean food samples.
Call (508) 347-2231 for more info.
Stonyfield this week announced the launch of a new product, Petite Creme, modeled after fromage blanc, a silky-sweet fresh cheese popular in France that's eaten like yogurt.
Petite Creme is nutritionally similar to Greek yogurt, packing all the same protein but with a mild, creamy taste and texture, according to Stonyfield.
Petite Creme is made with cheese cultures added to organic milk instead of yogurt cultures. It comes in 5.3-ounce or single-serve cups in seven flavors, Vive la Vanilla!, La Vie en Strawberry, Belle Blueberry, Mon Cherry Amour, Ooh Lala Peach, Strawberry-Banana Menage and Plain & Simple.
September Fashion Week in New York City will be the focus for the launch of the new product. Also, in September the company will feature an online campaign encouraging fans to #CheatOnGreek with Web videos, Instagram product giveaways and a Pinterest contest with a grand prize of a trip for two to New Orleans.
Fish Restaurant & Wine Bar, 29 S. Bolton St., Marlboro, (www.eatatfish.com) offers a recipe for The Southern Belle Cocktail that showcases local peaches.
Ian Nal, sommelier and general manager at Fish, concocted a refreshing drink that uses fresh local peaches from Honey Pot Hill Orchards in Stow with Sweet Tea Vodka.
The combination of the vodka and summer peaches makes this fruity cocktail a sparkling thirst-quencher, according to Nal.
Here's his recipe for Southern Belle: Fill glass shaker with ice. Add 2 ounces Sweet Tea Vodka, 1 ounce lemon juice, 1 ounce white peach puree (see note that follows) and dash of Peach Bitters. Shake well. Add 1 ounce Sparkling Wine and pour into a Collins glass. Garnish with lemon wedge. Note: For peach puree: Put six peeled, sliced peaches into blender and puree. Add 1 tablespoon of honey if you think peaches are not sweet enough.
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