Cyndy and I were driving through Dutchtown near Bevo Mill last week. It was past the noon hour and we were hoping to find a place open on Tuesday—some restaurants in the area are not. In a purely serendipitous moment, we came upon Apollonia.
I Love an Unexpected Discovery
Sensing a new adventure in the making, we went in. The cozy Mediterranean taverna had a small, but colorful bar and about a dozen booths and tables. I immediately had a travel flashback of sitting in a small cafe in the Greek isles years ago, eating Saganaki, the gooey, buttery cheese dish that’s flamed in brandy table side.
Awards from Sauce and River Front Times hung in the entryway to alert the diner of the feast ahead. Even so, I made a quick Google search and found Apollonia in every listing of the top Greek restaurants in the city. My expectations soared!
A Greek Oasis in the Heart of Dutchtown
Our server, Amy, was pleasant and chatty and willing to discuss the features of the various items on the menu. The offering included such classics as gyros, souvlaki, burgers, shish kebab, moussaka, dolmades, spanakopita, eggplant parmesan, avgolemono soup, and chicken picata.
Cyndy went with the tilapia. Being an eggplant aficionado, I headed for the moussaka. But first we indulged in a fine pita platter of baba ganoush, tzatziki, and olives.
I later visited with the owner Behar Mehti. He’s Albanian and a geologist by profession. Behar and his wife and two sons have been here since 1994 and operated the Gravois Avenue restaurant for the past 16 years. Behar said that everything on the menu is made in house, except the pita. The extra effort gives a robust, freshly prepared flavor boost to each dish.
Yes, this is true Mediterranean cuisine prepared and served with gusto—or maybe I should say“Ompah!”
Apollonia Restaurant. 6836 Gravois Avenue. Bevo/Dutchtown neighborhood. Open Mon-Sat 11a-10p; Sun 11a-9p. Owner: Behar Mehti.