The field of high-end Greek restaurants is suddenly getting crowded. Evvia in Palo Alto was the first entry. Then came the Dio Deka, a posh restaurant started by several Evvia defectors. Now there’s the new Myth Taverna and Lounge in downtown San Jose, and there is yet another Greek-themed restaurant in the works nearby.
Located at 152 Post St. (formerly occupied by Smoke Tiki Lounge), Myth will offer a modern spin on Greek cuisine created by chef David Ramsay. The California Culinary Academy–trained chef was most recently the kitchen manager at Dio Deka. The core of his menu will revolve around mezze, small plates of food great for sharing—or not. He’ll also make his own pita and flatbread. Victoria Lekov, another Dio Deka ship-jumper, has come on as general manager.
The restaurant is a partnership between Ray Shafazand, owner of downtown’s Sabor Tapas Bar and Lounge, Greek native Tony Pagkas and affable attorney Bill Gates. In addition to Greek food, Myth will over some nightlife as well. The lounge and patio will be open until 2am every night. In addition to a bar featuring Greek-inspired cocktails, the patio will offer DJs spinning house, techno and old school tunes.
Meanwhile, down the street in the space formerly occupied by E&O Trading Co., the folks behind Flames Eatery & Bar are at work on what is expected to be another white-tablecloth Greek restaurant/lounge. Look for this one later this year.
In Palo Alto, 16-year-old Bistro Elan has closed its doors on California, but re-opened around the corner in a smaller space on Birch Street and it’s now calling itself … Birch Street. The Palo Alto restaurant had switched lunch service to Birch Street in January and just opened for dinner this Friday. The move was precipitated by what co-owner Andrea Hyde said were ever-rising rents. They paid $10,000 a month for the 2,000-square-foot space. “We could pay it, but it was a huge amount to be going to the landlord,” she said.
The new space is about 600-square feet and will seat 36 people inside and out. Rent is half what they paid at the old space. The menu will be a bit smaller and a few notches less expensive but will still showcase California-inspired French cuisine. The opening-night menu featured duck confit, California king salmon with morel mushrooms and asparagus and flat-iron steak from BN Ranch, a new beef company started by sustainable meat pioneer Bill Niman. Niman is no longer associated with Niman Ranch.