Yianni’s Greek Resaurant
Stepping into Yianni’s Greek restaurant in the Claremont Village and you will be immediately greeted by the fresh aroma of perfectly seasoned cuts of meat as they are slow cooked to perfection. The atmosphere here is a perfect blend of the rustic romance reminiscent of a Greek Countryside blended with the sophisticated elegance that you would expect to find right in the chic Claremont Village. The food matches the atmosphere in both quality and style. Head chef, owner and chief operator Greg prepares each meal himself, taught by his father John AKA Yianni himself who learned his craft serving in the Navy. Greg has been perfecting his skill at the restaurant that was opened by his parents over 30 years ago which first opened as a café.
When I stopped in to visit, I was immediately welcomed in with an inviting warmth that can make anyone feel like an aristocrat. With enthusiasm, he insisted we try the Saganaki Cheese appetizer first. A crisped kefalotyri goat’s cheese that’s ignited with a three-foot flame right at our table side. The crowded restaurant let off an excited awe in unison as the dish flamed up and sizzled and even that paled in comparison to the piquant flavor that melded perfectly with the fresh pita that it was served with.
Next, we had the opportunity to sample the lunch gryo. The gyro meat was a sweet and savory lamb that you can immediately tell was slow roasted on the rotisserie, never rushed. It was topped with fresh vegetables and a tangy, crumbly feta cheese all wrapped up in another fresh piece of pita.
Lastly they brought to our table the chef’s personal favorite dinner; the most succulent and savory lamb shank that I’ve ever tasted in my life. Served with a seasoned medley of vegetables and rice, this cut of lamb shank was broiled for 9 hours. The meat not only was ready to fall off the bone, the bone was splitting from how long it was slow cooked, a sign the long hours and dedication that went into preparing this fine and delicate cut of meat.
At the end of my meal I found it hard to tell what I had enjoyed more, the exceptionally well-crafted meals that made their way to our table, or the perfect date night atmosphere that seemed to
pull me in and keep me cozy. Either way, I will certainly be back to Yianni’s often and that’s really a good thing for our community as they donate their proceeds to local charitable organizations and participate in fundraiser events.
If you would like to experience the food at Yianni’s Greek Restaurant, you can find them at 238 Yale Avenue, in the Claremont Village.