Andros Taverna - Chicago
Many Greek restaurants serve basically the same food; not so at Andros Taverna, where Chef Doug Psaltis serves contemporary Mediterranean food inspired by the classic taverns of Greece, as well as a few items prepared using family recipes.
Though you will see many of your favorite Greek foods on the Andros Tavern menu – gyros, souvlaki, and so on – you will also be treated to some lesser known Greek foods that are destined to become favorites.
After sitting down to dinner at Andros Taverna, a perfect place to start is with the mezze collection, which enables you to select three of the Greek starters, including charred eggplant, tiny Cretan sausages, baked feta and Kataifif cheese pie.
Most Chicago Greek restaurants get their pitas from some central pita manufacturing facility, and they’re just fine, if somewhat pedestrian. With a wood-burning hearth on-site at Andros Taverna, however, Chef Doug Psaltis (the ‘P” in the RPM restaurants) and former French Laundry Pastry Chef Hsing Chen turn out house-made pita – something many of us have never enjoyed – as well as a range of fabulous desserts.
In addition to world-class pita, the gyros at Andros Taverna are exquisite, meant to be delicious in a way few gyros platters can hope to achieve. The tzatziki sauce is made in house, and it puts to shame the commodity sauces you’re usually served at your standard gyros places. The menu indicates the gyros are served with “a few fries,” and that’s true: the fries are not meant to be gobbled along with the gyros in pita, but rather they are to be smushed into the gyros and then eaten all together. It’s a fantastic fistful of excellent food.
A few things you are sure not to find anywhere else in Chicago are dishes prepared from “family recipes.” At Andros Taverna, these menu options are eggplant moussaka, phyllo spanakopita and prawn saganaki, and you’re going to want to order at least one of these.
If you’re looking for a lighter dinner, we’d recommend the Ancient Grains Salad and the grilled octopus, which have been getting rave reviews.
Armed with an in-house frozen yogurt machine, Chen is turning out an olive and pistachio Danish twist pastry and a chocolate halva dipped in chocolate with coconut. Psaltis and Chen are also creating some wonderful kourabiedes, traditional Greek cookies with lots of butter and powdered sugar.
If you’re planning a dinner for two (or for one very hungry person), consider the Philotimo feast: the mezze collection, Andros salad, Kataifif cheese pie, and roast lamb ($88).
Don’t neglect the sides: the spanikorizo is a vegetarian dish of spinach and rice, and we’re particularly partial to the yigante beans (huge and creamy Greek Lima beans), steamed horta (dandelion greens) and lemon potatoes, so satisfying in their simplicity.
Andros Taverna is a Greek restaurant like no other. Go there now before the pandemic ends and the whole world starts crowding the doorstep of this fantastic Logan Square restaurant.