OLIV Pit Athenian Grille Serves Up Authentic Greek Dishes
Falling somewhere between the food trucks passing gyros out their windows and the elegant dining spaces with white and airy color schemes inspired by Mykonos is OLIV Pit, Boca Raton’s casual, authentic Greek restaurant.
Owners Emmanuel Vlahos and Marcos Alexandridis met through the Greek community and opened OLIV Pit last year at the Shoppes at Village Pointe in Boca Raton. Vlahos grew up in Ohio with Greek immigrant parents who were in the restaurant industry. He later attended college in Athens, Greece, and returned to America two years ago.
“After spending all that time in Athens, I saw that there was either high-end, luxury fish restaurants, like Milos in Miami, that were Greek, or there’s a more traditional, more fast-food type of Greek,” Vlahos says. “There wasn’t anything in the ‘premium casual’—what I like to call it.”
In terms of authentic Athenian cooking styles, the restaurant uses barbecue briquettes made from charred olive pits to grill meats—an old concept popular in Greece and Europe.
Briquettes emit 30 percent less carbon than charcoal, are chemical-free and don’t produce ash or smoke. Since it burns slower, the food takes on a subtle, smoked olive taste.
A taste of Athens
OLIV Pit draws inspiration from modern-day Athens for its carefully crafted menu.
“In Athens, you have grill houses like this that focus on the grill items,” Vlahos says. “We wanted to focus on a certain part of Greek cooking and that way it stays fresh.”
Choose a table inside for a view of the open kitchen, or outside in the back courtyard, and start the meal off with pita bread dipped into tasty spreads. The tzatziki is made with Greek yogurt, dill and fresh garlic and cucumber, and the tirokafteri (a spicy cheese spread) balances spices and flavor with feta cheese, green peppers and Greek olive oil. And try the meatballs, made using a traditional recipe and herbs imported from Greece.
OLIV Pit also offers a variety of salads, such as Greek bruschetta from the island of Crete, which comes with rusk bread, vine tomatoes, capers and manouri cheese. Or there’s the Greek village salad with fresh vine tomatoes, cucumbers, Kalamata olives, mint and feta cheese.
Try selections cooked over the briquettes, including the lamb chops and jumbo prawns. Or, share a Pikilia Kreaton Mix Grill Platter that includes beefteki, gyro, side salad and skewers, plus all the works.
Pair the meal with an imported beer or wine from Greece hand-selected by Vlahos and Alexandridis, including Fix Hellas and Mythos. Homemade baklava, orange cake and Greek yogurt with honey are homemade dessert options well worth saving the room.
OLIV Pit, 6006 SW 18th St., Ste. 6B, Boca Raton / 561.409.2049 / olivpit.com