Opa! Mezze Grill has some big shoes to fill at the Ashburn Village Shopping Center, where it has taken over the space formerly occupied by Ashburn Café, which served the community for 14 years. Opa! opened
Feb. 3, soon followed by Urban Bar-B-Que and soon to be followed by Anthony’s Pizza and Mediterranean Food.
Opa’s fresh, authentic take on Greek food may come as a welcome option for Ashburn and Loudoun residents.
Opa is a Greek expression for good cheer and happiness, which is what Opa! Mezze Grill intends to bring to Ashburn. Ekaterina and Konstantinos Drosos and their son Tim, who are originally from northern Greece near Arta, are the local owners.
Konstantinos is the chef, with more than 40 years experience cooking Mediterranean food. Previously, he owned a restaurant in Chantilly that the family sold in 2001. Since then he has continued to cook at restaurants all over Northern Virginia. He recently “had an itch,” according to his son Tim, to open a new restaurant in Ashburn because “we like the community, it is close to home and we wanted to be in a residential, family-oriented community.”
Konstantinos went back to Greece to fine-tune his menu and to learn how to make the original gyro, now prominently featured on the menu. The Opa! gyro has sliced marinated pork grilled on a spit and served in a soft pita bread stuffed with tomatoes, onions and tzatziki. Fresh-cut fries are included.
“We wanted to be 100 percent Greek food, not a mixture of Mediterranean cuisines,” Konstantinos expained. “It is different; there isn’t another restaurant in Loudoun County that is 100 percent Greek.”
All of the menu items are made from scratch and many are recipes that have been in the family for years. A favored dish, pastitsio, is “very time consuming to make,” Ekaterina said, because of all of the steps involved in making each part of the dish.
The interior has been revamped with new flooring, countertops, lighting, paint and décor, all designed with shades of blue to have the Greek/Mediterranean ambiance. Inside, patrons can place orders at the counter and a waiter delivers the food to their table.
Another Greek favorite at the restaurant is the homemade hummus dip, served with soft pita. There are a variety of other dips and appetizers such as Taramosalata, Tyrokafteri, or Melitzanosalata that you can enjoy with one of the Greek beers on the menu, or with a glass of Greek wine. Zucchini fritters served with tzatziki yogurt sauce is among the appetizers, as well as grilled octopus served in a lemon sauce, spanakopita and fried calamari. Appetizers range from $3.50 to the sampler for $12.50.
Main courses run from $3.50 for a skewer to $19 for a large sampler platter. A variety of entrees offer something for everyone, including: gyro sandwiches; lamb kapama, which is lamb in a wine tomato sauce served with orzo and a greek salad; and Moussaka, layers of eggplant, potatoes, zucchini, beef and cheese topped with a homemade béchamel sauce and a side salad. One dish includes a sautéed chicken breast in lemon wine sauce and capers, served with rice and a side Greek salad.
The child-friendly restaurant offers a kids’ menu that includes a gyro, chicken tenders and a greek burger.
While many patrons may choose the fresh-made baklava for dessert, Opa! also offers rizogalo, which is a type of rice pudding, and Galatoboureko, custard-wrapped in phyllo and soaked in honey syrup.
“Business has been good so far,” according to Tim Drosos. “It is on a steady incline. People love the food and they keep coming back for more.”
Opa! also offers carryout and catering services. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.