Like Boston and New York, Chicago is a hotbed for good Greek restaurants and now the new Lyra restaurant is trying to break out with a menu inspired by Greek island food – and lured two chefs from Mykonos to do the cooking.
“We’re opening an urban, West Loop version of a place in Greece,” co-owner David Rekhson told the site Eater. “But we don’t have the Aegean to look at, only the street,” he said.
Rekhson’s wife is Greek-American, and they frequently visit her family in Nafpaktos in western Greece. He invited his business partner, Lucas Stoioff, to come along on one of those trips.
They spent time eating their way through the Greek islands and on Mykonos met chefs Athinagoras Kostakos – a Top Chef winner – and Alexis Zopas at the beachside restaurant Scorpios and convinced them to come.
Much of the menu will be inspired by food Kostakos and Zopas grew up eating and that won’t include saganaki or gyros. “It’s such simple food,” said Stoioff, “but it has complex flavors, and a lot of passion goes into it.”