314 S Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60661
|Hours:||Sun-Sat: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.|
Appetizers: $6 – $9
Mezedes: $7 – $13
Soup: $3 – $5
Salads: $5 – $12
Specialties: $12 – $24
Entrees: $10 – $30
Dessert: $4 – $6
You can’t go to Chicago and not eat in Greektown. I’ve been told this over and over by relatives who live in and friends who frequently visit Chicago. So when Adam and I found ourselves in Chicago we made sure to pay Greektown a visit.
Greektown isn’t that big, however there are still several restaurant and bar choices. The Parthenon doesn’t have a very obvious exterior other than a small and simple sign, despite being a huge place. Inside you’re greeted immediately by the host and then seated. There’s ample dining space, two bars and even a banquet area. The low-lighting and yellow tones gave the place a warm feeling.
To start we ordered the Saganaki, a flaming cheese appetizer common in restaurants that originated with The Parthenon in the late 60s. The server brought out a platter with mild kasseri cheese on it, however before setting it down he tossed brandy atop it and lit it on fire. After an “OPAA!” a splash of lemon and a few good shakes the fire died down and we were given our cheese. There was also a side of sesame seed Torano bread to go with it. The presentation is thrilling, and the experience eating it is no less. The seasoned cheese had a perfect crunchy exterior and warm, gooey interior. I still dream about that cheese.
We didn’t have to wait long for our entrees. The menu is extensive and so many items sound delicious, it’s hard to make a decision. However, for indecisive people like Adam, they have a “Special Combination” option which is a large plate with a little of four of their specialty items (Dolmades, Moussaka, Pastitsio and Roast Lamb) along with potatoes and vegetables. The Moussaka was a delicious slice of layered eggplant and meat sauce topped with béchamel sauce (a white roux sauce) and kefalotiri (Greek yellow cheese). The Pastito was a baked macaroni dish with broccoli, spinach and more of the béchamel and kefalotiri. Finally, the Dolmades are vine leaves stuffed with rice, minced meat, herbs and topped with an egg-lemon sauce.
My entree of Athenian Broiled Chicken isn’t near as grand-sounding, however the oregano and lemon basted chicken didn’t lack anything in flavor or texture. The plate was filled with nearly a whole chicken and came with a side dish of roasted, vinegary potato slices. The savory chicken burst with flavor and juices with each bite. The potatoes that came with it offered an interesting tangy contrast in flavors.
We were full, but everything was so amazing we had to try a dessert. Adam sprung for the Galaktoboureko – phyllo filled with vanilla custard and baked in a sweet syrup – and I had the Sokolatina – a chocolate cake with layers of chocolate mousse. The desserts, while sweet and delicious, weren’t quite as amazing as the rest of the meal.
Our server was fairly attentive, although the restaurant wasn’t too full – being a little after lunch hour. The Parthenon is officially on our list of restaurants we love – and we’ll be back every time we’re in Chicago. The food was amazing, reasonably priced and filling.
Have you been to The Parthenon? What’s your favorite Greek food or Greek restaurant? Let us know in the comments below! For more pictures check out our The Parthenon Facebook Gallery. While you are there, Like us too!
Verdict: Amazing Greek
The Parthenon is an amazing 44 year-old restaurant in the middle of Greektown, Chicago. The service, presentation and flavors are top-notch, making this place a must-visit for everyone. The Saganaki is a special appetizer created by The Parthenon and copied by many, so be sure to get the original when you visit.