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Vios: Great Greek!


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I've written a longer post about Vios, the new Greek restaurant at 19th & Aloha on Capitol Hill at my blog. It was founded by Thomas Sukakos about 4 months ago to provide 3 squares to his neigbors and friends. This is VERY MUCH a family restaurant where both adults AND children can feel very comfortable. There's an extraordinary play area for children and changing tables in BOTH bathrooms; but Vios very much serves fine food that will appeal to adults.

I've only eaten lunch here but the souvlaki was great. The pita bread, which Thomas imports from Chicago is soft, chewy and warm and the lamb was crisp yet tender. Both times I had the fritatta it was too salty and one time it had been left too long on the warming rack and was dried out, but don't let this deter you from eating here. Desserts are sublime and there is also a fine gelato bar. The cafe is open 8:30 AM to 8:30 PM. There are also small fresh produce and dairy/meat sections specializing in Greek specialty products.

This is a place for friends and families to hang out and relax. A perfect place if you live in the area or even if you don't.

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This post reminded me that I wanted to try the prix fixe family style dinner I read about in the PI: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/food/189773_dining08.html.  Anyone want to make this an egullet expedition?

Yes! When?

Jan

Seattle, WA

"But there's tacos, Randy. You know how I feel about tacos. It's the only food shaped like a smile....A beef smile."

--Earl (Jason Lee), from "My Name is Earl", Episode: South of the Border Part Uno, Season 2

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've eaten at Vios many (MANY!) times since it opened in May: I've probably only missed a meal of some sort there maybe on maybe 10 or 15 days in 5 months. We stop in almost every morning for one of Julie's delicious scones (orange cranberry - yum!) or a bowl of oatmeal with fruit. The espresso used to be a bit hit-or-miss, but now that Thomas has hired the wonderful Jennifer, it's consisently delicious. If I can't face the food at work, I pick up something to go for lunch (orzo salad or a veggie sandwich, usually), and if I'm in Seattle around lunch time, it's likely I'll be scoffing down a chicken souvlaki there. Since they opened for dinner last month, we've been quite a few times and have eaten our way through most of the "small-plate" a la carte menu. Notables include the lamb meatballs and the rice with spinach, though I think that last item may be off the menu at the moment. We've had the family style menu once, too and really enjoyed that, though it was a bit more food than my SO and I could eat !

Needless to say, we love the place and we love the food. We've known Thomas for many years, having been regulars at El Greco both while he owned it and since then (it's still going strong, and still has the best French Toast in Seattle). He is a large part of the reason why we're there so regularly: he and all his staff always make us feel welcome and comfortable. The food is great, too: it's all simple, light, and not too expensive. We've had dinner there for under $10/person and left feeling very comfortable.

If you haven't been yet ... what are you waiting for ? :smile:

- S

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  • 6 months later...

we finally got here last night. the found was nearly impeccable, balanced, well-seasoned, and a pleasure after having so much bad Greek food in Seattle. the staff, Thomas and everyone else, was gracious and charming.

the atmosphere was ... great for young families. for the kidless? it was unbearable -- at least from 530-7p, which is when we were there.

this is clearly intended to be a kid-friendly space, and i salute them for doing it. but never have i been so convinced of how young children can ruin an eating experience. we saw one very well behaved young girl who clearly is en route to becoming a prodigious foodie, and her very pleasant parents, and a lot of very cranky, very restless little folk.

i can't say Vios shouldn't maintain its current configuration, because they're clearly aiming for a specific demographic of which i'm not a part, and it seems to be doing quite well for them. but i can say there's no chance i'll return there before 730 or 8p, which is a shame, since their hours don't give me much time to enjoy a meal there before they close.

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i can't say Vios shouldn't maintain its current configuration, because they're clearly aiming for a specific demographic of which i'm not a part, and it seems to be doing quite well for them.  but i can say there's no chance i'll return there before 730 or 8p, which is a shame, since their hours don't give me much time to enjoy a meal there before they close.

I've noticed that the tables near the front are better for those who want to avoid the really rowdy kids, since they seem to be concentrated in the play area in the back...

Also, I'm not sure if you know this already, but they recently extended the dinner hours until 9PM.

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I've noticed that the tables near the front are better for those who want to avoid the really rowdy kids, since they seem to be concentrated in the play area in the back...

Also, I'm not sure if you know this already, but they recently extended the dinner hours until 9PM.

the tables up front did seem better for this, which might explain why they were filled. sadly, the hours extension was only a minor help; would still only give me about an hour of peaceful mid-decibel background noise to eat in before they lock the door.

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We love love LOVE Vios - the food is wonderful, Mr. Soukakos & his staff are warm & the kids' play area is lovely (and much nicer than "the pit" at the Montlake Alehouse). The play area means that my spouse and I can actually enjoy our food & have a conversation during dinner while our active almost 3 year old plays nearby.

I'm glad you posted, jbonne, to let folks know how great it is. And I hope you and lots of folks go so that Vios has the success it deserves. But you childless folks, give us parents a break - you all have so many great restaurants you can go to at any time. Vios' kid-friendliness makes it absolute paradise for parents like us who are in dire need of kid-friendly places with great food.

:raz:

Susan

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But you childless folks, give us parents a break - you all have so many great restaurants you can go to at any time.  Vios' kid-friendliness makes it absolute paradise for parents like us who are in dire need of kid-friendly places with great food.

:raz:

Susan

Thanks for posting that Susan. I was about to say basically the same thing except in bitchier, more confrontational manner.... :laugh:

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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Mr. Soukakos fully intended Vios be welcoming to children (of course, the play area makes that obvious). It's part of the whole point of the restaurant. In case one is unfamiliar with his story, he had extremely valid personal reasons for making it so. There are many articles about his wife's postpartum depression and eventual suicide. Here is one:

http://www.seattleweekly.com/features/0427...od_soukakos.php

And what you said, Susan.

Edited to add: The particular neighborhood in which Vios is nestled, not to mention the style of the place (restaurant/deli/grocery) makes it a given that families are going to hang out there. Until recently, I lived 3 blocks from Vios, and that area is almost a wasteland for places in close walking distance, so Vios really fills a niche. Oh, how many times I wished for a decent tavern on 19th . . .

Edited by MsRamsey (log)

"Save Donald Duck and Fuck Wolfgang Puck."

-- State Senator John Burton, joking about

how the bill to ban production of foie gras in

California was summarized for signing by

Gov. Schwarzenegger.

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i'm well aware of the backstory of Vios, you'll notice i didn't criticize him for making that decision (i believe the words were " i salute them for doing it"). moreover, i agree: Vios' setup is absolutely appropriate for its location.

my point is that every negative experience of dining-with-kids was underscored during my dinner there. and i think it appropriate for those who want to dine there to know when they'll be in kid heaven, and when they'll be able to have a more low-key experience.

i would wager that we childless folk would be less critical if we didn't have such an enormous breadth of bad experiences upon which to draw. and i'd also wager that the average restauranteur would be far more likely to accomodate parents if the average child's behavior didn't make dining out such an abominable experience for everyone in a 30-foot radius.

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  and i'd also wager that the average restauranteur would be far more likely to accomodate parents if the average child's behavior didn't make dining out such an abominable experience for everyone in a 30-foot radius.

this is such a juicy topic for me (ms. average restaurateur) that i wonder if we should start a seperate thread to discuss it so that Vios doesn't get the brunt. Anyone interested?

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ok. lets everyone be nice...

That's going to be *really* difficult for me, so I may refrain unless I think of something profound (doubtful).

"Save Donald Duck and Fuck Wolfgang Puck."

-- State Senator John Burton, joking about

how the bill to ban production of foie gras in

California was summarized for signing by

Gov. Schwarzenegger.

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i'm well aware of the backstory of Vios

That's just fine, Jon. Maybe others aren't.

"Save Donald Duck and Fuck Wolfgang Puck."

-- State Senator John Burton, joking about

how the bill to ban production of foie gras in

California was summarized for signing by

Gov. Schwarzenegger.

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this is such a juicy topic for me (ms. average restaurateur) that i wonder if we should start a seperate thread to discuss it so that Vios doesn't get the brunt.  Anyone interested?

i think this would be a good topic not only for Seattlites but for eGers as a whole.

that said, this was never an issue for me until i moved to Seattle.

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  • 1 month later...
my point is that every negative experience of dining-with-kids was underscored during my dinner there.  and i think it appropriate for those who want to dine there to know when they'll be in kid heaven, and when they'll be able to have a more low-key experience.

i would wager that we childless folk would be less critical if we didn't have such an enormous breadth of bad experiences upon which to draw.  and i'd also wager that the average restauranteur would be far more likely to accomodate parents if the average child's behavior didn't make dining out such an abominable experience for everyone in a 30-foot radius.

One important thing to keep in mind is that since I wrote my original "review" opening this thread, Vios has become MUCH MORE POPULAR. There used to be times when you could find peace & quiet there whether you had a child or not. It's more difficult now that the place is so damn popular. SO I think it's difficult for all customers, whether they have children or not to enjoy a tranquil experience.

That being said, I had no idea this thread had turned to a discussion of kid-friendly vs. kidless restaurants (which is fine--I just had no idea it'd go that way).

We have 3 young children & as I said above appreciate Vios' kid-friendliness. But if the food wasn't fabulous we wouldn't be there. And I'd think that if you loved food that that would be the main reason you'd go there too if you didn't have children. And that if you loved the place, you wouldn't judge a single bad experience & say that would be the rule for all future dining experiences there.

And I also bristle at the implication in jbonne's post that children should have to satisfy some standard of behavior in order for her to be able to co-exist with them. I'm not excusing bad behavior in children (& there is plenty of it I know). But children are not adults & no adult should expect them to behave with the same decorum that adults might be expected to observe.

I think jbonnes' comments indicate how easy it is for all of us (including the parents among us as well) to focus on our own condition & lose sight of someone else's.

I see single couples, elderly couples, groups of 20 somethings, 30 somethings at Vios all the time. I've never asked them whether they feel impeded by the children. But they all seem to be having a good time.

Jbonne should also realize that just as there are children who might spoil her/his experience there are adults who spoil other adults (& childrens') eating experience. I think it's most unfortunate if you label "childhood" as a condition that spoils your eating experience rather than a particular child.

I strongly believe that adults, parents & couples w/o children should be able to co-exist in the same environment. That's why I wince when I see lightly supervised children getting into serious mischief. Perhaps if more parents were more careful about what their children were doing in such situations, then jbonne would have a better experience.

But I implore jbonne, & all of us, to try to feel empathy for each other's situation.

I don't think I'd hang out a Belltown bar w. my 3 kids or if I did I'd know what I was getting myself (& my kids) into. And I think Vios is much more accomodating to everyone (including singles or couples w/o children) than that Belltown bar would be of kids.

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And I also bristle at the implication in jbonne's post that children should have to satisfy some standard of behavior in order for her to be able to co-exist with them.

"him," actually.

it doesn't seem a huge stretch to expect children to be no more intrusive to my dining experience than any other customer at a restaurant. a restaurant is shared space, and part of what i'm paying for while there is the temporary lease of the table space so i can sit there and be served.

my butt in the seat implies that i will be spending a certain amount of money. i know this argument doesn't always fly in Seattle, where takeout seems to have been deemed tip-worthy, despite the fact that the extra work is done in the KITCHEN, which isn't seeing those tips, and that it's not actually being served to me, and that i've never seen it as common practice anywhere else. but try sitting at a table somewhere, without ordering more than an iced tea, and see how long that works.

i believe we've been through the rest of this already.

I think jbonnes' comments indicate how easy it is for all of us (including the parents among us as well) to focus on our own condition & lose sight of someone else's.

actually, if i'm dining out, i'm not supposed to have to focus on someone else's condition. that's the whole point. if i choose to engage with my fellow patrons, that's certainly a feasible choice -- but not a mandatory one.

that said, some establishments have decided their eating experience should be communal. Vios has clearly decided it wants to be a place like that.

now, having had time to think about it, i can safely say my odds of eating there again are slim to none. this isn't meant as punishment; Vios has decided on its business model, it's doing very well and they've obviously found a niche that's profitable and creates an environment they're proud of. that's a laudable achievement.

it's just not an environment i'm going to pay to be in. neither is Disneyland.

I see single couples, elderly couples, groups of 20 somethings, 30 somethings at Vios all the time.  I've never asked them whether they feel impeded by the children.  But they all seem to be having a good time.

and if they are, good on 'em. like i said, Vios has chosen its business model, and it's found lots of patrons who buy into it. i'm just not one of 'em.

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