A plateful of reasons to say Opa!
By The Howl Street Team
From the hypnotic live music and swiveling hips of belly dancers to a menu packed with hearty, healthy and rustic Mediterranean home-style cooking, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better Greek dining experience in Greater Lowell.
Since September 1974, the Panagiotopoulos family has been serving up delicious dishes in an atmosphere bubbling over with infectious energy. More than just a restaurant, the Athenian showcases live music Thursday through Saturday night, where dancers snake up and down the dining room — including the talented Celia, who brings a sword show into the mix.
“People really get into the shows,” says owner Teddy Panos. “Whether you’re Greek, or never spoke a word of Greek in your life, there is a little something here for everybody.”
Music on the dining room stage is led by Fred Elias, a talented violinist who celebrated his 92nd birthday in June but still plays like he’s 30-something. And every Thursday from June to September, the place is rocking inside and out, with local bands playing on the fun outdoor patio (a.k.a. The Freaky Greeky Tiki Bar).
The food, naturally, is the star of the show, including tangy stuffed grape leaves ($7.95), melt-in-your mouth grilled meats, Mediterranean salads and house tzatziki that will send you to a state of euphoria.
Fresh octopus sauté and Anastasio’s salmon ($17.95) are stand out dishes and those in the know order the Athenian shish-kebob, fired up simply with tender cuts of lamb in a savory house marinade, skewered onions and peppers ($18.95). The classic Spanakopita, perfectly layered with flaky filo dough ($12.95), makes a hearty vegetarian option.
Bottom line: if you’re looking for a cozy spot that caters to all diners and has a revved up bar with live entertainment, Athenian Corner is a worthwhile odyssey into authentic Greek cuisine and warm hospitality.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Athenian Corner Restaurant
WHERE: 207 Market St., Lowell
INFO: Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week | 978-458-7052