LTH Home

Psistaria Restaurant on Touhy

Psistaria Restaurant on Touhy
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
    Page 2 of 4
  • Post #31 - May 28th, 2012, 9:25 am
    Post #31 - May 28th, 2012, 9:25 am Post #31 - May 28th, 2012, 9:25 am
    Trix and I had an outstanding lunch at Psistaria in Lincolnwood yesterday. Though the new management has only been in the new space for six weeks it already runs like an established Greektown stalwart. And so it wasn’t a surprise when we found out that the chef cooked at Greek Islands for 30 years. Greek Islands is our standard for casual midweek dining, often times going specifically for their homemade gyros plate, Village salad, and calamari, so we did more or less a dish-to-dish comparison. Psistaria came out on top in every round.

    The pan fried calamari was best in class— completely greaseless and tender. The house chopped [George’s Special] salad of cucumber, tomato, onion, peppers and beets coupled with a zesty crumbled cheese and Kalamata olives was well-dressed while keeping the ingredients in perfect proportion to each other. Their housemade gyros are a real treat; the best I’ve had anywhere. Wonderfully spiced lambiness without being greasy or fatty—clean gyros, for sure, but not without a good proportion of crispy bits. It’s a sensational value at $10.95 for a mound of sliced gyros, condiments, pita and a side. We chose the spinach rice—a version that puts others to shame. Their garbanzo soup accented with fresh dill is, if available that day, not to be missed.

    Other notables: warm and professional service, white tablecloths, and a pleasant, newly renovated classic Greek style room make this a great casual dining experience. Attention to detail and care is visible at every level.

    Although I’ve only been the Psistaria under this new management once, I’ll be happily revisiting to try their various whole fish preparations which looked highly enticing.

    (Trix concurs.)
  • Post #32 - May 29th, 2012, 11:18 pm
    Post #32 - May 29th, 2012, 11:18 pm Post #32 - May 29th, 2012, 11:18 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:But the carry-out versions were still completely laudable.


    Does anyone have a copy of their carry-out menu that they can scan? Their website seems to be in a transition phase with no menu to be found.
  • Post #33 - May 29th, 2012, 11:49 pm
    Post #33 - May 29th, 2012, 11:49 pm Post #33 - May 29th, 2012, 11:49 pm
    grack wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:But the carry-out versions were still completely laudable.


    Does anyone have a copy of their carry-out menu that they can scan? Their website seems to be in a transition phase with no menu to be found.

    Here's a link to a .pdf scan I made for my office . . .

    Psistaria Carry-Out Menu

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #34 - May 30th, 2012, 6:13 am
    Post #34 - May 30th, 2012, 6:13 am Post #34 - May 30th, 2012, 6:13 am
    My husband and I think Psistaria has really gone downhill the last couple of years. For Greek, we go to AVLI in Winnetka (which has a wonderful outside patio) or if we want to take a little drive, we go to TAXIM which we think is the best Greek Restaurant in Chicago, hands down.
  • Post #35 - May 30th, 2012, 10:26 am
    Post #35 - May 30th, 2012, 10:26 am Post #35 - May 30th, 2012, 10:26 am
    north shore foodie wrote:My husband and I think Psistaria has really gone downhill the last couple of years. For Greek, we go to AVLI in Winnetka (which has a wonderful outside patio) or if we want to take a little drive, we go to TAXIM which we think is the best Greek Restaurant in Chicago, hands down.

    If you look upthread a bit, you'll see I too found Psistaria had declined. We love Avli too, although my one meal at Taxim was disappointing. But with reports from Ronnie and PIGMON that new ownership had brought Psistaria back, husband, son, and I had a fairly late night dinner there last night.

    Short story: the place is much, much improved. Everything we had was on a par with Greek Islands and (for us) way closer and a bit cheaper.

    Longer story: Thanks, Ronnie, for posting the take-out menu so I can be more accurate! Room is pleasant still and we were warmly greeted. Even at 9:00 on a Tuesday night, there were still people eating when we arrived, and I think a table or two entered after we did. One reason we picked Psistaria (open until 11 on weeknights, midnight on Friday and Saturday) is that it was already close to 9 when we left the house, which limited our choices. We enjoyed the grilled calamari--tender and nicely dressed in olive oil and lemon, but not drowning in same. The taramosolata was as delicious as Greek Islands' version, creamy, smooth, not too salty, which to me is the highest praise because GI's version is my benchmark preparation. Our dinners all came with soup. I tried the lentil, which had tomato and perhaps meat and was outstanding. The waiter offered vinegar as an accompaniment, and I found it really added a nice acidic touch that accented the soup very well. Husband and son had the avgolemono, also first-rate--not starchy and gloppy as it sometimes is. I had the Tuesday special of lamb bamies (lamb shank with okra in tomato sauce), and it was excellent:a huge, perfectly tender but not stringy or mushy, lamb shank in a good Greek tomato sauce with its hint of cinnamon plus a generous helping of okra with garlic and tomato sauce. I'm looking forward to the leftovers for lunch today. Cabbagehead and son each put together a combination from Psistaria's nice feature of "create your own combo." Son had gyros and pastichio and father had chicken riganati and mousaka. I had a little of taste of everything but the chicken, and all was very good. The guys did clean their plates, plus the Greek potato and rice with tomato sauce that came on the side. I wanted a bit of dessert, so we split homemade yogurt. A large portion was served on a plate with honey poured over and crushed walnuts on the side--delicious.

    Service was good but a bit slow, but perhaps I was impatient because it was late and I was hungry!

    I think Psistaria wants to be a top Greektown-style restaurant out on Touhy Avenue. It is not doing what Louis is doing at Avli, which is more innovative. But there is nothing wrong with aspiring to be a good Greektown-style place, and I am glad to have one such so close to home.

    It seems as if restaurants more commonly go downhill and very rarely go back up. I am sure we will return to the newly up Psistaria.
  • Post #36 - May 30th, 2012, 11:03 am
    Post #36 - May 30th, 2012, 11:03 am Post #36 - May 30th, 2012, 11:03 am
    Just a quick note to thank one and all for these recent reports. The Lovely Dining Companion works walking-distance away and now I'm gonna lean on her to get to dinner there soon. Really appreciate the updates and reports.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #37 - May 30th, 2012, 1:47 pm
    Post #37 - May 30th, 2012, 1:47 pm Post #37 - May 30th, 2012, 1:47 pm
    Obviously, I'm a huge fan of Avli but as EvA pointed out, it's not on the same wavelength as Psistaria, which strives to be a genuine Greek Town-style restaurant. At Avli, Louie's doing something quite different. Apple to oranges, really. I wish my office were still within quick striking distsance of Avli but having been in Niles for just over a year, I'm thrilled with how Psistaria has been over the past few weeks under its new ownership.

    Btw, I didn't discover this change at Psistaria on my own. A friend told me about it but I cannot remember who. :oops:

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #38 - May 30th, 2012, 1:58 pm
    Post #38 - May 30th, 2012, 1:58 pm Post #38 - May 30th, 2012, 1:58 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Btw, I didn't discover this change at Psistaria on my own. A friend told me about it but I cannot remember who. :oops:

    =R=


    Ahem. :wink:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #39 - May 30th, 2012, 2:09 pm
    Post #39 - May 30th, 2012, 2:09 pm Post #39 - May 30th, 2012, 2:09 pm
    stevez wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Btw, I didn't discover this change at Psistaria on my own. A friend told me about it but I cannot remember who. :oops:

    =R=


    Ahem. :wink:

    Yeah, sorry about that. Hey, at least I didn't take the credit. :wink:

    . . . and thanks again!

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #40 - May 30th, 2012, 2:28 pm
    Post #40 - May 30th, 2012, 2:28 pm Post #40 - May 30th, 2012, 2:28 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Yeah, sorry about that. Hey, at least I didn't take the credit. :wink:

    . . . and thanks again!

    =R=


    As long as you didn't eat the last of the saganaki I'm OK with it. :wink:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #41 - June 15th, 2012, 9:53 pm
    Post #41 - June 15th, 2012, 9:53 pm Post #41 - June 15th, 2012, 9:53 pm
    Made my second trip here today, and again left very impressed. Had mostly duplicates from my first visit-whole fish, gyros which were great again. We also got the lamb riblets this time, and they were very good too.

    This place is doing it right.
  • Post #42 - June 16th, 2012, 8:16 am
    Post #42 - June 16th, 2012, 8:16 am Post #42 - June 16th, 2012, 8:16 am
    Anyone who has been recently - do you think a well-behaved baby would be welcome/appropriate here?
  • Post #43 - June 16th, 2012, 8:30 am
    Post #43 - June 16th, 2012, 8:30 am Post #43 - June 16th, 2012, 8:30 am
    LynnB wrote:Anyone who has been recently - do you think a well-behaved baby would be welcome/appropriate here?
    Absolutely.
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #44 - June 16th, 2012, 11:06 am
    Post #44 - June 16th, 2012, 11:06 am Post #44 - June 16th, 2012, 11:06 am
    Thanks, Dave. I think we'll check it out some night this week.
  • Post #45 - June 16th, 2012, 1:50 pm
    Post #45 - June 16th, 2012, 1:50 pm Post #45 - June 16th, 2012, 1:50 pm
    With the news of new ownership, I've made it here a couple of times for lunch. The gyros are really great, nice and crispy. The tzatziki sauce is thick, tart, and has cucumber strewn throughout. I also like their egg lemon soup better than anywhere else. Its not quite as tart and jarring at other places, but still has a nice bite.

    The food is definitely a step above the previous regime.
  • Post #46 - June 17th, 2012, 4:58 am
    Post #46 - June 17th, 2012, 4:58 am Post #46 - June 17th, 2012, 4:58 am
    Thanks for the reminder...this may be my lunch place for tomorrow, too.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #47 - June 19th, 2012, 1:19 pm
    Post #47 - June 19th, 2012, 1:19 pm Post #47 - June 19th, 2012, 1:19 pm
    We tried Psistaria (on the quick) the other day: grilled octopus, various salads, and I had the grilled Mediterranean seabass. This was my first trip there.
    Everything was good: the salads were very fresh, nicely cut and dressed, the octopus was wonderful, my fish was expertly grilled and the prices are very very reasonable. We will be back soon. We are almost equal distance to Mykonos on Golf which we like a lot, and it is nice to have another option for solid Greek food. Definitely no need to get down to Greektown!
    Elie
  • Post #48 - July 2nd, 2012, 12:37 pm
    Post #48 - July 2nd, 2012, 12:37 pm Post #48 - July 2nd, 2012, 12:37 pm
    I had the special today: lamb sandwich with kasseri cheese. It was really a wonderful sandwich on delicious, lightly grilled bread. I tried one half with a fresh tomato, pinch of lettuce and raw onions and the other plain; I think I may prefer it plain. I have yet to try the navy bean soup, which may have to wait until tomorrow. Unfortunately, I ordered takeout with fries, and they put a pittance of them in a sealed plastic tupperware-like container, which resulted in limp, soggy fries that I'm sorry I ate. I can't complain too much because they sent me home with half a loaf of bread too. I'm serious, this thing is 6" long and would make a fine sub if it wasn't cut partially through three times in the wrong direction.

    The sandwich was indeed enough for a lunch, but I was sad it wasn't smaller so I could have tried the octopus too. Oh well...since this and IM Thai are the only places I can walk to until my work's summer hours are over, I'll have plenty of chances.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #49 - July 2nd, 2012, 6:55 pm
    Post #49 - July 2nd, 2012, 6:55 pm Post #49 - July 2nd, 2012, 6:55 pm
    Jonathan & I brought our 4-month-old and his visiting-from-Ohio parents here last night. The staff seemed genuinely happy to see a baby. This is huge for us right now. (Helped that she was totally quiet and slept through most of the meal even though it was super-crowded and louder than heck in there. Still, I got the impression that even a fussy baby would be welcome if handled properly by the parents.)

    We loved the grilled calamari - got a double order for the table as a starter. Super-tender with a nice char from the grill. Pepperoncini and olives rounded out our first course as most meals come with soup. Soups were enjoyed (lemon rice and chickpea were the choices at our table - they have a few others.)

    Entrees of lamb, whitefish, and shrimp were all exactly what you would expect at a top-notch Greektown place. Of the sides we had, the spinach rice and the roasted potatoes were the big winners.

    Our server was efficient and somewhat sassy in a perfect good natured, fun way. She turned us on to some Greek wines that she let us taste before purchasing. Overall, a good time was had by all.

    Upon leaving, the hostess, our server, and the manager (owner?) all asked us our names and I have no doubt that the next time we visit they will remember us. Just seems like that kind of place. Plus, we'll be back soon!
  • Post #50 - July 2nd, 2012, 7:37 pm
    Post #50 - July 2nd, 2012, 7:37 pm Post #50 - July 2nd, 2012, 7:37 pm
    I know I can call for hours, but I wanted to make a point about Greek Restaurants. It seems the restaurants in the city are either open really late or close at exactly 10PM no if and ands or butt steaks. Don't know why, it is almost a curfew. Try to find a greek place on Devon with a full kitchen open past 10pm. I can't count the number of times I have gone from door to door at 9:50, only to be turned away. Is there a reason for this? A sort of mutual non-compete clause? or a Greek Chef's union? It seems OK to be open late as long as the late night menu is American diner fare. Any body else notice this, or am I nuts?
  • Post #51 - July 2nd, 2012, 7:58 pm
    Post #51 - July 2nd, 2012, 7:58 pm Post #51 - July 2nd, 2012, 7:58 pm
    d4v3 wrote:I know I can call for hours, but I wanted to make a point about Greek Restaurants. It seems the restaurants in the city are either open really late or close at exactly 10PM no if and ands or butt steaks. Don't know why, it is almost a curfew. Try to find a greek place on Devon with a full kitchen open past 10pm. I can't count the number of times I have gone from door to door at 9:50, only to be turned away. Is there a reason for this? A sort of mutual non-compete clause? or a Greek Chef's union? It seems OK to be open late as long as the late night menu is American diner fare. Any body else notice this, or am I nuts?

    I haven't noticed this but one possibly interesting/related thing about Psistaria's hours: we wanted to go there late-ish on a Friday night and called first to see if they were open. We were told that the kitchen would be closing at 11. So, we hustled over there, arrived before 11 and had a great meal. But when we got there, we were told that they were actually open until midnight. And sure enough, while we were there, some other folks came in after 11 and were seated. So maybe what you're describing here doesn't necessarily apply to Psistaria...or maybe it does and we just caught them in a random moment. As you astutely pointed out, it's always best to call first.

    Pie Lady wrote:Unfortunately, I ordered takeout with fries, and they put a pittance of them in a sealed plastic tupperware-like container, which resulted in limp, soggy fries that I'm sorry I ate.

    Yeah, Pie Lady. We had a similar experience with the fries -- the one item I've tasted from the "new" Psistaria that I didn't care for. They don't travel well, in spite of what seems like a sincere effort. With all those other tasty sides on the menu, it's hardly a big deal, though. Even eaten in-house, I can't imagine them being that great. Get some rice, potatoes, araka, or briami next time. They're all excellent.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #52 - July 13th, 2012, 2:46 pm
    Post #52 - July 13th, 2012, 2:46 pm Post #52 - July 13th, 2012, 2:46 pm
    Good meal, great company, etc. last Wednesday with Evanston Lunch Group™. We had:
    Image
    Taramosalata was smooth, and pleasantly fishy.

    Image
    Not sure what this is called on the menu, but it looked like ratatouille to me. It was fine, but not outstanding.

    Image
    The Greek Salad was fresh, and serving sizes were generous.

    Image
    The Horta (boiled dandelion greens) was rather plain. It needed some lemon, garlic and olive oil to round out the flavors.

    Image
    The Grilled Octopus appetizer (again, a generous serving) was perhaps my favorite dish. Tender, with a great char on the outside.

    Image
    Sweetbreads were good, but tasted a bit more livery than others I've had. Also, the texture wasn't as light as others.

    Image
    Calamari was very tender, but didn't surpass other competent versions I've had.

    Image
    Sea Bass was filleted at the table. It was perfectly done, with light, clean flavors.

    Image
    A Combo platter included gyros and pastitsio - both fine, and up to Greektown standards.

    We had two lamb preparations:
    Image
    Braised Lamb was very tender, complemented by a tomato sauce. The accompanying orzo was a bit on the mushy side.

    Image
    Baked Lamb was similarly tender, unadorned by sauce.

    I agree with others that Psistaria offers the Greektown experience in the near north suburbs, although it's not in the same league as Winnetka's Avli, nor does it try to be.
  • Post #53 - July 13th, 2012, 3:44 pm
    Post #53 - July 13th, 2012, 3:44 pm Post #53 - July 13th, 2012, 3:44 pm
    nr706 wrote:I agree with others that Psistaria offers the Greektown experience in the near north suburbs, although it's not in the same league as Winnetka's Avli, nor does it try to be.


    Being a fan of both places, I'd say rather than "not in the same league" as Avli, it's more like "not in the same game" as Avli. While both are Greek restaurants, they are not serving the same type of food or providing the same experience. It's like comparing a place like Nightwood (chef focused, ingredient driven) to White Palace Grill (wide ranging menu of standards, volume service). Both are good and both are American; but they are not equivalent and not valid to compare to each other.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #54 - July 13th, 2012, 7:52 pm
    Post #54 - July 13th, 2012, 7:52 pm Post #54 - July 13th, 2012, 7:52 pm
    nr706 wrote:Sweetbreads were good, but tasted a bit more livery than others I've had. Also, the texture wasn't as light as others.


    This is the first time I have eaten sweetbreads. I felt they had a strong liver flavor and was surprised by that.
  • Post #55 - July 13th, 2012, 8:50 pm
    Post #55 - July 13th, 2012, 8:50 pm Post #55 - July 13th, 2012, 8:50 pm
    It is rare that one finds sweetbreads at a restaurant that isn't a high-end chef-driven restaurant (although I'm sure that there are some). They weren't one of the best dishes of the lunch (although they were nicely fried), and they did taste more like the organ-meat that they are.
    Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn't really about the quality of the bread or how it's sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It's all about the butter. -- Adam Gopnik
  • Post #56 - July 14th, 2012, 4:59 am
    Post #56 - July 14th, 2012, 4:59 am Post #56 - July 14th, 2012, 4:59 am
    GAF wrote:and they did taste more like the organ-meat that they are.
    This is the reason I enjoy sweetbreads at Tango Sur, crisp, often charred, straight from the grill tasting like what they are, offal. Short ribs and morcilla are on my must order line-up at Tango Sur as well.

    Tango Sur
    3763 N Southport Ave
    Chicago, IL
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #57 - July 14th, 2012, 7:53 am
    Post #57 - July 14th, 2012, 7:53 am Post #57 - July 14th, 2012, 7:53 am
    I've had sweetbreads at at least one other Greek spot in town--Barba Yianni up in Lincoln Square.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #58 - July 14th, 2012, 5:00 pm
    Post #58 - July 14th, 2012, 5:00 pm Post #58 - July 14th, 2012, 5:00 pm
    Rodity's does a fine job with sweetbreads, and at a very reasonable price.
  • Post #59 - August 13th, 2012, 9:22 am
    Post #59 - August 13th, 2012, 9:22 am Post #59 - August 13th, 2012, 9:22 am
    I had a nice dinner here recently of a grilled whole fish and a calamari appetizer.

    But I will say that our service was not good. We had also ordered an octopus appetizer that they never brought.

    Then we were incorrectly charged. When the bill came (which revealed that the waiter never wrote down the octopus dish), the top was simply the illegible (to us) scribbles of the dishes we ordered. At the bottom was a total that seemed completely made up. There was a menu nearby, which we grabbed to recompute the bill ourselves. We came up with a total about $5 less than what our bill said. We wanted to get on with our evening and so didn't bother calling the waiter over to correct the tab. It wasn't a big deal, more of a WTF moment.
  • Post #60 - August 13th, 2012, 2:43 pm
    Post #60 - August 13th, 2012, 2:43 pm Post #60 - August 13th, 2012, 2:43 pm
    ucjames wrote:Sounds more like a skin condition than a restaurant :lol:
    Looks like the salve is helping a little:
    Image

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more