Demetri Tsolakis recalls working at his family’s three Greek takeout joints while growing up in Western Mass., peeking over the counter to pour customers’ soda when he was as young as 8. After opening the meze-focused Committee in 2015, he’s got his eyes on a return to his roots for Gre.Co, which is set to open on Newbury Street in late January.
“Committee is a whole different animal. That’s your meze restaurant,” Tsolakis says. “Here is a casual, street food, everyday eatery. It’s fun because it’s what I grew up with.”
The menu will include six combos of meat and sauce such as classic pork (pork gyro and tzatziki), classic lamb (lamb gyro and tomato jam) and classic loukaniko (pork-and-leek sausage and mustard sauce). There’s also a choose-your-own option that lets customers select from five different fillings, five different accompaniments and three different bases (pita, salad and plate). Sides such as zucchini chips and Greek slaw are offered a la carte, as are soups and salads. For dessert, loukoumades (Greek doughnuts) will be available in five topping combos such as classic (Greek honey, walnuts and cinnamon), tasos (dark chocolate and coconut flakes) and yaya’s (hazelnut praline, Oreo cookies and powdered sugar), as well as choose-your-own topping options.
“Every sauce, every ingredient is prepared here from scratch, “ Tsolakis says. “Well, everything except for the Oreo cookie topping.”
White walls and an open layout help brighten the garden-level spot, which features an ordering counter on one side with three grand spits behind it, displaying pork, chicken and lamb. On the opposite side is banquette seating for eight with plush pillows and circular two-tops. In the middle of the space is an eight-seat communal table, while 18 seats will be added to the patio during warmer weather. The back of the restaurant features a few shelves of products for sale, including Greek knickknacks and some imported foodstuffs like olive oil from a curated list of Greek purveyors. There are Greek sayings painted along the walls, but no blue-and-white patterns, no nods to the Parthenon or Acropolis.
“It’s more white. We wanted people to come in and say, ‘This is what Greece is really like,’ ” Tsolakis says. “It’s soothing. We want people to feel calm. Like they’re on the island.”
Ultimately, Gre.Co aims to unite two of Boston’s most noticeable dining trends, fast-casual dining and Greek. Says Tsolakis: “America is on the go, and they don’t have as much time. It’s easy and fast. No mess—and it’s good food.”
Gre.co 225 Newbury St., Boston. grecoboston.com