Oliv Pit Athenian Grille has new owners, a new chef and new menu offerings.
The West Boca eatery located at the Shoppes at Village Pointe on Southwest 18th St. is under the same ownership of original owner Emmanuel Vlahos, along with new partners Yuri Tsyganov and Konstantin Galkin.
The new executive chef is Ayal Kitches from Tel Aviv, who has brought his recipes for pita wraps and hummus to Oliv Pit.
The 84-seat restaurant features an open kitchen and outdoor seating in both the front of the restaurant and in the back courtyard. The restaurant was designed by Greek architect and designer Maria Mergoupi.
The new menu includes a variety of salads, as well as gyros, small plates, appetizer spreads, and pita wraps, as well as beef, lamb and seafood options.
The restaurant uses barbecue briquettes made of olive pits for grilling its meats. This process is popular in Greece and elsewhere in Europe, as the olive pits do not contain carcinogens found in charcoal.
During a recent media dinner, we tasted dips including the Paprika Spread with roasted red peppers, red wine vinegar and herbs; Tzatziki dip and the Fava Dip, a Greek version of hummus with different types of beans and peas. The Paprika Spread was our table’s favorite. We pegged it a Greek version of tomato sauce.
We also tasted the Grilled Octopus with capers, a preserved lemon vinaigrette and parsley as a starter and the Smoky Grilled Eggplant with bell peppers, green onions, parsley, Greek olive oil and garlic.
The octopus was tender and had great char from the grill. The eggplant definitely had smoke flavor. Other starters range in price from $5 to $15.
The Greek Village Salad followed with the classic no lettuce that Greek salads are known for with plenty of tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, Kalamata olives, mint, green peppers, barrel aged feta cheese, mountain oregano and Kalamata olive oil. Salad options range in price from $9-11.
Main course options include platters of meat and seafood, fish, prawns and pita wraps.
Pita Wraps are $9 and include New York Strip Steak, Gyro, Lamb Meatballs, Pork Skewers, Chicken Breast, Chicken Thigh, Salmon, Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Grilled Vegetables and Impossible Burger, a vegan/vegetarian option.
The other dishes range in price from $16-$38. A grilled Branzino with lemon, capers, preserved lemon vinaigrette and herbs was filleted table side. The other main course we tried was the Araka Green Pea and Beef dish with tomato, dill, onions and carrots. It tasted like a Greek version of pot roast with color from the peas and carrots.
Desserts are $5 and options include Greek Yogurt with Greek honey and salted pistachios, Baklava, Orange Cake and Chocolate Cake. The orange flavor burst through on the orange cake. Portions were large for sharing and the cakes were all moist.
Oliv Pit is open daily and the hours are 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information please visit olivpit.com or follow on social at: Facebook.com/olivpit, @olivpit.