The Acropolis offers meals even Aphrodite would love
It would be easy for a restaurant with the long history and success of The Acropolis Mediterranean Grill to sit back on their Greek laurels and continue to serve up the food that has made them a fixture in the Chattanooga food scene for two decades. But The Acropolis is not a typical Greek restaurant.
In 1982, the Kyriakidis family moved to Chattanooga and opened Little Athens Greek restaurant in East Ridge, where they offered up affordable, Greek comfort food for over 13 years before moving to Hamilton Place in 1995 and opening the Acropolis. Now celebrating their twentieth year, The Acropolis Mediterranean Grill is anything but typical.
Thanks to a beautiful remodel, the restaurant is bright and open with a fresh take on the white and blue of the Greek Cyclades. There are no dangling strands of garlic hanging from dusty rafters or wicker carafes of wine tucked into every nook and cranny of the dining room. This is a restaurant that is true to its roots without clinging to the past—modern, without chasing trends.
The menu reflects this devotion to the classic tastes we all love, while reimagining and revisiting what Greek food can be. Greek food has always been about fresh, local and healthy ingredients that speak directly to the current renewed interest in fresh, local food. “Greeks have always been connected to our food,” says Nick Kyriakidis, “We want people to see, taste and celebrate how fresh, delicious and healthy Greek food is. We’re Greek and nobody celebrates like the Greeks.”
Classics like dolmathakia (stuffed grape leaves) and saganaki (pan-seared cheese lit aflame tableside) are still keeping the small plates portion of the menu anchored to its roots, while the Greek nachos will start your meal with a more contemporary twist. Crispy house potato chips are baked with feta and mozzarella; lamb and beef gyro meat gets shaved straight off the vertical roaster, then it’s all topped with Kalamata olives, shredded lettuce, tzatziki, basil pesto, and tomato cucumber relish. This is an addictive, Greek contribution to the nacho arts that is every bit as flavorful as it sounds.
The entrée portion of the menu is a well-honed balance of Mediterranean favorites and comforting classics that have been developed and passed down through the Kyriakidis family alongside a variety of dishes for the diner who is craving something a little closer to home.
I usually gravitate towards Greek favorites like pastitsio, a layered, lasagna-like baked pasta dish with ground sirloin, béchamel and marinara or the traditional flavors of the lamb kabob served with fluffy basmati rice and feta-stuffed tomatoes (which I could easily eat every day for the rest of my life).
The braised lamb shank, however, has become my new go-to dish when visiting the Acropolis. A beautiful representation of traditional Greek flavors similar to kokkinisto, a spectacular cut of lamb is braised in Burgundy wine and beef broth until it pulls away from the bone like the best pot roast you’ve ever had.
If you have never tried lamb, you will be hooked after your first bite; if you’re already a fan, be prepared for as tender and succulent piece of meat as you’ve ever had, served on a bed of creamy risotto and garnished with bright, fresh asparagus spears.
Once you’ve found your savory happy place with lamb or one of the many other Greek delights, put the finishing touch on your meal with one of the Acropolis’ famous desserts, an after-dinner drink from their expanded bar or enjoy a cappucino and something sweet on the patio. Mrs. Kyriakidis’ famous strawberry patch cake is still a perennial favorite along with a wide assortment of pies, pastries and cakes baked fresh on premise.
It never feels like a meal at the Acropolis is complete until I have succumbed to the temptation of pillowy-soft tiramisu or a crunchy, creamy cannoli.
After a movie, for a quick lunch or for those special occasions when you want to impress, it’s impossible to go wrong with the Acropolis Mediterranean Grill.
Valentine's Day Special
The Acropolis Mediterranean Grill is featuring a special menu for Valentine’s Day. Treat your special someone to a romantic dinner at Chattanooga’s favorite Mediterranean restaurant and enjoy delectable dishes including duck two ways, bacon-wrapped quail, vegetable lasagna and grilled prime rib. Pair each course with a wine from their carefully curated collection or a featured cocktail from the bar. For more information, call (423) 899-5341 or visit acropolisgrill.com
The Acropolis Mediterranean Grill
2213 Hamilton Place Blvd. (near the mall)
Sunday through Thursday
11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday
11 a.m. - 11 p.m.