Coming soon to the Ossington strip: Greek pies, and lots of them
By Anna Silman
Mamakas Spanakopita and Feta Bar, an upcoming restaurant set to open on the Ossington strip before the end of summer, does not intend to be an average Greek eatery. According to co-owner Thanos Tripi, the bakery-slash-dine-in-restaurant will steer clear of the standard rice and potato offerings you’d find at a typical Danforth establishment. Rather, Mamakas will specialize in a more traditional style of Greek cuisine.
“It will showcase a very specific cuisine that is very rustic and homemade,” Tripi says.
Hence the name Mamakas, which means “mother’s.”
Mamakas is primarily a bakery, and while its major focus will be the spinach-based spanakopita, it will also serve different varieties of pies, with fillings running the gamut from meat to cheese and more. Along with pies, you’ll find a selection of grill items, house-made Greek yogurts, salads and a dessert menu, all drawn from the Greek culinary tradition. The restaurant will also feature a feta bar to showcase different types of the Greek cheese.
The project is close to Tripi’s heart: the restaurant’s spanakopita is inspired by a 100-year-old family recipe that has been passed down through the generations. Tripi was previously involved with The Ballroom and The One That Got Away, but the concept for Mamakas is one that he has carried with him for years.
“I’ve been wanting to do this concept since I was 16 years old,” he says. “At family events and family dinners, our spanakopita is the first thing that goes because it’s so absolutely delicious.”
The restaurant itself will feature both a grab-and-go counter as well as a fully-licensed dine-in restaurant with just under 60 seats. The interior, which will draw on Tripi’s Greek background, will be both “clean and timeless, but also colourful,” he says.
“It’s got a very homey feel. It’s supposed to feel like you’re walking into your mother’s pantry.”
The menu will be overseen by executive chef Aristedes Pasparakis, a prolific restauranteur and cookbook author who has been dubbed Canada’s “first name in Greek cuisine.”
And you won’t have to break the bank for a taste: the average pastry, plus a drink, will go for about $6.25, with a lunch prix fixe for around $14, which includes a main course, drink and appetizer. Dinner will run about $26 for a drink, an appetizer, a main course and dessert.
“We’re going for a very approachable, affordable menu,” Tripi says. “We believe in providing value to the customer.”
Mamakas Spanakopita and Feta Bar, 80 Ossington Ave.