Feature dishes at George’s Greek Village Restaurant have become something special that customers look forward to on the weekends that are not on the regular menu.
“It’s all about having something new and different”says owner and chef George Kountourogiannis.
“If I can introduce a feature and people love it and it catches on, then I consider it as something that I can hopefully put on my menu. You always want to try something new and see if it works!”
One of the first features George did when the restaurant opened was a pork shank dinner and it went over well… But really, that was just the beginning, because it inspired the idea of making features a regular occurrence.
George says that after the pork shank, there was a lot of talk between himself, his food supplier and cook Dimitris who worked with him at the time, and they decided to take it to the next level with a feature lamb shank dinner.
The feedback for this feature was incredible,remembers George.
“The lamb shank was crazy. Everyone went nuts over that dish and I have never seen a response like we had for that one and from then on we just tried to make a feature every weekend.” Lamb Shank Dinner has been a huge success as a Feature Dish. The next feature worked on was a stuffed chicken with spinach instead of the roasted red pepper and it became a regular thing that afternoons in the kitchen would be devoted to taste testing new ideas and recipes to delight customers with fresh tastes and experiences on the weekends.
Feature Appetizer: Shrimp Saganaki
For inspiration George says, “I tell everybody to give me ideas and they do.”
After an idea is created, it’s all about taste testing to make sure the dish is perfect and thinking outside the box, although this philosophy goes for everything at the restaurant.
“I mean who would have ever heard of simple syrup in a roasted red pepper sauce, laughs George, “and it is so good that people want extra for the side. But I always tell the guys working in the kitchen less is more. Because it can be overpowering and you have to get the right balance.”
Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper and Feta
George also gets inspiration from the chefs he works with at the test kitchens of Sysco Canada in Woodstock.
“I will throw out ideas like, here are five proteins that I want to create some new dishes around and they will take those foods and createsomething. If I like it, I will take the basic idea and make it my own creation.”
For example, George took a simple lamb lollipop recipe, added some of his own spices for the breading, sometzatziki, bruschetta and feta and a feature dish was born!
Feature Dinner: Lamb Lollipops
Weekend after weekend many feature dishes have been part of the weekend lineup over the past two years…
Feature Appetizer: Loukaninko
Feature Dish: Striploin and Shrimp topped with a mushroom demi glacé and feta
So, what’s up next on the menu for George?
“Well I’m working on something called pork drummies, they are going to be incredible but I still haven’t got the sauce where I want it yet!”
Drummies aside, the features are something everyone can continue to look forward to in the future.
Says George, “Iwill continue to do delicious and well-priced features because it’s all about the wow factor for the customers and keeping them coming back for more!”
GEORGES GREEK VILLAGE RESTAURANT – 2 YEARS AND COUNTING!
This past weekend was a time for reflection and celebration for owner George Kountourogiannis, who took a chance that paid off big time when he decided to purchase and revamp the old Frado’s Steakhouse by the Welland Canal and convert it into the modern greek dining establishment it is today.
The building went through a huge renovation process initially that took over a year, but the final result was well worth it with its spectacular woodwork features, amazing views and modern facilities.
Inside the dining room at George’s today. Diners enjoy the cozy atmosphere on anniversary night, Friday Oct. 6th 2018…
Cheers to 2 years and Happy Anniversary to George’s Greek Village Restaurant!
The one side of the dining room that winds into 4 distinct sections that form the main part of the restaurant, in addition to the banquet facilities in the back and the outdoor dining space…
Enjoying an appetizer of George’s delicious greek salad before the main course arrives…
Getting ready to dig into the special feature of the anniversary weekend, the ever popular Lamb Shank dinner!
George’s Greek Village is an amazing place for families to dine and have fun!
The back area of the restaurant, which doubles as a dining and banquet area also features priceless views of the Welland Canal with its large picturesque windows…
Lets not forget about that view from the patio! This has been a huge draw for locals and tourists alike as they sit outside and watch the boats pass by.
An autumn view from the patio with the Welland Canal and St. Catharines Skyway forming the backdrop…
George’s Greek Village has truly become the Garden City’s recipe for success through the years not only because of the dining facilities and location, but because of the incredible people that make it happen and the food that keeps you coming back for more.
Kountourogiannis himself is so passionate about his restaurant that he never takes a sideline to the workings of the day to day business, often spending 15 hours a day in the kitchen, perfecting his delicious dishes before they hit the floor. George’s passion for the business and his ability to embrace hard work is infectious but it has definitely been the wind behind the sails of the unprecedented success that the restaurant has seen since opening. Says Kountourogiannis, “what used to be a line up at the door on the weekends is now one every night!”
Happy customers line up at the door waiting to be seated in the restaurant…
George Kountourogiannis and his staff working hard this past weekend in the state of the art kitchen of the restaurant…
Some front of the house staff take a moment to pose for the camera
A Variety of Dishes Has Continued to Flow Through the Kitchen at George’s Greek Village Restaurant
“Another big part of the success we have seen I believe is because we not only create traditional favourites that our customers love week after week prepared with the freshest ingredients, but the fact that I am constantly trying to develop new and interesting twists on our traditional greek fare”, says George.
Below Lamb Lollipops and Lamb Shank dinner. Two of the mouthwatering feature creations George has has come up with that keep customers coming back for more.
Lamb Shank Dinner
A Winning Combination
Says George, “we have always believed in “good food, good portions, good service at a good price” at the restaurant. I take care of the food aspect and it is my right hand woman Daniela who is in charge of the front of the house and makes sure everything runs smoothly for our customer’s dining experience”. Daniela in the main dining room, not only ensures excellent service for the daily customers but helps coordinate all the many banquets, functions and many promotional aspects of George’s to the tourist industry which she says has “completely exploded over the top this past year with its popularity.”
About Georges Greek Village Restaurant
Owner and namesake George Kountourogiannis worked for many years in the Kountourogiannis family restaurant business before opening doors to George’s Greek Village Restaurant in 2016.
Located in St. Catharines, Ontario on the Welland Canal, Georges Greek Village is a family friendly restaurant that features authentic greek cuisine, regular weekly specials, take-out, banquet facilities and is able to accommodate all other special occasions. Ample parking make George’s a must visit for bus tours and tourist groups alike. During summer season, the patio can hold up to 40 people and features regular passing of the ships through the Welland Canal.
Georges Greek Village
535 Queenston Street,
St. Catharines, ON
Let us know what you think!