The husband and wife team of Adel and Dina Elostta are gaining a loyal following after opening Athens Family Restaurant in June. The restaurant serves Greek specialties and American comfort food for any meal of the day.
Before Sarasota captured their hearts, the Elosttas ran Athens Family Restaurant in Nashville, a location that was twice featured by Guy Fieri on the Food Network. The Sarasota location is serving the same recipes that impressed Fieri, like the bacon lamb burger, spiced and topped with Swiss cheese, crushed red pepper and Thousand Island dressing.
Athens offers traditional Greek and diner appetizers, sandwiches, desserts and specialty breakfasts, but also features a rotating menu of different Greek entrées, like popular Soutzoukakia meatballs and moussaka. Dina’s favorite is the Greek combination platter served on weekends, which gets you three traditional Greek items. “Whatever’s in the menu, I like to eat. If I didn’t like it, it wouldn’t be in the menu,” says Adel. But he admits that he is particularly fond of the tender chicken souvlaki platter and the lamb shank.
The Elosttas are both from New York and grew up eating traditional Greek dishes—so they know good diner food, and they know good Greek food. The restaurant is called Athens Family Restaurant because Dina was raised in Athens. “All of the Greek dishes are authentic,” says Dina. “You could find these in Greece.”
Adel does the cooking, while Dina manages things out front, and will be there to greet you when you visit. “We’re basically a little family diner,” says Dina. “We get to know our customers by name, and we know what they want. They become family.”
Athens Family Restaurant is located at 2300 Bee Ridge Road, Unit 301, Sarasota. It is open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sunday. For more info, call (941) 706-4121 or check out the restaurant's website.