Thanks to recent openings, local Greek dining options have expanded impressively—particularly in the southwest Valley. The Great Greek finally debuted a sister location to its Henderson flagship on Blue Diamond, while Elia Authentic Greek Taverna quietly opened its doors on Durango. This wave of Grecian domination was led by Meráki Greek Grill earlier this year.
Meráki is a collaboration between industry veterans Nikos Georgousis and Jerry Goumroian. Its instant success should come as no surprise when considering the duo’s background: Georgousis previously ran the kitchen at the best high-end Greek restaurant in town at Cosmo’s Estiatorio Milos, and Goumroian’s career has found him cooking at such famed venues as Restaurant Guy Savoy and Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare. Unlike those previous endeavors, Meráki serves much more casual fare ordered at the counter. Very much like those other restaurants, the execution is flawless.
Begin with an assortment of spreads you’d expect to find in any Greek restaurant. The creamy tzatziki ($4.50) tinged with garlic is a textbook representation of the ubiquitous cucumber and yogurt-based condiment, while the melizanosalata ($4.50)—essentially Greek babaganoush—is hearty and smoky. If you’re feeling adventurous, sample the salty taramasalata ($5.50) fish roe dip. Arguably the best is the tirokafteri, a fiery red dip of spicy roasted peppers and Greek feta, where the feta’s characteristic saltiness is muted by the flavorful peppers.
Meráki’s menu doesn’t stray far from traditional Greek fare. The staple chicken soup avgolemono ($4) hints of lemon, while the flaky spanakopita ($3.50) layers a flavorful blend of spinach, feta and phyllo. Although the saganaki ($9) doesn’t arrive flaming at your table, the savory Kefalograviera cheese is still a treat, pan-fried for crispness.
The best judge of a casual Greek restaurant’s prowess is its gyros, and the gyro Meráki ($8) represents proudly. Layered meat (get the beef/lamb combo) topped with tzatziki, feta, lettuce, tomato and onion is swaddled in toasty pita for a fine sandwich. It sure is a good time to be Greek!
Meráki Greek Grill 4950 S. Rainbow Blvd. #160, 702-202-1002. Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.