THE FAT GREEK
You’re going to be hearing a lot in the near future about how The Fat Greek is, by far, the best Greek restaurant in the Vegas Valley, but we at ELV thought you deserved a sneak peek (ahead of our review in the Las Vegas Weekly) at some of the extraordinary food this place is now putting out.
The “Fat Greek” is Chef/owner Yanni Gourmroian, a friendly, rotund fellow who, along with wife Alice, has operated this modest place for five years in a remote corner of a shopping center at Flamingo and Decatur. Two years ago, they brought in chef Nikolas Georgousis from Athens (Greece, not Georgia), and recently son Jerry (a veteran of RM Seafood, Guy Savoy and Bartolotta) has been on premises. Between the three of them, they’ve helped to take this place to a new level of lip-smacking, Mediterranean sophistication — at prices that won’t dent your wallet.
Gourmroian’s pastries have always been superb, so you can expect baklava, shamali, galaktoboureko, and bugatcha to make you swoon, but a recent lunch there highlighted for us the savory delights within this modest storefront.
A platter of whipped tirokefteri (a peppery feta cheese whip) and a taramasalata (whipped fish roe dip) were the best we’ve had…anywhere. Equally good was the tangy tzatziki sauce that came with the very good chicken gyro, and the kefte kebab — a nicely-seasoned roll of ground beef that took ELV straight back to Louis Pappas’ in Tarpon Springs, Florida.
At dinner, things get even better:
We don’t know if there’s a better deal in town than the combination plate for two ($30) or the family-style grill plate for four ($50) – each platter groaning with Grecian delicacies like meaty moussaka, roasted meats and vegetables seasoned like they are in the old country, and pasticcio (pa-STEECH-choo) that would make ELV’s popou (grandfather) proud.
Both the moussaka and pasticcio come topped with a rich, firm and savory bechamel, and both represent the apotheosis (a Greek word that) of Greek casserole cookery.
The avgolemeno soup here is a first rate version, also, made with a rich chicken stock and just lemony enough. Best of all, they have a solid and well-priced Greek wine list that even has a retsina on it. ELV may be the only person of Greek extraction under the age of eighty that actually likes this pine resiny wine, but its salty essence always reminds us of a Mediterranean breeze.
And a few sips are just the thing to compliment a plate of flaming saganaki cheese*.
* Made with halloumi cheese — a sheep’s and goat’s milk cheese that originated in Cyprus.
THE FAT GREEK
Renaissance Center West
4001 South Decatur Blvd. #34
Las Vegas, NV 89103