Okto, new upscale Greek cafe to open downtown

A new restaurant specializing in Greek delicacies is opening downtown this summer season. 

Earth + Ocean Restaurant Team, which operates other well-known eating places in Hyde Park and Downtown, will introduce a new strategy to Cincinnati with Okto, slated to soft-open in late July. 

The final decision to concentration on Greek cuisine commenced with mass surveys to Cincinnati inhabitants, described Anthony Castelli, the Internet marketing Director at E + O Cafe Group. 

He stated they needed to deliver anything that could make everyone joyful, and the mind-boggling responses to the surveys provided new Mediterranean foods, with healthy vegetarian, and vegan alternatives. 

The ownership at E+O liked the notion, Castelli explained. 

“We take into account ourselves a extremely household-oriented, family members-run cafe team. Two of our proprietors are Greek, and their heritage is significant to them. There are aspects of Greek society, customs of celebrations and relatives and sincerity and togetherness that every person can like,” Castelli explained. 

Then started a nationwide search for an govt chef to carry the idea to reality. 

Castelli reported they ended up blown absent with Chef Wissam Baki who has worked at best places to eat in many various nations around the world. 

Tony Castelli, Earth & Ocean Restaurant Group marketing director, right, and Chef Wissam Baki, Okto Restaurant executive chef, stand together inside Okto Restaurant in Cincinnati on Friday, July 9, 2021. The restaurant is scheduled to open at the end of the month of July.

At first from Lebanon, Baki got his start out at a Mediterranean cafe in Beirut, finally doing the job as a chef in Dubai, focusing on Greek and Italian delicacies. 

He also opened a steakhouse in Canada in advance of likely to Miami to work at Estiatorio Milos, a Greek cafe, and then ASTRA, an Italian cafe.  

“We were really thrilled to carry him on the workforce,” Castelli said.

Baki claimed he thought in the eyesight for Okto and loved how the workforce at E+O truly felt like a spouse and children, which sealed his choice to go to Cincinnati. 

Horiatiki salad made up of tomato, cucumber, red onion, slices, oregano, red wine vinegar, Greek olive oil and feta at Okto Restaurant in Cincinnati on Friday, July 9, 2021. The restaurant is scheduled to open at the end of the month of July.

When coming up with menu objects for Okto, Baki explained it was essential to function with new ingredients, make factors in-household and supply healthy selections that get the job done for everybody. 

“He blew our minds with all the distinct alternatives he had and the way he puts dishes jointly. And what is actually essential to us is to have contemporary and approachable food items,” Castelli said. “That does not imply we is not going to enjoy it safe with menu objects, we’ll serve factors like Octopus Carpaccio, but it really is heading to be pushed to you and represented to you in a way which is very approachable.” 

Octopus Carpaccio, a person of Chef Baki’s signature dishes, characteristics thinly sliced octopus marinated in a unique residence-mix served with pickled onions, capers, lemon oil, radish, and peas. 

Castelli said presentation is a big portion of boosting people’s eating expertise, so patrons can also expect remarkable choices like Flaming Saganaki, lit desk-aspect, and desk-side de-boned Branzino. 

The drink menu provides a wide array of Greek wines and cocktails infused with fresh honey and topped with edible flowers. Castelli said consume alternatives will assortment from powerful and boozy to non-alcoholic for individuals who just want one thing pleasurable to sip on.