Fine Greek cuisine lives on at Uptown Parthenon

The Jewish News
Danny Raskin

Danny Raskin

Sitting in their New Parthenon restaurant on Monroe in Greektown munching on double-boned lamb chops, owner Polyvius Panagopoulos and his general manager at New Parthenon, Tony Hadjisofroniou, were also enjoying a thought … Many customers were continually bugging their ears off about them opening another such restaurant in the northwest suburbs.

Since the 1970s, Polyvius had previously owned Mykonos in Greektown, where his present New Parthenon has also become a large favorite … But some folks had gotten tired of the drive Downtown and that request became a fanatic attempt to satisfy customers’ urgent pleas.

Polyvius went with Tony and partner Leo Stassinopoulos in search of a place that would accommodate well more than 200 people, plus a large bar with plenty of stools … They found their dream site at the Crosswinds Mall on Orchard Lake Road and Lone Pine, West Bloomfield.

Today, more than 19 years later, they can recall their new Uptown Parthenon immediately beginning to overwhelm customers with its excellent selections of authentic Greek food … And now came the biggest problem of all … How to show the customers their appreciation … Tony was named its general manager and later went to the island of Cyprus off Greece and to Greece itself to find out the latest and best dishes in authentic Greek dining to bring back for the many Greek food lovers of its delicate tastes and healthy food presentations.

One of the items he brought back, Kleftiko, is a more than 2,000-year-old dish you may not find at too many Greek restaurants anywhere … Greek lamb, slow-cooked with garlic, Kasseri cheese, oregano, olive oil and lemon juice.

Leo Stassinopoulos, Polyvius Panagopoulos and Tony Hadjisofroniou

Also brought back by Tony were three fantastic taste delights also not seen at many places … Stuffed meatballs of beef or chicken, sliced at the table … Athenian chicken, half a bird roasted and stuffed with feta cheese and oregano … and Soutzoukakia (ground beef) in a cumin cinnamon sauce … All three include mashed potatoes and peas.

But what to give in celebration of their 19th anniversary? … It was finally decided that during the anniversary month of December (Friday, Dec. 1, through Sunday, Dec. 31), the big favorites of Chicken Meatballs over Fettuccini Alfredo or Chicken Meatballs over Fettuccini Marinara … for the price of $9.95 each … including side dishes of rice pilaf with tomato sauce, sweet peas and string beans, would be at both Uptown Parthenon in West Bloomfield and Greektown’s New Parthenon.

The prominent role that Uptown Parthenon plays in the lives of many grateful customers has been overwhelmingly strong as it continues to be counted among the finest authentic Greek restaurants in Michigan.

MEMORY DEPT. … From Jackie Kallen … “I had that day just gotten my driver’s license and took two of my girlfriends to Darbys on Wyoming and Seven Mile for dinner. One of them happened to be a black girl. I watched as party after party were seated, but not us. I kept asking the hostess why we were not being seated and everyone else was. We were told that everyone else had a reservation and we did not. I knew that wasn’t the case from others I met there, so I took my friends to a table and sat ourselves down. Soon the manager came over and asked if we had a reservation. I told him that I was doing a story on Darbys for the Mumford school paper, and I was quite put out by the hostess’ obvious racist attitude. The man told us to order anything we wanted on the menu and picked up the check. The meals were delicious. And the hostess was fired.”

IN 1997, AFTER SEEING them in Cleveland for the first time, Joe Vicari brought the excellent Scintas group to his Andiamo Celebrity Showroom next to its Andiamo Italia in Warren … And they have been there every year since for the last 19 years … The ultimate cream of the entertainment crop, the Scintas group will again appear this year … Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7, 8 and 9 … with Thursday’s holiday show also including a steak filet or veggie entrée, salad, pasta, potato, vegetable and dessert … Reservations will go fast … You won’t want to miss the Scintas … They’re great! … (586) 268-3200.

DANDY DINING DEAL … Construction Special … 8- to 10-ounce whitefish complete dinner … Includes soup or salad, potato, vegetable and bread basket … $8.85 … George’s Family Dining, Northwestern Hwy., West Bloomfield.

OLDIE BUT GOODIE SHORTIES … Doctor, “You’ll live to be 80!” Patient, I am 80!” Doctor, “See! What did I tell you!” … A doctor has a stethoscope up to a man’s chest. The man asks, “Doc, how do I stand?” The doctor says, “That’s what puzzles me!”

CONGRATS … To Esther Ingber on her birthday … To Mollie Abraham on her birthday … To Gino Baratta on his birthday … To Audrey Saperstein on her birthday … To Betty (Bess) Ruskin on her 100th birthday •

Danny’s email address is

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