Palo Altans to open Hellenic restaurant | Peninsula Foodist | Elena Kadvany | Almanac Online |

Local Blogs

Peninsula Foodist

By Elena Kadvany

E-mail Elena Kadvany

About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (More)

View all posts from Elena Kadvany

Palo Altans to open Hellenic restaurant

Uploaded: Dec 28, 2017
Two veterans of the local culinary scene who met at Evvia Estiatorio in Palo Alto 10 years ago are finally pursuing a decade-long dream of opening their own restaurant.

Thanasis Pashalidis and Hakan Bala are behind Taverna, a Hellenic restaurant opening at 800 Emerson St. They took over the space from the owners of La Morenita, which is set to close Friday, Dec. 29.


Hakan Bala, left, and Thanasis Pashalidis stand outside the future home of Taverna in downtown Palo Alto. Photo by Veronica Weber.

Bala, a native of Turkey, has worked as a server at Evvia for the last decade. Pashalidis, who is Greek, worked at Evvia and San Francisco sister restaurant Kokkari for eight years before stints as captain server at the Michelin-starred Village Pub in Woodside and manager at Mayfield Bakery & Cafe in Palo Alto.

Taverna will be a farm-to-table, "Hellenic-inspired" neighborhood restaurant open for lunch and dinner, the two said in an interview Thursday. There will be a "strong emphasis" on seasonality and vegetables, as well as seafood and wine (both local and international). They plan to make pasta and charcuterie items in house. Pashalidis said they hope to expose diners to lesser-known Hellenic dishes.

William Roberts will be Taverna's executive chef. He's worked at Michael Mina in San Francisco, The Village Pub, Mayfield and Dio Deka in Los Gatos.

The co-owners, both Palo Alto residents, said they want Taverna to be a place for people to take a break from what Pashalidis described as the "rat race of Palo Alto."

He said they're not trying to compete with their alma mater, Evvia, which anchors the other end of Emerson Street several blocks away.

"To be even categorized in that, one, is an honor, but I can't compete. It's like saying my uncle is my competition," he said. "It really is family."

They hope to open Taverna by this spring.

Comments

 +   3 people like this
Posted by Menlo Park Greeks, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Dec 29, 2017 at 10:58 am

Congratulations on this wonderful new adventure!! We look forward to dining with you when the restaurant opens :)


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Abitarian, a resident of Downtown North,
on Dec 29, 2017 at 6:03 pm

"The co-owners, both Palo Alto residents, said they want Taverna to be a place for people to take a break from what Pashalidis described as the 'rat race of Palo Alto.'"

I hope this means the cuisine will be priced more modestly than Evvia!


 +   5 people like this
Posted by parent, a resident of Downtown North,
on Dec 29, 2017 at 7:38 pm

Yes, we would be happy to see more healthy, family-friendly restaurants downtown


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Erika Papakipos, a resident of Portola Valley,
on Dec 30, 2017 at 2:34 am

Wow! This is such fantastic news! Congratulations, Thanassi on your new venture! Can't wait to try it!


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Dan Pitt, a resident of Downtown North,
on Dec 31, 2017 at 1:41 pm

I believe the address is 800 Emerson, not 880. That was La Morenita's address and makes sense at the beginning of the block.

La Morenita was so friendly. I hope the owners entered into a happy retirement.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by PA Mom, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jan 1, 2018 at 12:24 pm

How exciting!! We need another Greek restaurant in Palo Alto- I love, love, love Evvia, of course- but it would be great to have a taverna-type place as well. Congratulations to the new restauranteurs! Wishing you tremendous success.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by George, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jan 7, 2018 at 7:45 pm

These are two of the nicest, hardest working fellows in the Palo Alto restaurant scene for years. They deserve the full support of the community - good luck guys. Rooting for you - surely it will be great!



Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:

Follow this blogger (Receive an email when blogger makes a new post)

SUBMIT

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Orenchi Ramen expands to Redwood City
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 5,607 views

Sharing A Column About a Brilliant Teacher Idea
By Steve Levy | 6 comments | 1,624 views

Family Matters: Caring for the Dying, and Their Loved Ones
By Aldis Petriceks | 2 comments | 1,185 views

A fast approaching birthday
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 723 views

Henry and Fluffy, On Duty
By Stuart Soffer | 0 comments | 317 views