3 New Restaurants At The Shore Worth Trying

Good news, foodies – the Shore’s culinary scene is growing again.

These new restaurants – two are open, the third will do so next month – are owned by longtime Shore chefs you may know from some of your favorite restaurants. One offers a new take on Italian cuisine in Freehold, one will bring traditional Greek gyros to Shrewsbury, and another has a seasoned Shore chef branching out on his own.

George Lyristis of Tinton Falls has been in the kitchen for much of his life.

The 46-year-old chef has owned The Bistro at Red Bank for 20 years and Teak in the borough since 2011, and he owned Zoe Bistro in Little Silver from 2008 until earlier this year.

Now he is bringing to life an idea he has been working on for a long time, one that celebrates his Greek heritage and honors one of the country’s most beloved foods. “We’re a true Greek gyro place,” Lyristis said of Greek Eats Authentic Rotisserie, which he will open this fall in Shrewsbury with his brothers, Charlie and Taso. “We really want to take this Greek street food and Americanize it a little bit. It’s my interpretation of what I want gyros to be.”

Greek Eats is a fast-casual restaurant, similar in style to Chipotle, Lyristis said. “You walk up, you order your gyro on a pita, a plate or a salad. It’s an individual, make-it-yours type of thing.”

Diners will choose their own fillings or order a signature dish made with bifteki, a traditional preparation of ground beef and lamb with herbs; rotisserie chicken, pork, beef or lamb; spicy feta; griddled Halloumi cheese, or hummus made with fava beans, garlic and herbs. Then they will select a sauce from a list that includes, among others, tzaziki, Sriracha tzaziki, harissa yogurt, which is made with chilies and tomato; avocado tzaziki, and Greek chimichurri, a blend of fresh herbs and olive oil.

Don’t expect to see the big cones of gyro meat that are used elsewhere; instead, the meat at Greek Eats will be spit fire roasted, a technique Lyristis said is less fatty and “will taste 1,000 times better.”

And don’t forget the french fries. “When I go to Greece, almost every place throws french fries into the pitas,” Lyristis said. “If you go to northern Greece, gyros are made differently and then in the Middle East as well. There’s all different kinds.”

His menu also includes side dishes of potato salad with a sauce of lemon, olive oil, oregano and garlic; organic faro salad with parsley and mint; and fries topped with fresh herbs and grated Greek cheese. Then there are the Sanmuches, “a made-up word that me and my brothers grew up on,” he said. “When we were little, we thought that’s how you said sandwich in Greek. We still use that word.”

“There’s no better way than expressing yourself with food than with family traditions, your little quirks like that,” Lyristis said, adding that one of the Sanmuches, Yioti’s Way, is named for his father and is a gyro made “the traditional way of eating it in Greece, with the tomatoes, the onions, the parsley and the tzaziki.”

Prices range from $6.65 to $9.35 for gyros, $6.65 to $7.25 for Sanmuches and $2.34 to $4.68 for side dishes.

Read this article in its entirety here.