The Inside Scoop on Melina: Pike & Rose’s Newest Restaurant

3/4 Update: Exterior is coming along


The Inside Scoop on Melina: Pike & Rose’s Newest Restaurant

We interviewed Chef Dimitri Moshovitis about Melina, a new Greek restaurant opening in Pike & Rose this April or May. Chef D, as he’s affectionately called, is one of the founders along with Ted Xenohristos and Ike Grigoropoulos–the same team responsible for Cava, Cava Mezze, and Julii. 

According to Chef D, the inspiration behind Melina is the desire to share traditional Greek recipes and techniques, but with a creative spin.  Moshovitis also explained that after years in the restaurant industry, he has seen how Greek cooking has evolved and he wanted a new opportunity to showcase modern Greek cuisine. The time to start a new venture felt right when he met Chef Aris Tsekouras, owner of Microwheat Bakery.  Dimitri felt inspired by Aris’ ideas and thought that they could create wonderful things together. 

Melina is named after Moshovitis’ daughter, but the restaurant symbolically represents and celebrates all the women in a family– moms, grandmas, sisters, daughters.  The name Melina carries another meaning for people who understand Greek– meli means honey, which is the reason why their logo has a bee in the design. 

Chef D shared examples of the thought and care that goes into all of the dishes. The team spends a lot of time on R&D taking the Greek flavors that they grew up with and “flipping them on their head”, all the while still maintaining the integrity of the original dish. For example, they took a traditional Bougatsa (dessert with phyllo and custard) and flipped it by flavoring the custard with tonka bean and adding hot greek coffee, chocolate caramel, and cinnamon ice cream to the dish. Moshovitis is also particularly proud of and excited about Melina’s bread program. All bread and pastries will be baked in-house, thanks to Chef Aris’ expertise and experience. 

Photo of Melina’s Bougatsa

In addition to the food, Moshovitis is excited about the design of the restaurant. It will be soft, feminine, strong, and colorful. The dishes that they’re serving will echo that same femininity, strength, and vibrancy. The kitchen will be open and visible to diners, which will allow patrons to feel the intimacy of being in someone’s home while they’re cooking for you. 

The team decided on Pike & Rose because “that neighborhood is awesome.”  The team has had a great experience with Julii in that area, and they love how the Pike & Rose community embraces interesting and unique concepts. 

Chef D and the rest of the team cannot wait to share what they’ve been working on when they open and they want everyone to know that “everything we’ve done has really come straight from the heart.” 

Featured photos courtesy of Melina’s instagram.  Pictured:  Greek cheese pie, house made laffa, feta, graviera, chili pepper infused smoked raw honey (top left). Prawn “saganaki” ceviche, spicy tomato leche de Tigre, feta, nori, ouzo (top right). Maitake portobello ‘souvlaki’ with smoked graviera cream, hazelnut praline, cured egg yolk, truffle balsamic (bottom left). “Pastitsio” braised beef cheeks, homemade pasta, brown butter béchamel, graviera (bottom right).

By: Michelle Katz @pike.and.rozay

 

Photos below courtesy of @MelinaGreek on Instagram.

About the Author

Michelle Katz
Michelle Katz has lived in MoCo for most of her life– she was born and raised in the Gaithersburg area and now lives in Rockville. ⁣ ⁣ She is currently a high school art teacher in MCPS. In addition to teaching and working at the MoCoShow, Michelle also runs a local instagram account, @pike.and.rozay, where she features food photography from restaurants in Pike & Rose and the surrounding area. ⁣ ⁣ She is passionate about supporting local businesses and enjoys the opportunity to help keep everyone in the MoCo community informed.

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