May 27—HEBRON — For decades, Angie's Pizzeria Restaurant has been on Main Street, next to Ted's Food Center. And though there is no person named Angie there any longer, the goal of new owners, married couple Katerina Tzelou and Zois Panagiotou, is to bring authentic Greek food to the neighborhood.
Tzelou and Pamagiotou took over the establishment in December after moving from New York City, where they had been working in the restaurant business for years, Tzelou said.
"He was in a Greek restaurant over there," she said. "I was in a Greek coffee place. COVID happened. We stayed home for a little bit to think what is coming next."
A friend of theirs who runs a restaurant in Cheshire invited them to come to Connecticut to get back on their feet, Tzelou said.
"We went there for the summer," she said. "We wanted to start something for ourselves."
Angie's Pizzeria Restaurant
WHERE: 127 Main St, Hebron.
MENU: House speciality appetizer cheese balls and zucchini balls; pizza, grinders, Greek pasta dishes.
HOURS: Open 7 days 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Tuesdays, open until 10 p.m.
MISCELLANEOUS: 5 percent discount when ordering online.
CONTACT: 860-228-1018; angiespizzahebron.com
The idea, she said, was to have a creative, yet classic, Greek restaurant.
It was hard going at first, as the pandemic had indoor dining shut down at the time when business usually wanes in the post-holiday season, and they were basically unknown to the community.
"Now we have the dining room open," Tzelou said. "We did only take out (and) delivery. The owners hadn't been using the dining room. It was hard. It's a small town. People are friendly, but it was hard to be a part of the community. We moved here about a week before we took over. People trust us now. They love our food and our service.
"In Greece, the way we cook things are different than here," she said. "We are trying to bring that here."
She said that the difference is mostly the ingredients and trying to make the ingredients taste the way the way they do in Greece because the flavors that come from the soil are different than their source in the U.S.
Instead of having the menu stocked with large plates, Tzelou said, they have what she calls "meze,"' or small-plate appetizers, such as house-made zucchini balls that are traditionally Greek.
She also said they use homemade recipes, including their dressings.
They have mozzarella sticks, which is a perennial favorite at most restaurants, but make homemade cheeseballs from mozzarella, gouda, and cheddar.
"They're very easy to make and they're delicious," she said. "I eat a couple a day. I can't resist."
Other popular dishes include the cobb salad, with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, red onions, bacon, hard-boiled egg, grilled chicken, and gorgonzola cheese; and Angie's salad, with mixed greens, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes, avocado, and grilled chicken, topped with fresh mozzarella balls and shaved parmesan.
Tzelou's personal favorite is the chicken club grinder, made from a recipe from her previous employer in New York City. It has grilled chicken, bacon, and chipotle sauce, topped with avocado and melted mozzarella cheese.
The restaurant also offers pasta dinners for busy families that don't have time to make dinner at home, she said, including an authentic Greek pasta dish, and Santorini pasta, with mussels, shrimp, calamari, fresh diced tomatoes, and white wine in a red sauce.
As they get comfortable with the restaurant space, Tzelou said they are looking to do a little remodeling.
"The first thing we saw that we didn't like was when you come in you have the full kitchen. You can see through the back door," she said. "This is something you don't like when you're in the kitchen. When you're busy and running a Friday night and have people waiting and looking at you it's the worst thing ever. We're going to have a wall that will cover the kitchen and a new front desk. It's going to change the whole place."
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