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Cyprus Taverna creates unique Greek specialties.
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work in giving thanks for the wonderful
success their adopted country of
America has given them through the
years ... in the final realization of their
dream-come-true to own a restaurant.
On a wall is a large plaque framing a
proclamation from the Detroit City
Council ... with two gold medals and
blue neck ribbons ...for their unselfish
One of the projects is the
Thanksgiving event held each year since
opening ... where they bring homeless
and hungry people to their restaurant by
bus ... The first year's number was close
After three years, the sponsoring of
Thanksgiving Day dinners for the
Neighborhood Service Organization, a
walk-in center for the needy and home-
less, has become an annual tradition at
Plus her other duties at their restau-
rant, Eleni is also responsible for the
making of those fine homemade desserts
it serves ... Baklava, rice pudding, creme
caramel and the delicious Cyprus
There was a time when a visit to
Greektown created a problem ... which
Greek restaurant to visit ... there were so
many good ones ... Many of those fine
eateries are gone, and in their stead,
among the few decent ones left, are
those with a sometime mediocrity ar
best ... Too bad ... Greektown has always
been a favorite place to go for so many.
Thankfully there are still some like the
Cyprus Taverna ... And thankfully the
dream of two immigrants to own a
restaurant, came true.
It took a lot of nonstop hard work,
perseverance and belief ... but because of
this, Vassos and Elena now have so
much to be proud of
many Greek restaurants is the
hen the old
excellent haloumi cheese from
Cyprus that is used in the
preparation of fried eggplant.
Other than being husband
Boulevard is restored and open
and wife, Vassos and Eleni
again as planned ... it will float
have worked together many
many memories for Vassos
years before realizing their
After coming here from
Both were servers 12 years at
Greece in 1958, with only $2
Pegasus in Greektown ... and
in his pocket, Vassos took a job
she was a waitress and he the
as busboy at the Book's Motor
Local Columnist manager at Bouzouki Lounge
in its heyday as a restaurant.
Those memories will linger
Vassos had also been a waiter at
forever ... but more on his mind then
Grecian Gardens and New Hellas.
were other things ... To go to England,
With them at Cyprus Taverna are
marry the girl he met there, return to
their two sons, George, 32, and Cristaki,
America ... and make enough money to
29, who rotate as day and evening man-
eventually bring her here ... and the two
agers for their mom and dad.
going into the restaurant business
I always did like a Greek restaurant
that grinds its own lamb meat and does
Today, Vassos and his wife, Eleni, are
its own butchering on the premises ...
the owners of Cyprus Taverna on
other than, of course, having the pres-
Monroe in Detroit's Greektown ... Back
ence of extreme cleanliness.
in 1992, they pooled their life savings
The favorite dishes of Jimmy are
and purchased the former Old
many ... but much-called-for are his red
Parthenon restaurant that had previously
snapper, blue bass, Plaid, chicken
been the Delphi ... and have turned it
Capama and Cornish hen with its spe-
into one of the finest authentic Greek
cial stuffing of chestnuts, pinenuts, leeks,
restaurants in Michigan.
raisins and eggplant.
That Cyprus Taverna has become a
And the sea bass at Cyprus Taverna is
leader in Greek dining can also be attrib-
considered among the best in
uted to the presence of one of
Greektown's top chefs ... and former co-
The pride that Vassos and Eleni hold
owner of New Hellas ... Demetrios
in their restaurant is enormous ... But
"Jimmy" Papatriantafyllou ... Last year,
not far behind is their philanthropic
Cyprus Taverna was voted the best in
Greektown by the Detroit Free Press.
It is the only place known that serves
the fine kleftikon, a very tender lamb
dish that is homemade and quite the
favorite in the villages of Greece ...
Jimmy brought the recipe back from his
home in Makrakomi, Greece ... and is
popularly credited for its consumption
at Cyprus Taverna.
Seating is for 90 downstairs and
another 90 upstairs to accommodate the
usual Friday and Saturday overflow ...
and private parties ... The seven-day
restaurant is open Monday-Thursday, 11
a.m.-2 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11
a.m.-4 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
Jimmy's stuffed salmon is a work of
art that nobody has ... stuffed with crab-
meat, shrimp, cheese, mushrooms, celery
hearts, onions and garlic.
Vassos Augoustic and Demetrios Jimmy" Papatrianta
Another thing you won't find at too