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November 05, 2006 - Image 95

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2006-11-05

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Arts & Entertainment


Greek And Unique!

Laikon Cafe's creative delicacies don't "parrot" other Monroe Street spots.


f you thought that some
of the chefs in Detroit's
Greektown also own the res-
taurant in which they work, you
might have been right years ago.
But contrary to much belief,
chefs who are also the restaurant's
boss have become rarities among
Greektown dining spots.
In fact, today there is just one
... Kostas Mantzios, executive
chef and boss guy at Laikon Cafe
on Monroe, which he has owned
since taking over in 1971.
Many folks will remember
Laikon as the Greektown restau-
rant where Polly, the live parrot,
was a fixture in the window and
whose picture still graces its
menu cover . :. Polly came with
the restaurant, which has been
on Monroe since 1927, and there
is even a dish named after the
late famous Laikon parrot, Polly
Plate, a medley of Greek feta and
kasseri cheeses, Greek olives,
roasted hot peppers, tomatoes
and cucumbers.
Kostas is also remembered as
the former chef at Carson's Chop
House on Woodward and Grecian
Gardens on Monroe before
becoming owner of his own place
... Prior to coming to America,
he had headed kitchens at the
Brittania Hotel in Athens and
Restaurant Cecile, also in Athens.
Being a chef over 50 years
is good reason why a number
of Kostas' Greek dishes are not

Kosta Karabetsos,
seen anywhere else ...
As examples, the popular
are Laikon's capable
managers, taking care
Laikon favorite of lamb
of the front while
fricassee roasted together
he weaves his Greek
with a superb lemon
sauce, and the lamb with
magic in the kitchen.
Seating is 170
artichokes in lemon sauce
... His Laikon is credited
on two levels ...
Downstairs 106, and
as being the first to have
upstairs 64 ... It
cold appetizers like the
Danny Raskin
melitzanosalata spread
Senior Columnist is open Monday,
Wednesday and
of mashed eggplant
Thursday, 11-11; Friday and
with chopped garlic and onion,
Saturday, 11-2.
olive oil and lemon, plus the tara-
ma blend of red caviar, mashed
As a high-ranking chef for so
many years, Kostas Mantzios is
potato and Greek spices.
identified with and serves quality
It is one of the Greektown res-
food ... At Laikon Cafe, his note is
taurants that make a Greek salad
also in knowing how to prepare it.
as is popular in Greece ... We
know it in America as a Village
tableside preparation from cart to
salad, with tomatoes, cucumbers,
plate to table at affordable prices,
green peppers, onions and olives
puts Commerce Grille, Union
... If folks want the Greek salad
Lake Road between Commerce
they readily recognize, with beets
Road and Willow in the Uptown
and lettuce, it is available too ...
Plaza, Commerce Township, into
Both have imported feta cheese
and are specialties at Laikon.
another dimension of destina-
tion gourmet dining ... Added
Laikon is a Greektown favorite
is a separate menu that includes
of countless personages who
flamed shrimp scampi, flambe'd
come back for Kostas' prominent
dishes like his braised lamb, slow- chateaubriand, flaming steak
Diane, deboned sauteed Dover
cooked and presented firm and
Sole, flamed bananas Foster and
tender with a superior taste, and
Caesar salad ... General Manager
a sliced roasted leg of lamb with
Marin Oala, whose tableside
a seldom-tasted deliciousness ...
talents were high attributes at
Also the splendid sea bass (tsi-
Lelli's on Woodward, Joe Muer's in
poura), when available, prepared
Detroit, and Indianwood Country
in olive oil that burns off the skin
Club, Lake Orion, has trained the
and makes it so very tender.
Commerce Grille wait staff in his
Kostas' son, Christo, and

ways ... It brings another huge
asset to owner Diane Walsh's fine
casual upscale-type dining empo-
wich is just a dollar now through
November, at Giorgio's Gourmet
Diner, Orchard Lake Road, West
Bloomfield ... Add another 50
cents for a Coney with chili on the
kosher hottie.
MILE HIGH IS what Stage
Deli in West Bloomfield is calling
the corned beef sandwich being
featured for National Sandwich
Day, Friday, Nov. 3 ... Won't be
that high, but for sure will have a
full pound of corned beef (regular
sandwich has between five and six
ounces) and will sell for $12.99
... Date was birth of Earl of
Sandwich, who ate meat between
bread so he could have one hand
free to play cards.
NIGHT again ... with Variety
— the Children's Charity unable
to show the evening's "mystery"
movie ... And again the over
400 attendees at Variety's recent
Lights, Camera, Auction, at Novi's
Emagine Theatre, lucked out.
In its first year, 1989, the previ-
ously booked In Country with
Bruce Willis, was taken off the
preview list because it would
be shown at theaters before the
Variety event ... In Country
didn't go too far, and instead,
Look Who's Talking was shown

and went on to become a huge
This year, a reel of The Haven
never made it in time from
Cleveland, and folks were given
their choice of The Illusionist,
The Departed and Man of the
Hour, all fine movies currently
being shown and on top-grosser
The samplings of food were
from almost 30 restaurants and
handlers, not by only 16 when
she came to head the group in
1992, recalled Variety execu-
tive director Jennie Cascio as
she munched away on a hot
dog with her name in mustard
lettering from Franks Anatra
The many who work on this
fine shindig certainly deserve
the recognition they get for their
toils in making it an annual suc-
cess ... But the handicapped and
underprivileged kids helped by
Variety — the Children's Charity,
say thank you best with their
smiles of tearful happiness.
CONGRATS ... To Sandra
Cameron on her birthday ... To
Julie and Ernie Backalar on their
10th anniversary ... To Sarah
Schultz on her 24th birthday
... To Sharon Schultz on her

Danny's e-mail address is


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November 2 • 2006


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