Festive buzz, Part III: Acropolis - PHOTOS
blog by Thea Tio • January 13, 2014 @ 9:47am
“If you give anyone in this city an excuse to drink and celebrate a little bit, like a snow day, they’ll take advantage of it. At the end of the day we live in Buffalo, it’s difficult to just barricade yourself in the house,” said new Acropolis OPA executive chef Noel Morreale.
With the Greek restaurant nestled in the heart of the Elmwood Village, even a Polar Vortex didn’t keep customers away.
“This is a neighborhood restaurant, so the driving bans don’t really apply. It doesn’t matter if it’s a blizzard out there,” said owner Paul Tsouflidis.
True story for me, I walked a couple blocks to the Mediterranean bistro, and Morreale whipped up some winter drinks from Acropolis’ menu.
First up, the Girl Scout Hot Chocolate ($7) (pictured right) is an adult version of the cold-weather favorite. Hot cocoa is accentuated with peppermint schnapps and chocolate vodka.
This drink tastes just like a thin mint Girl Scout Cookie. What’s not to love?
The Mulled Wine ($8) (pictured left) has fortified wine made from port with notes of raisin and plum. Sweet but balanced with a kick of winter spice.
The wine is served cold and garnished with a cinnamon stick along with an orange slice, studded gladiator-style with whole cloves.
“Just like with care in food presentation, a cocktail should be no different,” Morreale said.
Last but not least, the Snow Day ($8) (pictured below, right) is Morreale’s chocolate-orange take on the Brandy Alexander.
A mixture of cocoa, cinnamon and nutmeg top it all off with a Papadapoulos cookie, an imported traditional chocolate cinnamon wafer, one of the most popular cookies in Greece.
That’s not the only item Acropolis gets directly from Greece. Sparkling water, Kalamata olives, pepperoncini, feta cheese, orzo, vanilla and oregano are among the list of products Tsouflidis hauls to his Buffalo restaurant from afar.
“I’m totally proud to be Greek,” Tsouflidis said. “I make sure there’s a lot of Greek influence not just in the food menu, but with beverage program as well.”
Open for 31 years, he took Acropolis over from his parents in 2010 [see images from the restaurant’s 31st birthday party].
“We’re bringing in different regions of Greece,” Tsouflidis (@paulysouffle on Twitter) added. “Since 2010, it went from 20 percent to now 70 percent of our wine menu is Greek. I know my customers like it because I’m buying so much more,” said Tsouflidis.
Happy hour at Acropolis is from 3 to 7 p.m. every day and offers two-for-one drinks (which includes Elios White and Red Greek wines) and half-priced appetizers at the bar.
(Editor’s note: According to Tsouflidis, Morreale will handle executive chef duties for Newbury Street, the next project of the Acropolis owner.)