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“Like getting off the plane in Athens”: New Greek restaurant offers traditional gourmet dishes to take away

“Like getting off the plane in Athens”: New Greek restaurant offers traditional gourmet dishes to take away

Bacchus recently opened at 43 Water St. N in Cambridge

A new restaurant wants to revitalize downtown Galt with Mediterranean flair.

Bacchus, 43 Water St. N, recently opened and owner Victor Teixeira is starting to settle in.

“We are currently in phase one of our plan to introduce our traditional menu. We are still training our staff and making sure everything is perfect,” said Teixeira.

When it’s ready, they hope the zesty aroma of Greek spices and chicken souvlaki will make guests feel like they’ve just walked into a small waterfront restaurant on Santorini.

After working in many restaurants and kitchens in his younger years, Teixeira wanted to open his own place where he would have full control over everything, from the menu to the creativity.

“That’s one of the reasons why we decided to build the company from scratch, because as a franchise company you have to comply with the wishes of the group. There is no room for maneuver,” he added.

This freedom for Teixeira to create and assemble a menu that suits his tastes gives him flexibility when he wants to add something new to the menu or experiment with different flavors, something that wouldn’t normally be possible in a franchise.

Bacchus has hired a local Greek chef who has been in the business since he was a child.

Steve Sarderis grew up in his family’s Greek kitchen in Toronto and now wants to bring his experience and authenticity to the new restaurant in Cambridge.

Sarderis, whose parents immigrated from Greece in the 1950s, began cooking and serving Toronto’s Greek community almost immediately after their arrival.

“At home, my family knew this, it was all about food,” he said. “I cooked, washed dishes, cleared tables, and so on.”

Having spent the last 40 years in the food industry, the Cambridge chef is ready to step up as a figurehead behind the counter and in front of the grill, preparing traditional dishes for the community.

Sarderis and Teixeira both point out the lack of authentic Greek restaurants in Cambridge, pointing out that while you can get cobbled-together food at the mall, it is usually a “watered-down” version of Greek cuisine.

“There’s nothing wrong with this type of food, it’s just not what we want to offer our customers. We want to offer gourmet food to go,” Teixeira said.

The kitchen at Bacchus is located in the center of the restaurant to draw diners in and allow them to watch their food being prepared. The focus is on takeout as the landscape of restaurant-going has changed in recent years.

“People don’t come to restaurants to eat as often as they used to, that’s just a fact,” Sarderis said. “Today, parents have to pick up their kids from school, get home from work, and everything has gotten more expensive. So we want to make it easier for people to bring good food home.”

All dishes on the menu are authentic Greek and include classics such as a classic gyros, bifteki, a classic Greek beef patty and Greek lasagna or moussaka.

“This is the best thing you can ever eat in your own home. It’s like getting off the plane in Athens,” said Sarderis. “I think Cambridge deserves a place where you can just walk in and order great food that’s made with passion.”

Teixeira has big plans for Bacchus: he hopes to open more restaurants once they have made a name for themselves and shown the Cambridge and Waterloo region how amazing their food is.

“I hope the word gets around and we can open more restaurants. We have the taste, the style and now we just need to keep our mouths shut and let our food speak for itself,” he said.