A Greek-American family friend of mine often jokes that there’s one big underground kitchen in Greektown, with conveyor belts connected to every restaurant in the touristy ’hood. The homogeneity of the dishes and the monotonous “Opa!” soundtrack that accompanies chewy flamed cheese don’t much beckon food lovers. That might explain why diners are piling into Mythos, an attractive ocean-blue oasis in North Center.
The personality half of the sister duo behind Mythos is Toni Di Meola, who’s more charming than Obama on a good day. And it’s not an act; there’s something uniquely genuine behind the recommendations of her sister Vicky Zervas’s specialties. She has reason to be proud: Garlicky, creamy skordalia gives punch when spread on cheesy fried zucchini patties, a.k.a. keftedes; grilled octopus proves tender at center and charred at the edges; spinach and feta–stuffed spanakopita is deliciously flaky and fresh; and loukaniko (sausage made off-site but to the sisters’ specifications) is the best I’ve had locally, char-grilled and juicy, with bright notes of orange zest.
But after that kind of a shining start, entrées can be a tad lackluster. Recently, lamb chops were medium-well and, hence, pretty chewy, while red snapper’s fresh, lemon-kissed flavor was dragged down by the blah pile of peas alongside. Still, it was tough not to enjoy even the simplest of Greek comfort foods—the baked bechamel-topped, shepherd’s pie–ish pastitsio (pictured)—with Di Meola circling the dining room like a doting but cool aunt, and not a flaming cheese in sight.