By Daniel Paris
Chef Yianni Psalios loves to make people happy with his Greek food. For over forty-five years, he has been stuffing grape leaves, rolling filo dough for baklava, skewering marinated lamb and chicken and pouring béchamel sauce into his moussaka and pastitsio. Olive oil, garlic, lemon, and oregano gather together to make Greek cuisine a jewel of the Mediterranean.
Start with a Greek salad of crisp cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives sprinkled with morsels of feta cheese. Try it with a chilled glass of Retsina, a unique Greek wine made with pine resin. Order lots of mezethes (appetizers) like the stuffed grape leaves and spinach and cheese pie made with flaky, buttery layers of file dough. Hummus, marinated olives, eggplant dip, santziki (a yogurt, lemon, garlic and cucumber sauce), and dip your pita bread into all of it. Follow up with a skewer of ouzo marinated prawns and crispy, lemony potatoes.
If you want to try multiple appetizers and entrees, opt for the Mezze platter (minimum of two people) and let Chef Yianni be your tour guide.
Two classic Greek dishes are offered daily. Moussaka, a layered tomato eggplant casserole, and Pastitsio, where pasta and ground beef are layered much like a lasagna and both are finished with a creamy, bubbling layer of nutmeg-scented béchamel sauce.
Fish and seafood are moist and draped with a citrusy garlic and olive oil sauce on a bed of rice pilaf and assorted fresh seasonal veggies.
Desserts include Baklava, Rougatsa (a cream tart), and yogurt and honey sprinkled with walnuts.
The décor is blue and white timeless Greek taverna. Finish your meal with a shot of ouzo with a shout of opa!
Yianni’s Greek Taverna & Market
67778 E. Palm Canyon Drive
Cathedral City, CA 92234
Open daily 11:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.