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Watch: Chef's memories of his native Greece fuel new Vancouver restaurant

The menu includes familiar Greek dishes and a few that diners may not have encountered before.

It's been a long journey from Athens to Vancouver for Chef Manos Grammatikogiannis, who moved with his family to Canada several years ago to lead the kitchen at the Michelin Guide-recommended Nammos Estiatorio. 

After helping the Nammos team launch a sibling venture, Commercial Drive's wildly popular Loula's Taverna, Grammatikogiannis - who goes by Chef Manos for short - has now moved on to his own venture, a South Vancouver restaurant inspired by the rich culinary heritage of his native Greece.

Called Mnimes, which means "memories," the restaurant has moved into the former Weirdo Cafe space in a strip mall at 6459 Victoria Dr. 

Opening to the public officially on June 1, Mnimes is a celebration of Greek food, with an ample menu of traditional fare with modern flourishes by Chef Manos.

The 1,900-square-foot restaurant seats 60 and has a modern, refreshed interior. 

What's on the menu at Mnimes Restaurant & Bar

Chef Manos' menu features an impressive range of dishes, designed for sharing, which includes familiar dishes and a few that diners may not have encountered before. 

Crowd pleasers, like an assortment of dips such as tirokafteri (spicy feta) and melitzanosala (egglplant), with plain or deep-fried pita bread, lead the menu and prove a great start to a Greek feast.

You'll, of course, find appetizers like saganaki and spanikopita but if you veer off the path of the usual your tastebuds might lead you to something like kolokithakia tiganita, which is paper-thin zucchini slices deep fried and paired with thick, tangy tzatziki for dipping, or Chef Manos' prawns in an ouzo and cream sauce with fennel.

Meat and seafood feature prominently in the mains, a mix-and-match section you'll want to pair with sides like tender, lemony Greek potatoes. There are big hand-made beef meatballs, juicy grilled chicken thighs, or skewered calamari with chili and an herby olive oil. 

For something different, check out Mnimes' hilopites moshari, a traditional dish that pairs egg noodles with shredded beef brisket, which Chef Manos serves sprinkled in mizithra cheese with the subtle brightening touch of orange zest.

Minimes will open with dinner service only, from 4 to 10 p.m. nightly, though plans are in the works to add lunch, featuring wraps, sandwiches, and a house burger. 

Video: A taste of new South Vancouver Greek restaurant Mnimes

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