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    New Greek Restaurant Barbayani Taverna in Los Altos Is Worth the Drive

    A new Greek cuisine restaurant, Barbayani Taverna, just opened in Los Altos and already is receiving rave reviews, quickly earning the coveted five-star average on Yelp. A trip to Barbayani Taverna is well worth the drive, as a meal there is like a mini vacation given the beautifully designed space, expansive patio with live music, and delicious, authentic Greek dishes. Members of our San Francisco Bay Times team travel from time to time through Los Altos headed to other destinations further south, but the brakes in future will screech to a stop at this welcoming spot.

    The restaurant is the newest addition to restaurateur Dino Tekdemir’s three well-established sister restaurants, each with a strong emphasis on flavorful ethnic cuisine, cocktails, and wines: Naschmarkt Austrian restaurant in Campbell and Palo Alto, plus Anatolian Kitchen in Palo Alto. (David Landis, the “Gay Gourmet” at the Bay Times, has praised them.)

    Tekdemir said, “From the moment you arrive, we’ll transport you to Greece, with the smell of homemade baked bread from the open kitchen, blue and white decor reminiscent of a Greek island, and servers well versed in classic dishes and wine pairings. When dining at one of my restaurants, expect a warm and memorable experience.” 

    Tekdemir points out that Barbayani Taverna welcomes guests all day every day of the week, without closing between the lunch and dinner service. “Our extended daily service is uncommonly found in restaurants around Silicon Valley. We’re proud to have created 20 new jobs as well.” 

    Chef Allen Isik is a native of Istanbul where he helmed the kitchen at several popular restaurants. He brings extensive taverna experience, most recently at Nemea Greek Taverna in San Jose. His signature dishes are lamb chops, branzino, and octopus. As much as Chef Isik is at home in the kitchen, he loves to meet the people he cooks for; guests may find him in the dining room, talking about the recipes and dishes they’re enjoying. 

    The menu at Barbayani Taverna features all-time favorites and classics from this region of the world, like moussaka, souvlaki, and dolmathes and seaside staples: branzino, seabass, lobster spaghetti, seafood platter, tuna tartare, and scallops.

    What does Barbayani mean? In true Greek tradition, Barba is the friendly “uncle,” a kindly person who prepares and serves your fun-loving group of friends or family—all the delicious flavors, appetizers, Greek liquors, and cocktails—your Barba does it all with great style and flair! 

    On Main Street in Los Altos, Barbayani has an indoor space to accommodate 65 diners, seating for 60 on the patio with its own bar, and a private room for up to 25 guests. The restaurant occupies the former site of Flora.

    Back in the day, it seemed like the only quality Greek food in the Bay Area was sold at the local festivals, and particularly the giant Greek Festival in Oakland that takes place in early spring. Kokkari Estiatorio in San Francisco helped to change that, along with some well-run casual gyros places, and now Barbayani Taverna further strengthens the availability of excellent Greek cuisine in all corners of the Bay Area.

    Published on October 19, 2023