A new Greek restaurant is simmering along the Jersey Shore. Olive & Ivy Mediterranean Kitchen takes inspiration from Greece’s culinary heritage. Particularly, the method of cooking with olive oil is at the root of every dish. The eatery is run by husband and wife team, George and Diana Melassanos. It occupies the space that formerly housed Apella Greek Taverna and Cobblestone Diner at 78 NJ-35 in Eatontown.
“The space is decorated in a modern Mediterranean style with a comfortable, homey feel to it,” says George. With many years of experience owning and operating restaurants, it’s no surprise the owners are passionate about the food industry. Their previous ventures, all in Brick, include D.G. Basil’s Restaurant and Bar, Mel’s American Bar and Grill, and Mansion Plus. The Melassanos have also lived in Greece; so they know all about both the food and hospitality.
This Menu is Greek to Me
Olive & Ivy serves lunch and dinner. Signature dishes, for example, include spit-fired rotisserie free range chicken, domestic lamb, and local pork. They serve all three with oven-roasted potato wedges and wild greens. “We brine, season, and slow cook these,” says George.
In addition, their menu focuses on fresh imported fish, such as branzino and dorada. They char-grill these entrees whole with Greek-imported extra virgin olive oil, fresh oregano, and lemon olive oil sauce. Of course, other familiar menu items are lamb shank and grilled octopus.
Before leaving, don’t forget to try a homemade Greek dessert like baklava—a phyllo stacked with nuts and honey. Otherwise, you can order the chocolate ganache tart with a pecan crust and warm caramel sauce.
Lunch caters to the local and professional work force, George says. They offer a wide range of salads, as well as falafel, sandwiches, and chicken or beef skewers. Finally, specialty lunch dishes include Roasted golden beets, Ikarian stew, and Greek horiatiki. A children’s menu is also available.
Olive & Ivy is BYO, and they don’t charge a corking fee. Additionally, they can host private parties for lunch or dinner. Specifically, one private room with a gas fireplace holds up to 50 guests. Moreover, the kitchen can create a menu that caters to your preferences.