KOVO Modern Mediterranean to open in northeast Phoenix

Long time restaurateur Yianni Ioannou opens his new restaurant KOVO Modern Mediterranean in mid-September on the northeast corner of Shea & Tatum. Growing up in Cyprus he came to the United States and operated Greek restaurants learning all aspects of the restaurant industry.

According to Ioannou, “We are excited to bring to the Valley the simple, delicious flavors and bright spices of the Mediterranean. This area of the globe is a melting pot of cultures and culinary influences. This diversity of cuisine will be showcased at KOVO in a modern, approachable way.”

Traditional dishes at KOVO Modern Mediterranean

KOVO Modern Mediterranean will highlight traditional dishes from family recipes, Yianni’s travels throughout the region and his time in the Greek restaurants. A wood fired oven will cook pizzas and other specialties including lamb, beef and organic chicken. KOVO is Greek for “to carve” and the meats will be cooked vertically in a rotisserie style in the open kitchen.

Shared plates such as hummus, tzatziki, grilled eggplant, grilled octopus and Hallumi will be served along with cheese boards and bruschetta. Savory and sweet pastries including Spanokapita and Baklava will also be served and available for take-out.

Signature cocktails, craft beers and old and new world wines will be served.

The 4,000 square foot restaurant will have an open feel and modern design. Mediterranean tiles and ocean blue accents will highlight design features. The dining room, bar and patio has room for more than 140 guests.

Kovo Modern Mediterranean will be open 7 days a week with lunch and dinner Monday – Friday and brunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday. The restaurant is at 10625 N. Tatum Boulevard, Phoenix, Ariz., 85028. For updates and information check out http://www.kovomedi.com/

 

J’s Kaiyo Sushi and Bar brings together a culinary dream team

Housed in a former Arby’s restaurant just east of downtown Scottsdale J’s Kaiyo Sushi and Bar opened without fanfare as most restaurants do nowadays especially when you consider who’s creating the menu and making sure it’s executed the way it should be.

J’s Kaiyo owner Peji Malihi brought in chef Jason McGrath and sushi chef Todd Register to serve not only sushi but sharable dishes with a Mediterranean and Eastern influenced dishes.  Think Moroccan spiced lamb and crab stuffed and fire charred avocado rolled in exotic Asian spices and seeds.

J's Kaiyo
chef Jason McGrath. Photos courtesy of Chanelle Sinclair

J’s Kaiyo Sushi

All three are committed to the freshest ingredients including seafood for the sushi bar. So much so that the sushi bar is closed on Sunday’s because they can’t get their daily delivery of fresh seafood. Chef Register knows his sushi too as he comes to J’s Kaiyo from Roka Akor and RA Sushi and plans to use all fresh fish daily to maximize freshness and flavor.

“The focus is always on keeping the dishes fresh, clean, and simple,” McGrath says. “The only thing you’ll find in our freezers is our mochi ice cream.” As Malihi likes to say, “the roll speaks for itself,” there is no need for heavy sauces, creams, or batters to give their sushi mouthwatering flavor. “It’s all about sharing creative, quality food with the community,” McGrath says.

Family friendly and Izakaya

J’s Kaiyo is a family friendly restaurant named after Malihi’s son and McGraths nephew Jayden that includes a kid’s menu. McGrath practically grew up in the kitchen as his father Robert is an award-winning chef known for his work at The Roaring Fork and other local establishments and food festivals.

Adults will love the Japanese sake menu at J’s Kaiyo along with a full complement of craft cocktails, wines and beers. Communal drinking and sharing of sake known as “Izakaya” in Japan is encouraged as sake has a unique flavor profiles.

J’s Kaiyo Sushi and Bar is open Monday Friday for lunch & dinner starting at 11:30 a.m. and Saturday’s for dinner.

The restaurant is at 4412 N. Miller Rd.Scottsdale 85251 480-427-2526. For more info visit their website.

 

Pita Jungle introduces new Fall menu

Locally owned Pita Jungle is on a mission to have its guests eat healthy and in doing so offers its Seasonal Kitchen Crafts Menu and has introduced the Fall menu recently which will be available until the Winter menu rolls out in January.

Pita Jungle Fall Menu

All of Pita Jungle’s menus are influenced from around the globe with a strong emphasis from the Mediterranean region. As part of its healthy and sustainable philosophy the menus always  include vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free  options.

The Fall menu consists of 8 new dishes with their roots coming from the  Levantine cuisine of the eastern Mediterranean. The new Fall menu dishes are……

Avocado Balila                                                                                                                        Garbanzo beans, garlic infused EVOO and cumin,  avocado, tomato, cucumber, jalapeno, green onion, red onion, fresh herbs, sumac, chili powder, blue corn chips

Flat Italian Green Bean Stew                                                                                        Local Arizona grass-fed beef, romano green beans, calrose white rice, onion, Greek yogurt

Pita Jungle

Baked Kibbeh (Lebanese Meatloaf)                                                                  All-natural ground turkey, russet potato, onion, basil, quinoa, walnut, golden raisin, beet & greens salad, red onion, tahini-beet dressing

Levantine Beluga Lentil Risotto and Kohlrabi (Mujaddara)                      Beluga lentils, organic brown rice, chopped kohlrabi root, cucumber, tomato, green onion, red onion, jalapeno, fresh mint, sumac, organic apple cider vinaigrette (mother included)

Streets of Beirut Chicken Pita                                                                      Grilled all-natural chicken breast, toum (unadulterated Lebanese aioli), parsley-red onion aleppo salad, side Greek salad, gluten-free flatbread. Also available with tofu or falafel.

Avocado Beef Asada Shawarma Lavash Pizza                                                   Local Arizona grass-fed beef, avocado, wood-fired tomato, bean mash, cheddar, mozzarella, lettuce, green onion, cilantro-avocado crema, cumin yogurt sauce, red chili hot sauce, herbs, green onion, lavash bread (gluten-free pizza crust available +2.49)

Turkey Kafta Burger

Gluten-Free Chocolate Pavé with Vanilla Ice-Cream

Pita Jungle has 19 locations in Arizona and 1 in California. To find a location near you check their website.