DineAmic Hospitality is expanding its culinary portfolio with its second Greek concept, VIOLÍ (Veeoh-LEE), which opened Monday, November 21. Located at 260 Oakbrook Center, in the former Mon Ami Gabi space, VIOLÍ is a tavern-style restaurant inspired by its sister restaurant LÝRA. A Mykonian escape in the suburbs of Chicago, VIOLÍ will include a 6,300-square-foot interior and an expansive 2,000-square-foot outdoor all-season pergola terrace. Reservations are now available.
“Since opening LÝRA, we have been overwhelmed by the support of the Greek community in Chicago and beyond,” says DineAmics co-founder Luke Stoioff. “The journey we took when we opened LÝRA gave us such an insight into Greek cuisine and culture. The opening of Violí at Oakbrook Center is an exciting next step as we further expand our Greek dining portfolio.”
The differences between LÝRA and VIOLÍ are subtle but purposeful. Where LÝRA is one stationary, VIOLÍ is inspired by a traditional Greek tavern—relaxed and welcoming with shareable plates and a friendly atmosphere. Like its older sister, VIOLÍ’s name is inspired by the violin, which is often played by performers on the streets of the Greek islands. A nod to the DineAmic partners’ trips to Greece over the years, this piece of nostalgia helped frame the concept in a meaningful way. From the decor to the menu, while sharing sisterly similarities with LÝRA, VIOLÍ will open and bring a fresh and inviting new Greek concept to Oakbrook Center.
The curves of the violin inspire some of the custom-made art installations in the interior at VIOLÍ, which are led by a warm and inviting light color palette. Sculptural woodworking, reminiscent of the instrument’s curves, strings and bow, is a focal point. A rectangular main bar adjacent to an elevated main dining room anchors the space, with a smaller room available for additional seating or private dining. The outdoor space is most unique: A 2,000-square-foot, all-season outdoor pergola terrace features retractable sash windows, infrared heat lamps, and olive trees in an outdoor garden that blooms year-round.
VIOLÍ expands LÝRA’s range of dishes with the addition of thoughtful taverna-style preparations. Favorites like Grilled Octopus with Cipollini Onions, Fresno Chili and Kalamata Olive Relish, Cast Iron Moussaka with Beef Ragu, Grilled Egg Pants and Bechamel and Slow-Roasted Lamb Gyro with 60-second Pita, all the fixings will look familiar to fans of LÝRA. Roasted aubergine with walnut Skodalia and charred feta, herb-crusted sea bass with tomato bisque, wild vegetables and Gremolata breadcrumbs and chicken leg Kokkinisto with tomato, green olives, capers and cinnamon, all dishes are created especially with the relaxed taverna experience in mind.
The menu celebrates cooking from scratch and focuses on fresh seafood, sustainable proteins and local produce to round off its dynamic selection of dishes, many of which are roasted or braised in true tavern style in Violí’s hearth. At the head of the kitchen is the chef’s partner Athinagoras Kostakos, winner of Greece’s “Top Chef”, who also heads the kitchen at LÝRA.
“While VIOLÍ will of course serve classics like lamb chops, grilled squid and whole fish, the restaurant will place less emphasis on grilled items and instead focus more on the fried, baked and braised items traditionally found in tavernas across Greece,” says DineAmics co-founder David Rekhson.
The menu will include a range of fresh pastas as a nod to Greece’s Venetian influence. VIOLÍ will also showcase a range of well-curated mezze, to be enjoyed with one of the restaurant’s many Greek wine selections or Mykonian-inspired craft cocktails. A full menu will be available online.
VIOLÍ will be open for dinner seven days a week, with weekday lunch and weekend brunch coming soon in December.