The concept may seem weird at first: coffee house by day (one that used to dish out legal advice, no less), cozy neighborhood bistro by night. But it’s genius, really, if you think about it. Legal Grounds owner Cory Murphy first leased her place at night to Jonathan Calabrese and Joe Hickey, who called the place Savory. These days her partners are Jack Rohde and Pete Zotos, who owns St. Pete’s Dancing Marlin in Deep Ellum, and, come 5:30, the tablecloths come out and the space is subtly transformed into Papou’s (which means “grandfather” in Greek). The recipes come from Zotos’ mom Connie, who taught the staff herself. And she did a heck of a job. Pastitsio, Greek-style lasagna with lamb, was hearty and rich, with a creamy and moist béchamel. Lamb souvlaki, easily over-grilled, arrived juicy and well-seasoned.

Keftedes, appetizer-size meatballs, dusted in flour and lightly fried, subtly scented with cinnamon, were so tasty we devoured two orders. We happily dunked our dolmas, beef-and-rice-stuffed grape leaves, into a cup of mild and lemony avgolemono soup. The only astonishing disappointment was the spanakopita, rolled up like a log, with spinach filling as dry as the offending phyllo crust. Our cute-as-pie server insisted we try the baklava, even though I warned him we were tough critics—as all Greeks are!—and that I believed mine to be the best on the planet. But if ever I’m in a time crunch, I’ll head straight to Papou’s for this nutty, buttery, and crispy version. Efharisto, Yiayia Zotos.

Get contact information for Papou’s.