Photo: Kevin Hunter Marple

Neighborhood Find: Stratos

Jolly old Greek Nick Rizos has been around the block. You may remember his Olympic Pizza or the tawdry Caligula, which burned down a few years ago. These days you can find the boisterous 30-year restaurant and club veteran at Stratos, his “global Greek taverna” on Northwest Highway near Bachman Lake. The entrance is grand, with its bold purple and yellow façade and spacious, ambient patio stocked with real (read: not plastic) tables and chairs. The interior is surprisingly chic for the neighborhood, with a sleek bar stocked with TVs, semiprivate booths, and a dance floor big enough for ballroom dancing or salsa lessons, which you can get Tuesday and Saturday nights, respectively.

The menu is a hodgepodge of American bar food and Mediterranean fare—primarily Greek. When we visited, sushi was also on the bill, but Rizos has since scrapped it, which is probably for the best, because the one roll we tried was disappointing. Though we can’t speak for the buffalo wings, we can declare the Greek food some of the best in Dallas. Saganaki doused in brandy arrived salty and savory; pastitsio passed our test with its moist, tubular pasta, creamy béchamel, spiced beef, and hint of cinnamon.

The meat lover’s gyro plate sated us for days with its enormous pile of seasoned lamb, served on a buttery pita with fat slices of tomato and red onion. My only minor complaint was with the tzatziki, which needed a punch of dill and garlic. But our quibble was silenced when a square of galaktoboureko  arrived, fat with milky custard between layers of phyllo, sending us straight back to the Aegean Sea. 2907 W. Northwest Hwy. 214-352-3321. $-$$. G —J.C.

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