‘VIOLÍ’ introduced to Oakbrook Mall


Entryway into main dining room from patio dining area at VIOLÍ, open doors connecting patio to dining room on Jan. 15 (Davis/LION).

Lillian Davis, Reporter

I don’t often eat Greek food, so I was a little hesitant to try out VIOLÍ, a new Greek restaurant at the Oakbrook mall that recently opened this past November. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the great food, refreshing atmosphere, and amazing service provided at VIOLÍ. 

I think VIOLÍ did a remarkable job of recreating classic Greek dishes in new, innovative ways. The restaurant is designed to feel like you’re at a family or friends house. At the bottom of the menu it says “philoxenia” which means “friend of strangers” in Greek. 

The restaurant has an interesting layout with an outdoor dining patio that is enclosed during the winter as well as a main dining room with primarily booths. The dining room has plants incorporated all around, with flowers on the ceiling as well as potted plants that surround the modern furniture. 

The food isn’t served in typical main dishes, but rather large shareable dishes brought out separately throughout your meal. This was perfect for my four friends and me. Our waitress was very thorough and before anything, she asked if anyone at the table had any food allergies. As someone with food allergies, I was excited to not have to ask any questions for once. Our waitress went through the entire menu and told me what I could and couldn’t eat after talking to the chef. 

After discussing, the five of us decided to order six different dishes which were then brought out in three different courses. 

Our appetizer course consisted of the crispy zucchini which was served with tzatziki (a classic greek sauce) and the horiatiki salad. The salad consisted of tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, feta cheese, and fresh oregano. As a table, we loved the zucchini, they were the right amount of crispy with a perfectly salty seasoning. The salad worked well alongside the zucchini, with the taste of fresh vegetables tossed in a light vinaigrette. All together the appetizer course cost $32, with the zucchini costing $15 and the salad costing $17. I think the prices for both were justified.

Our second course only consisted of one item, a classic spanakopita dish. Spanakopita is a mini spinach pie that is made up of a crispy phyllo crust with a tangy feta cheese and spinach filling. This dish was also $17, same as the salad, which made sense. 

The third and final course consisted of two main dishes and one side dish. First was the “slow roasted lamb gyros” that were $45 which was pretty reasonable for the amount of food in this dish. The gyros were served in a make-your-own style. It was served with four pieces of pita bread and the lamb on the side, as well as tzatziki and other classic toppings. 

Our next main dish was the chicken thigh which was $27. This dish was served with ladolemono (lemon and olive oil sauce). I think this dish could’ve been a little cheaper than it was as it wasn’t as large as the gyros and only included one food item. 

Our final dish for the third course was a side of the cast iron roasted potatoes which were topped with lemon and oregano. All of the side dishes cost $13 which seemed reasonable for what we got. The potatoes were a little too heavily seasoned for my taste, but they were still very tasty. 

My favorite dish of the night had to be the make-your-own gyros, partly because it was delicious and partly because it was fun assembling my own gyro. I think this was a cool way to serve a classic greek dish to a large group as it gave everyone the ability to pick and choose their own toppings.

VIOLÍ is a little on the expensive side as our final meal cost came to $186, excluding the tip. However, I think that you’re paying for what you’re getting, and under $200 for five people is pretty reasonable. It is definitely a bit of a fancier restaurant and would be perfect for special occasions. 

5/5 paws.