Demi’s Mediterranean Grill
by Charles McGuigan
Long-time restaurateurs Jimmy Tsamouras and his wife, Daniella, owners of Dot’s Back Inn, are planning to open a new restaurant just across MacArthur Avenue in the former home of Omega Grecian Restaurant. The new restaurant, slated to open by mid-December, will be called Demi’s (after the Tsamouras’s five-year-old daughter) Mediterranean Grill.
On Election Day morning, Jimmy was in the restaurant busily surveying both the kitchen and the front of the house, taking notes on a legal pad. Daniella plans to brighten up the dining area with a new more vibrant paint job. “As we go along we’ll make more changes,” Jimmy tells me.
Jimmy takes a call on his smartphone. He nods, smiles. Then he says this, “If you’re not moving, you’re standing still, and it’s always important to keep moving.”
“We want to make Demi’s, like Dot’s, a neighborhood restaurant, nothing generic,” says Jimmy when he gets off the phone. The new restaurant will feature Greek, Italian, some Spanish-influenced dishes, along with cuisine from Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries. “It will allow us to feature various specials using lamb, veal and even whole fish,” Jimmy says. “We’ll do classic Greek dishes like spanakopita and pastitsio, and Italian marsalas and piccatas.”
Entrees will be reasonably priced between twelve and twenty dollars, with specials between fourteen and twenty-eight dollars. They will also feature a host of mezzes and other Mediterranean-inspired food.
Jimmy was born into the restaurant business. His parents owned restaurants in Williamsburg and Yorktown, and Jimmy graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Hyde Park/Poughkeepsie in 1992.
A number of years back Dot’s Back Inn was featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. “That let the world know about us,” Jimmy told me a few years back. “Dot’s has become more of a Richmond name rather than just a Northside name.”
Which, I suspect, will happen when Demi’s Mediterranean Grill opens sometime this mid-December.