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The exterior of a restaurant’s patio.
Violi is open in the suburbs.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

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Lyra, a Downtown Greek Hit, Spawns a Suburban Sibling

Violí, a more casual take on the cuisine of Mykonos, is open in Oak Brook

DineAmic Hospitality, the group behind Bar Siena and Prime & Provisions, has unveiled a new restaurant at Oakbrook Center that it hopes taps into the same energy as its Greek hit Lyra in Fulton Market.

Violí is a tribute to the festive culture and cuisine of Mykonos in the Chicago suburbs. An airy and spacious sister spot to Lyra, Violí opened Monday with a menu from chef and partner Athinagoras Kostakos, a winner of Greece’s edition of Top Chef.

DineAmic partners Lucas Stoioff and David Rekhson significantly emphasized the Greek concept of philoxenia, or hospitality (translated as “friend to the stranger”) when they unveiled Lyra. They plan to expand upon that ethos at Violí — albeit in a slightly more rustic style with shared plates that aren’t on the Chicago menu such as huge skewers of chicken thigh, beef tenderloin, and pork shoulder souvlaki.

“This is our home,” Stoioff says. “Anybody who comes inside is a guest in our home the same way as if it was a dinner party. We train our staff on that — it’s about warmth in terms of personality, how people are greeted and how they’re served.”

A long, narrow black plate holds a row of ball-shaped croquettes.
Cheese croquettes (balsamic-fig chutney).
A round white bowl holds a light tomato sauce and a pile of braised greens mixed with feta.
Chilled horta (braised greens, crushed tomato, feta).
A long skewer of grilled chicken on an oval-shaped white plate. A small cucumber salad and grilled lemon sit beside it.
Chicken thigh souvlaki (ladolemono, tzatziki).
An oval-shaped white plate holds a cooked short rib and pile of pasta.
Short rib tagliatelle (graviera, black truffle, bechamel).
A round black plate holds slices of cake topped with mousse, slices of citrus, and a scoop of orange sorbet.
Portokalopita (orange syrup cake, white chocolate mousse, citrus sorbet, crispy filo).

It doesn’t hurt that the notion of philoxenia is already familiar in the 20 Greek staff members Kostakos brought to the U.S. in a bid for additional authenticity. There’s also a focus on cross-pollinating ingredients between the food and cocktail menus, on display in options like the Violí Martini, made with olive oil-washed vodka, olive juice, and feta-stuffed olives.

At 6,300 square feet, Violí’s indoor dining room draws on the same rustic, Bohemian design seen at Lyra, with the key addition of a massive 2,000-square-foot pergola and patio that’s decorated with bougainvillea and olive trees. The building previously housed a suburban outpost of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ French restaurant Mon Ami Gabi.

Explore Oak Brook’s new Mykonian restaurant and its menu in the photographs below.

Violí, 260 Oakbrook Center in Oak Brook, Open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday.

Oakbrook Center gets a new Greek restaurant.

An all-seasons patio room.
Violi features at 2,000-square-foot all-season outdoor pergola patio with retractable guillotine windows, and infrared heat lamps.
A bar with light wooden flooring and white stools with backs.
The rectangular bar is seen as the space’s anchor.
A curvy booth.
DineAmic wants to continue to open Greek restaurants.
The woodworking is supposed to remind visitors of a stringed instrument.
A dining room with 10 chandeliers on the ceiling.
The chandeliers provide a funky feel.

Violi

260 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, IL 60523 Visit Website
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