Kostas Antypas grew up in a small Greek village on the island Kefalonia where every day dishes were made from scratch. If Kefalonians craved a salad for lunch they went out to their back yard gardens and gathered the ingredients.
This same sensibility influences the fare Antypas peddles at his Franklin Park eatery, Smoked on Rose.
“Kostas is passionate about clean, honest, scratch-made food;” says Antypas’ wife Stephanie proudly, “he holds a high standard and as a result passes a quality product onto his customers.”
In a culinary twist, Greek meets American BBQ at Smoked on Rose. With the support and talent of visiting Greek chef, Lukas Pulos, the restaurant turns out an array of smoked meat dishes that honor American BBQ and manage embrace the communal dining spirit of the Greek islands.
Starting a meal at Smoked on Rose presents an opportunity to nosh on a bowl full of Kalamata olives ($3.50)or a serving of saganaki; crispy pan fried cheese ($4.25). Additionally, diners would do well to order the octopus vinaigrette ($8.75). The brightly-flavored, lightly-dressed, caper-studded salad features generous amounts of tender octopus meat on a bed of mixed greens, endive and radishes.
Smoked on Rose also offers a peasant-style Greek salad ($6.75) loaded with pungent goat’s milk feta, cucumber, ripe tomatoes, onion, and olives. The vegetables in the intensely refreshing salad are cut to order and served at room temperature to allow their pure flavor to shine through. The piquant lemon and herb vinaigrette offers the perfect foil for the array of smoked meat available on the menu.
House smoked meats like brisket, pulled pork and baby back ribs are a simple celebration of hickory flavor. Antypas intentionally strips away additive heavy ingredients from his dry rubs to keep his ingredient list all-natural. His thoughtful ingredient editing allows hickory smoke to take center stage on the plate and leaves ample room for his Greek influenced side dishes and salads to shine.
In lieu of serving traditional BBQ side dishes, Antypas and his team put a Greek spin on cook-out mainstays. The menu includes a rich béchamel mac n’ cheese as well as Greek spinach and rice known as spnakorizo. Rather than offer traditional baked beans, Smoked on Rose cooks up Gigandes plaki. The giant Greek white beans are baked with tomatoes , onions, carrots and a smattering of fresh dill and offer a rustic accompaniment for a myriad of menu options.
In addition to being exceptionally proud of his roasted suckling pig entrée ($15.75), Antypas celebrates the Italian influence on Kefalonian cuisine by serving up special dishes (prices vary) like tomato laden braised lamb and orzo pasta with Pecorino-Romano cheese. Flavors of cinnamon and allspice permeate the hearty dish.
And don’t hesitate to talk to Antypas; he will be eager to tell you all about his off menu daily specials like Tomato Braised Lamb with Orzo, Spanikopita or Moussaka.
Keen on serving food that makes people feel good both inside and out, Antypas is passionate about his place. “We have a restaurant that we hope our community embraces and comes to feel like home to them” says Antypas. “ and we want our guests leave Smoked on Rose with a belly full of great food that leaves them feeling healthy and comfortable.”
Smoked on Rose
3531 Rose, Franklin Park
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays; noon-10 p.m. Saturdays; noon-8:30 p.m. Sundays
(847) 260-5236 or smokedonrosechicago.com