The passion of Greece in Las Vegas

By Debbie Hall

Anyone who has ever traveled to Greece will tell you the views are breathtaking and its cuisine fits the people with its blend of tastes and ingredients all immersed in culture. Petra-A Greek Taverna has brought a little piece of Greece to Las Vegas in Tivoli Village in Summerlin.

Petra is surrounded by the Red Rock Mountains in a stunning Mediterranean setting with a European-inspired courtyard offering authentic Grecian and American fare, wines and entertainment in a relaxed atmosphere.

Brothers Dan and Demetri Kouretas owned restaurants in California before moving to Las Vegas and then operated two other restaurants before opening Petra.

Their goal is to bring people together with food for, according to its website, “it tells the story of who we are and where we come from. A true food experience represents the past, present and future. Food is culture, and Petra pays homage to this. Traditional Greek recipes served in a contemporary, chic setting—Petra values the importance of delicious tastes, healthy ingredients and food immersed in rich culture.”

Petra serves a Greek brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Some of the specialties include baklava waffles, a waffle sprinkled with baklava, Greek yogurt and fresh berries, and Greek sausage; or loukaniko scramble with imported Greek sausage, bell peppers, onions and kasseri cheese. For the “lunch” in brunch, Petra offers pitas including lamb, beef, seafood, vegetable and its specialty of saganaki made with kasseri cheese lightly battered and seared flambéed with Greek brandy and served on grilled pita.

The lunch and dinner menus not only feature gyros, stuffed grape leaves, pasticio (oven baked pasta casserole with ground beef or lamb), paidakia (rib-cut lamb chops) moussaka (roasted eggplant casserole), spanakopita (spinach, leeks and feta in filo dough), batzaria (roasted beets served with spinach), loukamades (Greek-style donut puffs) and baklava, but also Greek favorites that might be new to the American palate such as kokinisto me manestra (lamb shank), octapothi (braised octopus) and solomos (freshly grilled Atlantic salmon).

There also is a focus on tapas-style dishes with sharing encouraged. Souvlaki is offered both as an appetizer plate or full entrée. Souvlaki is a choice of skewered chicken, beef, seafood or lamb blended with lemon-infused olive oil and oregano served on grilled pita bread (add Petra fries or rice pilaf for the entrée).

The bars at Petra are designed as a fun and relaxing place to meet after work with family, friends, clients or business associates. The full bars feature wines from around the world, an extensive selection of spirits and full menu. There are happy hour and reverse happy hour specials and on Thursday, the specials include half-price bottles of wine and champagne. Live entertainment adds to the fun atmosphere every Thursday and Friday from 7-10 p.m.

The Greek Islands might be more than 6,000 miles from Las Vegas but authentic cuisine is available in Las Vegas at Petra.

Petra at Tivoli Village

440 S. Rampart Blvd.