The Greek term “opa” is an expression that alludes to a celebration or fun times. Such an outlet can be found at Santa Clara Square since Opa! Authentic Greek Cuisine’s seventh restaurant opened on June 1. In Opa’s dining room, Edison-style lights dangle from the chandeliers and beside the booths, the onyx wall holds a heavy panel that constantly channels light.
“Our owner, Angelo Heropoulos, gets his Greek recipes from his mom; [Angelo’s] partner is Molly Adams,” said Michael Ho, general manager of Opa! Santa Clara. “Angelo makes sure we stick to the Greek style of preparation. We do have some dishes with an American twist. For example, instead of having salads with whole leaves, which is traditionally Greek, we have salads with chopped vegetables.”
A meal here could begin with Opa! fries, made of thinly sliced Kennebec potatoes sprinkled with bits of feta cheese accompanied by a mustard sauce with secret ingredients. Topped with a sprig of dill and a drizzle of olive oil is the creamy and tangy Greek lemon soup. One of the signature entrees is the kokinisto me manestra, a tender and hearty slow cooked lamb shank, prepared with Greek orzo pasta, tomatoes and sautéed spinach.
Those opting for vegetarian fare can try the vegetarian souvlaki, which comes with two skewers of grilled vegetables–including slices of brightly colored bell peppers, juicy zucchini and plump mushrooms–with a side of wild rice.
According to Briana Alvers, manager of Opa! Santa Clara, the two most popular cocktails here are the Opa! sangria (a cocktail made from red wine that arrives with a small open bottle of the orange-flavored liqueur Grand Marnier suspended over the drink) and the citrus cucumber mojito (a refreshing cocktail that comes garnished with fresh mint leaves and a wedge of lime).
Alvers also described two delectable desserts on the menu.
“The bougatsa is made with phyllo dough; it’s made with a light and flaky dough and everything is blended in with the apple, cinnamon, sugar, the cream cheese and ricotta cheese,” Alvers said. “The galaktoboureko is also wrapped in a phyllo dough. It’s a vanilla bean custard. There’s lemon in it and it comes with vanilla bean ice-cream on the side topped with powdered sugar.”
Located inside Santa Clara Square, Opa! is at 2722 Augustine Dr., Ste. 130 (between Bowers Ave. and San Tomas Expy.).