Hydra Estiatorio Mediterranean & Bar Opens with a Splash

Photo Credit: Leila Kwok

The highly anticipated Hydra Estiatorio Mediterranean & Bar has launched, taking Greek dining in the city to an entirely new level.

Situated in the recently opened EXchange Hotel Vancouver, the establishment is visually stunning, and has fabulous menus to match.

Vancouver already has outstanding Greek restaurants in the city, such as The Greek (221 Carrall Street) and Nammos Estiatorio (3980 Fraser Street), that offer refined, inventive dining experiences.

Hydra Estiatorio Mediterranean & Bar (825 West Pender Street) is an exciting addition to the financial district of the downtown core. This two-leveled space features a 60-foot lobby atrium, a sweeping upstairs dining room, a private dining cabana for up to 30 people, and a 40-foot cocktail bar. High ceilings and a light colour palate keep the restaurant feeling airy and expansive. Design touches, like mosaics and wall medallions, invoke a modern interpretation of Greece and its rich culture. The overall aesthetic is elegant, while still highly accessible.

Hydra is a two-fold concept: first, a downstairs café that offers pastries, sandwiches, and salads, and that will transform into a mezze bar that serves small plates and drinks in the evening; and second, an upstairs dining room that will serve dinner and eventually lunch/weekend brunch. Call Hydra ahead of time (604-416-0880) to find out about opening hours since they’re gradually rolling out their various menus and operational times.

Named after a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, the restaurant focuses on fresh seafood, as well as local and sustainable products, making it also very deeply committed to the culinary spirit of Vancouver. Helmed by Executive Chef Ioannis Gerolymatos, the kitchen has crafted a menu tailored for sharing in order to encourage conviviality and interaction at the table. For example, starter options include a chilled platter of prawns, oysters, ceviche, sashimi, pickled octopus, and tartare with accoutrements; a village platter with fresh pita, marinated olives, feta, and fire-roasted tomatoes; and spreads like tzatziki with pita bread.

Photo Credit: Leila Kwok

Family style platters dominate the menu, with items like a whole fish in sea salt (choose from the fresh selection of the day), forno roasted whole leg of lamb, and whole lobster pasta. Greek fried potatoes and sautéed greens accompany each platter. Salads (e.g. Greek salad) and side dishes/vegetables are also available (e.g. grilled vegetables, spanakopita).

Photo Credit: Leila Kwok

Diners can also order individual portioned mains, such as pan roasted Pacific salmon with dill and lemon sauce; and char-grilled beef tenderloin with braised garlic sauce. All mains come with oven fried potatoes and fire roasted vegetables.

Desserts like baklava with pistachio ice cream and cinnamon syrup add that necessary sweet finish.

Overall, this is a space definitely to check out. With its lavish interiors and exuberant family-style dining, it ushers in a new style of Greek dining in the city.


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