Welcome back to Local Eats Lens, a series here at the Quad focusing on the local restaurants in the West Chester area. Under the microscope this week: Opa Taverna.
On this brisk night in late March, my group hustled to the corner of Gay and Walnut, making our way into the comfortable slice of Greece that is Opa.
Featuring an open interior with white walls and light wooden tables, the inspiration behind the decoration is clear.
“There’s actually a place in Greece that it was modeled after.” our server Julian Frick told us. “Especially in the summertime, it’s definitely designed to feel like Greece.”
The unique wicker ornaments used in the light fixtures and in decorations along the walls really brought the whole place together, creating a comfortable environment to dine in.
Opa offers a wide variety of food items on their menu. Our group sampled some of the more unique items, as well as some of the traditional staples that one would expect from Greek cuisine.
Starting with something truly traditional, Opa’s lamb gyro. Served with a side of fries and tzatziki sauce, the gyros were a big hit for our tasters Keith and Seth. “The lamb was to die for, and I really liked the fact that I could put it together myself,” Keith told me, commenting about the way the gyro was plated, which was on a tray with the condiments and extra ingredients on the side. The tzatziki sauce was also very tasty, not only on the gyro but also with the greek fries that we had, noted by Seth and another taster, Kyle.
Our group also shared the OPA chips, something that one can only assume is a specialty at Opa Taverna. The OPA chips are crispy zucchini and eggplant chips served alongside that delicious tzatziki sauce I mentioned earlier. The OPA chips were recommended to us by a couple of the employees, and I completely understand why. The chips were crunchy and refreshing and when topped with tzatziki sauce were simply delightful, definitely one of the better items we had.
Another one of the appetizers that we enjoyed was something that’s not exactly easy to find in the West Chester area, the Calamari. The crunch of the fried batter paired with the snap of the squid was a really enjoyable textural experience, in addition to how well the dish tasted.
Before ordering myself, I asked our server Julian what he thought the best dish that Opa served was; his answer was the Chicken Lemonato. “It’s definitely the most consistent meal that people come back for,” he told me, and after tasting it I can completely understand how that’s the case. The chicken itself was cooked incredibly well, it was very juicy and the sear on the skin added some great texture and flavor. The lemon served with it added some nice brightness to
the dish, and really contrasted well with the starchiness of the potatoes that were served on the side.
The final entree that was ordered was the Chicken Souvlaki, enjoyed by our taster Michael, and plated in a similar fashion as the gyros. As with the Chicken Lemonato, the meat in the Chicken Sovlaki was “cooked extremely well” as told by Michael. In addition he mentioned that the toasted crust on the pita bread added an additional element of texture and flavor, all in all making for a really tasty menu item.
The experience my group and I had at Opa Taverna was wonderful; great food and service in a warm enjoyable environment. As we move into the warmth of spring and what soon will be summer weather, I’m told that the mood of Opa will follow suit, “The summer time is a completely different feel, with the windows open and sun out, it feels like you’re literally in Greece,” Julian tells me.
Be sure to check out Opa Taverna as this warm weather season rolls in. You can find their menu and hours at their website opataverna.com or @opatavernawc on instagram.
Dylan Edelman is a third-year Mathematics major with a minor in Journalism. DE936681@wcupa.edu