Opso is an ancient Greek word for ‘delectable morsel’ and the concept of this restaurant is social dining. Upstairs, it’s a bit tightly packed: as you enter you pass the bar area on your right and are led through into a wee space with a couple of window tables for two flanked by a large communal table with high stools. Downstairs, it’s more spacious and, for that reason, a tad more comfortable. Down here you will find the ‘Larder,’ which comprises two curing chambers and a large fridge fit to burst with Greek wines. It’s a kind of Greek Bill’s in some respects. There are earthenware pots filled with herbs and the white tiles with blue food and drink designs belie the W1 address.
Like in any Greek taverna or home, you will not go hungry here. There’s an inviting menu of Greek mezedes (annoyingly referred to as ‘tapas’ – if it ain’t broke, why fix it?) which is ideal for sharing, grazing or snacking – all of which you may find yourself wanting to do on that nerve wracking first date or tricky second. Order some tzatziki and sour dough bread and mix and match dipping this with the Skordalia (a Greek potato and garlic dip) with toasted crumbled walnuts while you enjoy your drinks and conversation. The hot dog soutzoukaki with beef short-rib and cumin tomato sauce in a tahini brioche bun is playful finger food as is the ‘souvlaki’ slow cooked pork belly with tzatziki sauce in a pita bread. We tried the lemon-oregano chicken drumsticks, slow cooked for 12 hours and served with potato puree, which are delicious. No Greek meal is ever complete without a serving of chips sprinkled with oregano so don’t feel bad about ordering a portion.
Meet on a late weekend morning for brunch and take a leisurely walk along Marylebone High Street admiring the store front displays. Amble over to Opso, take your table and start with a round of reviving/indulgent cocktails – delete as appropriate. Try the ‘Drunk Sinatra’ – bourbon, rakomelo (a honey and Raki blend), aromatic bitters and honeycomb or the ‘Paddington Street’ – London dry gin, pistachio paste, fresh pineapple puree, vanilla syrup and fresh lemon juice. Pick a few meze items and share. If you feel like moving on to something more substantial, there’s plenty to choose from: slow cooked poached eggs on ‘koulouri’ milk bread with Greek yoghurt hollandaise and bacon or Strapatsada scrambled eggs on grilled sour dough bread with cherry tomatoes and feta cheese.
Alternatively, Opso would be a nice location for a casual coffee or lunch date or for a spot of dessert following dinner elsewhere. The desserts and coffees are intriguing and moreish so well worth stopping by for.
Service is a little higgledy-piggledy but it’s kinda part of the fun.
2. A delightful spot for summertime brunch with your fave du jour.