Venus serves up Greek-Cypriot village cuisine

Ever since I blew through the Greek Islands on a solo-backpacking trip a few years ago, the sinful tastes of Greek village food have haunted me?until I found a place here that’s the next best thing.

It’s Venus Greek-Cypriot Cuisine at 820 W. Jackson, just off the grid from the standard slew of Greektown restaurants.

Partners Costas Stylianou and Gina Karatasios have created a lovely where-village-meets-sea haven. There you can sit a spell and sample your way through rustic village cuisine, one meze (small appetizer-style plate) at a time.

It’s exactly my sort of restaurant?proven especially when the owner busts out a bottle of potent Zivinia, a Cypriot specialty, and cheerily states in traditional Greek fashion, “No more food, now we must drink!”

If you’re not familiar with Cypriot cuisine, you’re not alone. It’s a mad jumble of Mediterranean flavors, dabbling in the Middle East, Turkey, France, Italy and most importantly, the heavy mother hand of Greece.