I was have been lucky enough in my life to run across a real treasure: a restaurant group of three of my favorites, all of whom use fresh ingredients from local farmers in their delicious menu items! Ilios Noche, Nolen Kitchen, and Big View Diner make up the Stratos Restaurant Group, otherwise known as SRG. I have frequented all three establishments and can quite honestly say both the food and the service are stellar!
Stratos Restaurant Group was born after Stratos Lambos and Angelo Kaltsounis met while attending the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. Shortly after, they decided to bring a Greek and Italian inspired upscale restaurant to the Ballantyne area of Charlotte. In 2003, the concept was brought to life as Ilios Noche. Kaltsounis’ brother, Frank, an acclaimed pastry chef, came aboard as a managing partner as well. Ilios Noche’s menu features a variety of Greek spreads, authentic meat and seafood creations, and fresh pasta dishes. Its ‘Greek Style Ribs’ were recently featured in Ballantyne Magazine. They even feature a special $5 Meze and Wine menu from 3 to 6 p.m., spotlighting some tasty appetizers and featured wines. This is the perfect stop for date night or girls’ night!
Just two years after the launch of its first restaurant, SRG unveiled Nolen Kitchen in Charlotte’s Myers Park neighborhood. Named for famous landscape architect John Nolen, who is credited with designing Myers Park as well as New York City’s Central Park, Nolen Kitchen features a retro-continental feel with a complementary menu and strictly American wine list. Nolen Kitchen updates their menu each season to bring its patrons the freshest ingredients and flavors available. A neighborhood restaurant with a comfortable feel, Nolen’s menu features soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes, and some classics with a twist, like the Miso Glazed Salmon with shiitake risotto and the Chili Rubbed Pork Ribs with poblano crema and jicama slaw. Being a classic neighborhood tavern, they also offer a Happy Hour menu with $3 appetizer specials Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 and Ladies Night every Wednesday.
The third and newest addition to SRG pays tribute to the “new generation” of Northeastern Greek-owned diners. Big View Diner Lounge is an upscale but affordable restaurant with family appeal in terms of menu and pricing. The open kitchen includes a full bakery where award-winning Frank Kaltsounis prepares desserts and pastries for all three SRG restaurants. Big View has a casual, comfortable feel while continuing to match the quality and service of its sister restaurants. Featuring a classic diner menu with a full breakfast under $5, menu items as low as $2.99, and almost nothing over $12, everyone is sure to find something they love! Menu items at Big View are prepared by chefs using all natural ingredients, and include vegetarian options as well as lighter fare, in addition to classic diner offerings.
All three SRG restaurants make their food from scratch using all natural, organic, and locally grown produce which is handpicked from local farms. Their menus state that they are ‘committed to the health and well-being of their customers and employees.’ You can check out a more detailed description of each restaurant, as well as full seasonal menus, at http://www.StratosRestaurantGroup.com.