It’s Greek to Me (IGTM) is one of those “finds,” an unassuming neighborhood restaurant that diners go back to again and again, hoping no one else discovers the place so that they can find a seat. Weekend evening fine dining is especially busy due to our highly popular fresh seafood specials. Customers can subscribe to a weekly email known as the “FishGram” to be the first to find out about the special and upcoming events. Reservations are always recommended.
The ambience of the main dining room at IGTM transports one from the desert to a blue oasis. There is a sizable mural of Santorini painted on the ceiling in the main dining room. The seating is casual, but the cuisine is representative of a fine dining experience. It is not what you expect to discover in a strip mall, one that has perceived traffic delays from all the road construction on Oracle, just north of Tangerine.
The original owner of It’s Greek to Me, sold the restaurant as he was needed by his family. Two friends, Jeff Bridge and Jimmy Pastore, both approaching retirement, had always talked of owning their own eatery and heard that the establishment was up for sale. They purchased IGTM in July of 2013, and the rest is history. IGTM is now highly ranked on the leading customer review site TripAdvisor.com in the category of “Best Restaurants in Tucson”.
Bridge and Pastore met in the early 80’s working in the kitchen of a Tucson Greek restaurant. Both moved on to different careers and raising their families, but their love for a good meal and their mutual friendship kept them together through the years. When the opportunity arose to purchase IGTM they decided to go for it.
“What I hear a lot from customers is that we remind them of the type of place you would dine at in Greek Town in Chicago, or similar places on the East Coast,” said Bridge. “I am so proud when our diners tell us this is the ‘best Greek’ they have ever had.”
Their reputation has been earned on a passion for the freshest ingredients and their dedication to constantly improving their selection of food and wine.
Recently the two added a delicatessen which features signature Mediterranean and east coast style sandwiches, a variety of deli cheeses and salads, as well complete take home meals of some classic Greek favorites. The deli case features all house roasted meats, using the finest beef available
Pastore and Bridge are not afraid to take the dining experience to new heights. They are know for roasting a pig or lamb just outside the restaurant on special occasions. They are also planning to offer wine tasting and pairings in the near future. They already offer a number of Greek and premium beers to accompany their food and are starting to expand their wine list to include local wines.
If you like sweets, It’s Greek to Me fashions all their desserts including a light and flaky baklavah, a honey yogurt cake, “the best rice pudding in town”, a Greek apple pie that is made with phyllo dough and vanilla custard in phyllo with honey, nuts and berries. A specialty is “choclavah,” which is their baklavah with a layer of Belgium chocolate. A little concoction that Pastore put together.
“We want the residents of Tucson to know, especially in the Northwest, to know they don’t have to drive far to have great Greek, or the freshest seafood in all of Tucson” said Bridge.