Granby: New family restaurant serves a slice of the Mediterranean
March 11, 2009
Food has been a big part of Dino Kaplanis’ family for generations.
In the new Brickhouse 40, which he owns with his wife Amy, there’s a nook dedicated to his Greek heritage. Vintage photos of the Kaplanis family line its walls, including one of Dino and his dad, a retired chef who operated several restaurants in the San Francisco Bay area.
Dino’s culinary creativity was nurtured there and began a successful career in the business (including catering for the Denver Broncos). In Grand County he and business partner Law Thyne ran Carver’s in Winter Park. After 2.5 years, Dino sold his half to Thyne to bring his “own brand of cooking” to Granby. The menu, he said, is “a combination of everywhere I’ve worked” and all the recipes he’s inherited and created.
He and Amy had talked about opening their own restaurant for the last three years and “it finally came together,” Dino said. “From the get-go,” the two looked at every available space. The building which houses their new Mediterranean-style restaurant also has a rich history. W.H. Wood built it in 1927, the first brick building in Granby. Throughout its varied life it served as a general store, grocery store, and was most recently a design center.
Renovations began in November, building around elements that were already in place (original brickwork and wooden ceiling beams). “It was a friends and family effort,” Amy said of the project. Without people like friend Eric Nanson, Dino jokes they’d “probably still be hammering away.”
Buzz about the new place was already in full force by the time doors opened Feb. 27. The staff was hand-picked, with kudos to several who share their time between Carver’s and Brickhouse 40. They’ve “been really lucky,” Dino said, to have people like managers Darla Rector, Kris King, and executive sous chef and “lifesaver” Chip Travelut IV. “They run the show,” Dino said.
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He and Amy hope to continue the building’s tradition of making their customers’ lives “more enjoyable, if even for only a couple of hours.” From the front door to the table, the owners, parents themselves, have paid great attention to catering to family.
Children are kept entertained with things like a complimentary appetizer and a cookie to decorate themselves. Mia’s noodle dish off the children’s menu is named in honor of Amy and Dino’s 4-year-old daughter. The chicken nuggets pay homage to their youngest, Elly (2).
With lunchtime as the big meal in the Mediterranean, lunches are generous portions featuring salads, pastas and burgers, New York-style sandwiches, and chef’s creations which come with hand-cut fries (the kitchen also includes the county’s first upright broiler for gyro creations). Standouts from dinner include lamb, prawns picatta, and a variety of fresh pastas and hand-cut steaks (including Don C’s New York, in tribute to one of Dino’s mentors). The good-sized menu also offers several pizzas.
The dessert menu lists several distinct sweet temptations. There is a mini chocolate fondue, Greek yogurt, homemade ice cream, Greek doughnuts called loukemades, cannolis, and a homemade Almond Joy dish made from a long-time Kaplanis Family recipe. Highlights for brunch include sausage crepes and double-stuffed French toast.
“I know we’ve created something very unique and special,” Dino said. Once they’ve introduced themselves to the public, he said he just hopes people will enjoy and come back with their friends.
Prices range from $4.95 for the homemade soup to $28.95 for a filet. Banquet services are available, and daily specials, monthly cooking classes, and outdoor seating are to be in place by summer.