Only open last month, by Armik and Vee H, the Valley's newest Mediterranean restaurant the Athenea at 14755 Ventura, in Sherman Oaks is scrumptious. Formerly the Stazio, this beautiful upstairs setting of 10,000 square feet, has both outdoor patio space and night club or banquet space. A DJ provides music during the week and live music is offered on Friday and Saturday nights.
The elevator from the back parking lot is available for handicap access. There is parking in back as well as street parking. Valet is offered during the weekends. (Do not park in the Party City lot next door.)
Open now seven days a week from 5 pm to 3 am, they hope soon to be available for lunches, as well. Being that they specialize in Mediterranean style they also offer the Hooka, which is available on the patio. More than fifty flavors are offered for the discriminating public. Regular flavors are $12 and exotic flavors are $20.
The appetizers include a lovely cheese platter with marvelous olive tamponade and candied walnuts;a Mediterranean platter with humus, calamari, mussels, cucumber salad, grilled pita; the crispy calamari are served with roasted garlic tomato sauce and buttery steamed mussels in white wine sauce. Ah tuna tartar is mixed with basil and garlic and artichoke and spinach creamy dip with pita are also among their favorites. I enjoyed the Mediterranean bruschetta with fresh tomato and basil. Escargot is also served. These range from $6-15.
Salads offered include Caesar, spinach steak, and soups vary by the day. Ash-e-Reste is also offered. Many enjoy the sweet potato fries which only a few places can do exceptionally well.
Entees include a variety of unique pastas mixed with salmon, chicken and shrimp The Lamb Shanks, one of their specialties, are served with a combination of Mediterranean vegetables and Moroccan couscous. Their other favorite dish is Kataifi Encrusted Whitefish served with with garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach. I enjoyed the Ah Tuna Steak with grilled bok choy and couscous, which was light and slightly spicy. Kabobs in various forms are offered as well as specialty burgers, sandwiches and panino Rib Eye Steak and Fillet Mignon are offered for those traditionalists. Prices range from $8-24.
Deserts vary by the day. I enjoyed a delicious raspberry napoleon with a crusty filo dough. Tiramiso , Cheesecake, and Carmelized banana was also offered.
Chef John, formerly from the Ritz Carlton, is an expert at all cuisines. Having worked at both the Playboy mansion and for a variety of celebrities, he is constantly creating new and exciting recipes. He is trained in French, Italian and Mediterranean specialties as well as traditional American dishes.
The full service bar is available at all times offering many favorites as Long Island Ice Tea and other mixed liquors. Happy Hour is every day from 5 -7 pm.
The New Years event will be something special. The price of $70 includes full 3-course Latin menu, appetizers, 2 bar drinks and champagne. Plus great live entertainment by the band Bag of Tricks and dancing. Dinner will be served from 8pm - 10pm so you must purchase a ticket to get a table. To purchase New Year's tickets call 818.408.9399 or email: [email protected]
The restaurant is available to special events as Bar Mitzvahs and weddings and plan, in the future, to have a kosher kitchen available.
Reservations are welcome but not always necessary except on weekends. For more information and a detailed menu, go to www.atheneala.com or call 818 380 3180.