Here’s Your First Look at the Pelekasis Menu
Brendan Pelley’s first Boston concept debuts at Wink & Nod on Tuesday, January 5. The former Zebra’s Bistro and Wine Bar chef has created Pelekasis, a Greek-inspired passion project.
“I’m just excited to cook for people in Boston. I’ve been cooking in the ‘burbs for a while, and there are a lot of people who haven’t been able to try my cooking,” Pelley said previously.
The chef grew up eating Greek fare—Pelekasis is a previous incarnation of his family name. Some of Pelley’s plates are rooted in his upbringing, like the 100-layer spanikopita, a bigger, buttery version of one of his mother’s go-to holiday dishes.
“I don’t have any particular rules going into this as far as authenticity goes,” Pelley says. “I’ve grown up with Greek food and I’ve studied the classics. Some dishes you just can’t improve upon.”
One of those is rooster giouvetsi, fowl braised in red wine-cinnamon tomato sauce and tossed with hilopites pasta. But other menu items are inspired by Greek ingredients, rather than an existing culinary tradition, such as the Mountain Tea-smoked lamb tartare with quail egg yolk and shaved black truffle.
Pelley is especially excited to recreate some of the snacks he enjoyed on a recent trip to Greece.
“Souvlaki is the No. 1 fast food in Greece,” he says. His version features 12-hour brined pork belly, local apple tzatziki, wild Greek oregano-dusted fried potatoes, red onions, herbs, and salty sheep’s milk feta.
Among other sweets by pastry chef Kendall Vanderslice will be a fun take on “the ever-present Nescafe frappe,” Pelley says, bolstered by condensed milk and vanilla ice cream.
In addition to Vanderslice, Andre Kraft, former chef de cuisine at Bronwyn, is Pelley’s sous chef. Boston Nightlife Ventures, which runs the culinary incubator Wink & Nod, will continue to operate the bar; beverage director Michael Boughton is sourcing some unique Mediterranean wines and creating a cocktail menu section highlighting Greek spirits such as ouzo, tsipouro, metaxa, mastiha, and rakomelo.
Pelekasis will eventually offer late-night fare and a tasting menu, too. Additionally, look out for Sunday night special events, like Valentine’s Day and Greek Easter. To start, it’s open Monday-Wednesday 5-10 p.m. and Thursday-Saturday 5-11 p.m.
Through January 2, Wink & Nod’s culinary program is Akinto, by chef Patrick Enage. This spring, the Southeast Asian concept will permanently move next door.