In our newest blog series highlighting nearby establishments, we sent a WUMCRC staff member over to Joyia Tapas in the Grove to get an inside scoop on their mediterranean cuisine. Joyia describes themselves as a Mediterranean Tapas Restaurant and Bar, combining the atmosphere and flavors inspired by Greece, Spain, Italy and eastern Mediterranean countries alike. We ventured over with an open mind and certainly an empty stomach.
Joyia’s menu covers all of the Mediterranean favorites from gyros and kabobs, to pita dishes and pastas. That’s in addition to the plethora of spreads, salads, and assorted tapas plates. The restaurant combines these favorites with other new and exciting plates.
Joyia’s story began last November when owner Chuck Pener brought his talents to the Grove on Manchester. Chuck is also the owner at the very successful Momo’s Ouzaria Taverna in University City. He took his knowledge and experience with Greek cuisine and added a unique Mediterranean twist to create newly inspired dishes.
Rob Schneider, General Manager at Joyia, spent the afternoon familiarizing us with the menu, mission, and history of the restaurant. Schneider said he was thrilled when owner Chuck Pener came to him with the idea for Joyia. They both knew the Grove was an exciting neighborhood in revitalization mode. Schneider went on to say that the diverse energy that the people of the Grove offer made this location a perfect fit for Joyia.
Upon my arrival, the first dish recommended was the Flautas stuffed with spinach, mushrooms, feta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses all wrapped in corn tortillas. The flautas sat on a spread of avocado, with drizzled cilantro sour cream and hot sauce. The corn tortillas were cooked to perfection, with the flavors of the spinach and mushrooms bursting through the variety of cheeses. The cilantro sour cream and avocado added softness to the outside of the tortillas, complemented by the spice of the hot sauce.
The next plate the Chef suggested was the Broiled Goat Cheese. This dish consists of sauteed zucchini, squash, and tomatoes mixed in a bowl with goat cheese throughout. The bowl was then broiled, topped with olives and basil, and served with focaccia bread on the side. The array of vegetables were balanced by the noticeable taste of the goat cheese. Focaccia bread served on the side was an ideal match with the contents of this bowl.
Joyia also features belly dancers Monday through Saturday starting around 8 pm each night and on Thursdays from 7-10 pm is Jazz Night with the Jim Manley Duo. If you are in the mood for tastes from across the sea or just a great atmosphere be sure to stop by Joyia’s in the Grove and say hello to Chuck, Rob and their great staff.