KOVO Modern Mediterranean: Explore the flavors of the Mediterranean without leaving the Valley
Those looking to explore the flavors of the Mediterranean don’t need to travel far from home. KOVO Modern Mediterranean, located in Paradise Valley at Tatum and Shea, showcases the traditional cuisines of the Mediterranean region, combined with new world flare and ingredients.
KOVO is owned-and-operated by Yianni Ioannou, a longtime restaurateur who was raised on the island of Cyprus. Growing up, he spent time helping in his family’s restaurant, quickly falling in love with both the industry and the bright spices of his home country. After moving to the United States in his 20s, he spent quite a few years operating several Greek restaurant chains. According to Ioannou, “It was always my dream to one day open my own modern Mediterranean concept – a full service dining experience with flavors from Cyprus, Italy, Greece, France, Spain and even the Middle East.” In September of 2018, his dream became a reality, and the restaurant has been a neighborhood favorite since.
The menu at KOVO is shaped by Ioannou’s time in Greek restaurants, his travels throughout the Mediterranean, as well as his Cypriot roots. This area of the globe is a melting pot of cultures and culinary influences, and Ioannou states, “This diversity of cuisine is showcased at KOVO in a modern, approachable way.”
The Greek word, KOVO, means “to carve,” and as such rotisserie meats are predominately displayed in the open kitchen and are carved to order. Lamb and beef gyro, as well as organic chicken gyro are served in signature entrees, such as pitas, sandwiches, and a mezze meat platter. A wood-fired oven produces crispy, thin crust pizzas, such as the Mediterraneo, Blanca, and Della Carne.
Dining out in the Mediterranean is a very celebrated and social affair. “Because we want KOVO to be a place for families, but also for couples and friends to come and relax, we have a major focus on shared plates,” says Ioannou. Trying several different things allows guests to have a more adventurous dining experience. Some of the more popular items are housemade hummus and tzatziki, grilled Halloumi caprese, housemade Greek sausage, grilled octopus, bruschetta and cheese boards.
Mediterranean cuisine is inherently a very healthy style of eating, featuring predominantly lean proteins, whole grains, heart healthy olive oil, fresh vegetables and herbs. The menu at KOVO is no exception. Aside from the signature meat dishes and sharable plates, the restaurant offers a wide variety of colorful salads, grain bowls and seafood dishes.
The nearly 4,000 square foot restaurant with an open and airy dining room, an expansive patio, and a large, wrap-around bar, gives guests plenty of room to spread out, while still being part of a social atmosphere. The design of the restaurant matches the spirit of the menu, with Moroccan-style tiles, rich blue ocean-inspired accents, and artistic fixtures.
KOVO offers lunch and dinner daily. From 3 to 6 p.m. daily, guests can also enjoy happy hour specials, which include $2 off shared plates. On Monday and Tuesday evenings, KOVO also offers a bruschetta board or pizza and a drink for only $20. For those wishing to enjoy a little taste of the Mediterranean in the comfort of their home, KOVO offers curbside pick-up, as well as delivery through Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates, and Uber Eats. To learn more, visit http://www.kovomedi.com
By Holly Harmon
Food Photos Courtesy of Timothy Fox Photography
Restaurant Photos Courtesy of Greg Hawk