Credit: Bethany Rodgers

Thelo Greek Grill has begun serving Mediterranean flavors to diners in downtown Bethesda.

The owner of the eatery that opened in the former Bistro Lazeez spot last weekend said he dislikes to use the word “authentic” to describe Thelo’s food.

“The word is going to be Greek. It’s going to be true,” owner Yannis Panayotopoulos said.

The menu includes appetizers such as stuffed grape leaves for $8 and grilled Manuri cheese and tomatoes dressed with thyme and olive oil for $7. Gyros and lamb, chicken, ground veal or pork skewers are available, with dishes costing $16 to $18, and diners can order plates of grilled meat served with vegetables, potatoes and traditional bread for between $18 and $23.

Thelo Greek Grill opened on Norfolk Avenue last weekend. Credit: Bethany Rodgers


Panayotopoulos said his goal is to dish up affordable, high-quality food made from fresh ingredients. He declined to choose favorites from among his menu items, although he did boast that “our béchamel sauce walks on water.”

Thelo’s interior is decorated to resemble a “Greek taverna,” with stucco walls, hanging lightbulbs and square, wooden tables, Panayotopoulos said. The space is also adorned with a three-panel canvas picture of the island of Santorini.

The restaurant at 8009 Norfolk Ave. is open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until midnight Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, Thelo runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.


Bethany Rodgers can be reached at