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The Feast of Easter

The Local Greek Community Celebrates Orthodox Easter in a Big Way

Parthenon Restaurant is a popular Greek restaurant located on Connecticut Avenue in Northwest DC, just south of Chevy Chase Circle. The tenured establishment observes the Greek Orthodox Easter in a big way with hundreds of patrons flocking there to celebrate the holiday annually. But first, a little background on the restaurant:

The Parthenon, named after the famous architectural wonder in Athens, was founded in 1989 by Pete Gouskos and Steve Tsiolis. The owners take pride in its authentic Greek cuisine. It's considered to be a “neighborhood restaurant” by faithful regulars — well-known patrons including CNN’s Jake Tapper, Chris and Kathleen Matthews, and DC’s mayor Muriel Bowser can often be spotted in the dining room.

Easter is the most important feast in the Greek Orthodox Church— this year it falls on Sunday, April 16th. Observant Greek Orthodox Christians fast for 40 days leading up to the holiday, giving up many foods including meat and dairy. It's also a time for intensified prayer and alms giving. So once Easter rolls around, the Greek community is ready to let loose and have fun.

After mass ends at midnight, Greek Orthodox church goers pour into the Parthenon. Normally, between 80 to 120 people dine immediately after leaving church, but during the day on Easter Sunday, and in good weather, when patrons can eat outside, that number can swell to upwards of 700 visitors.

The restaurant’s signature Easter menu features baby spring lamb on an outdoor spit over charcoal, pand traditional soup called magiritsa, fresh seafood, (including crab cakes and whole broiled rockfish), and traditional Greek desserts including baklava and galaktoboureko.

Festive music plays in the background while non-Greek patrons join local Greeks in the area to commemorate the day. Visit Parthenon Restaurant at 5510 Connecticut Ave NW. Washington, DC 20015, (202) 966-7600

PAGE 4 PULL QUOTE (30 WORD LIMIT): According to Michael Harrison, son of owner Pete Gouskos and manager of the Parthenon, Easter is when the restaurant “pulls out all the stops.”

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