Hydra Estiatorio, new Mediterranean restaurant in downtown Vancouver, adds lunch to its menu offerings

Open all day, the spot in the EXchange Hotel takes its name from a Greek island

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      First things first: it’s pronounced “hee-dra”, after the Greek island in the Aegean Sea, not “high-dra”.

      Located in the EXchange Hotel (825 Pender Street), the 180-seat restaurant with two levels connected by a spiral staircase has a stunning interior design: think floor-to-ceiling windows, custom-made Scabetti chandeliers of spiralling schools of bone-china fish, and a central marble bar with a fish-scale motif made of blue, silver, bronze, and white tiles. There’s also a private cabana with lounge-style furniture and hand-blown glass lanterns and, on the main floor, a café/mezze bar.

      You won’t find chicken soulvaki here. The menu—created by Executive Hotels’ culinary director, chef Mark Greenfield and implemented by executive chef and Greek native Ioannis Gerolymatos—leans heavily toward authentic Greek dishes and the ocean, with a raw bar, whole fish (in sea salt or grilled), and other fresh seafood.

      Served with freshly made pita bread, Hydra spreads include tzatziki, tarama (fish roe), melitzana (baked eggplant), and menta (mint), among others.
      Gail Johnson.

      Then there are Mediterranean classics like oven-roasted leg of lamb, linguini in lobster sauce, grilled vegetables, tomato salad with Greek feta and olives, saganaki, spreads, and more.

      The lunch menu features daily specials called Day Trader’s Lunch Break like seafood paella and spanakopita, which go for $10 while quantities last.

      Hydra Estiatorio is open seven days a week, with lunch served weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

      See the restaurant’s website for more info.

      Check out the photos below to get a feel for Hydra and its lunch offerings:

      Hydra Estiatorio's raw bar features ceviche, tartare, oysters, and more.
      Gail Johnson.
      Grilled octopus comes with a fava-bean purée.
      Gail Johnson.
      Executive chef Ioannis Gerolymatos imports feta cheese from his native Greece for dishes like the tomato salad.
      Gail Johnson.
      The school-of-fish chandeliers at Hydra Estiatorio are made out of fine-bone china by British design studio Scabetti.
      Gail Johnson.
      It's "hee-dra", not "high-dra".
      Gail Johnson.