I love restaurants where the owner is right there behind the counter, taking orders and making things happen. That’s what you get when you go to Skorpios Maggio’s Family Restaurant in downtown Vienna. When you enter this small, but bustling restaurant, you can’t help but notice that it is sparkling clean, and the owner Chris Maggio and his staff are friendly and anxious to provide delicious food and quick service.
Greek and Italian specialties are the focus at Skorpios, but they are famous for their roasted chickens. All fresh, never frozen chickens are marinated for two days before being roasted dark and crusty on the outside while maintaining a juicy interior. You can order whole or half chickens served with bread or as a meal with a choice of two side dishes, such as spinach rice or steamed broccoli (if you’re trying to be healthy).
On a recent visit, I had a Greek salad that was fresh and perfectly dressed. At other restaurants, I’ve had Greek salads that were good, but too vinegary. This one was perfectly balanced and topped with a healthy handful of feta cheese and olive garnish. It was served with the best warm pita bread I’ve had in quite a while – chewy and spongy enough to soak up the creamy garlic dill Tzatiki yogurt dip that I ordered to go with my salad.
If you are really hungry, order the Gyro, a ridiculously large helping of marinated beef and lamb tucked into one of their fresh pitas and served with lettuce, tomato, and Tzatiki. My friend ordered it, and it was so huge that she had to remove half the meat to get it to a manageable bite size! She had enough meat to share with me and still have leftovers! We also shared a plate of dolmas, a stuffed grape leaf filled with rice and served with a lemon sauce, a salute to traditional Greek cuisine.
If you’re not craving Greek, order one of their hot or cold subs, thick cut French fries, and all sorts of stir frys made “Greek” by topping with feta and served in pita. You would be hardpressed to dine here daily and have the same thing twice. Their dinner menu includes Italian specialties such as chicken or veal Marsala or Piccata, Eggplant Parmigiana, or even Shrimp Scampi with Ziti. Skorpios makes everything from scratch, including the desserts that range from Greek confections, such as baklava, to cakes, brownies, and milkshakes.
This is a great lunch place, but it is also a great place to stop in for a home-style dinner or to pick up an order to take home – like the roasted chicken; or their homey Moussaka, a beef, eggplant and béchamel baked dish; or Pastitsio, a dish of ground beef, pasta and Greek-style béchamel sauce, also baked golden brown.
Vienna is lucky in that there are so many great restaurants to choose from, but this one is special. It’s small, homey, and serves consistently good food provided by people who truly care about their customers’ experience.
Skorpios Maggio’s Family Restaurant
421 Maple Ave E.
Vienna, VA 22180