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    A Look at the History of Belly Dancing

    Last updated 11 months ago

    Dining out at a Mediterranean restaurant is a feast for your belly as well as your eyes. Taverna Opa Tampa is full of delicious flavors and belly dancing entertainment that you and your friends are sure to enjoy. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even join in with the dancers and get moving! Belly dancing has a long history, so keep reading to learn more about where it came from and how it is a part of Greek culture.

    The Origins of Belly Dancing
    Belly dancing is thought to have originated in the Middle East and was a common part of celebrations in that region. It is a fusion of many different dance styles, however, which makes it difficult to trace its exact origins. Whatever its origins, it is true that belly dancing spread from the Middle East and was popularized as time passed. Western culture was introduced to belly dancing through performances at World’s Fairs. This joyous and provocative dance became quite popular in the early 20th century, thanks in part to the growing interest in Eastern cultures.

    Belly Dancing Today
    As belly dancing evolved and spread around the world, it gained popularity among both men and women. It became more common to see belly dancers in burlesque theaters, clubs, and even movies. Nowadays in America, there are many belly dancing troupes and performers who entertain audience members in all different kinds of venues. While the older costumes in Greece were relatively simple, the flashy costumes that show off the dancer’s midsection are just part of the attraction of belly dancing today. The playful and pulsing music allows dancers to move fluidly around the dance floor. Whether you choose to participate in belly dancing or simply sit back and enjoy the show, it is a dance form that requires talent and practice to perfect.

    At Taverna Opa Tampa, you can marvel at belly dancers while you enjoy a tasty Greek meal. Call us at (813) 369-5013 to make a reservation or to schedule your friend’s bachelor party!

    Delicious Greek Dinner Dishes You Won't Want to Miss

    Last updated 11 months ago

    If you’re looking for a great way to enjoy an evening out with friends and co-workers, head on over to a restaurant where you can get a taste of authentic Greek cuisine. From tantalizing appetizers to classic desserts like baklava, Mediterranean food is delicious and can even be healthy, as well. After you order your martini or bottle of wine to share with your companions, take a look at these incredible Greek dinners that you’re sure to enjoy. The only hard part will be deciding which one to order!

    Pastitsio. The Greek version of lasagna, this rich dish is full of pasta and meaty ground beef. A decadent béchamel adorns this meal and is sure to leave you wanting more. This meal is not for the faint of heart!

    Mousaka. Mousaka is similar to Pastitsio, but incorporates different ingredients underneath the béchamel sauce. Roasted eggplant, potatoes, and ground beef combine for a mouth-watering flavor experience at your favorite Greek restaurant.

    Stuffed Peppers. This lighter dinner option is full of fresh and flavorful herbs and rice. Don’t let its simplicity fool you – this dish is a delicious and satisfying way to savor Greek cuisine.

    Gyro Platter. Gyros are a quintessential part of Greek cuisine, and get the royal treatment in this menu option. Gyro meat cozies up with lettuce, tomatoes, tangy lemon potatoes, and creamy tzatziki on warm pita bread for a true taste of Greece. It is a comforting and delicious take on this Greek classic.

    Souvlaki Platter. If you prefer chicken or pork over gyro meat, the Souvlaki Platter might be what you’re having for dinner tonight. Tender, juicy chicken or pork mixes well with the traditional yogurt sauce called tzatziki, blending warm and cool sensations for a flavor experience that’s hard to match.

    No matter which Greek dinner you choose, you’ll enjoy your dining experience at Taverna Opa Tampa. Visit us any day of the week to sample our delicious food and drink options. Call us at (813) 369-5013 to learn more about our authentic Greek menu.

    Tips for Perfecting Your Belly Dancing Technique!

    Last updated 1 year ago

    Belly dancing is an integral part of Greek culture. It is not easy to perform, but it is fun to learn and practice! Take a look at this short video for tips on how to improve your belly dancing technique.

    One of the most basic movements in belly dancing involves isolating your hip movements from the rest of the body. You can use a mirror to watch yourself practice and improve your hip lifts and hip drops. As you get better, you’ll be able to do these moves quicker and incorporate more complicated dance patterns.

    Try out your new belly dancing skills at Taverna Opa Tampa! Call us at (813) 369-5013 to make a reservation or to schedule an evening of fun for you and your friends.

    Do You Love Seafood? Then Try Some of These Tasty Dishes at Taverna Opa!

    Last updated 1 year ago

    The Mediterranean diet is fast becoming recognized as one of the healthiest diets around. One of the major reasons this is true is that Mediterranean cuisine features fish and other types of seafood as a primary protein source. Seafood is generally much healthier than land-dwelling sources of animal protein, and it happens to be quite delicious as well! If you want to give your taste buds a treat next time you have a craving for seafood, head to Taverna Opa Tampa to order one of the fantastic selections listed below.

    Santorini Sunfish
    Sunfish is a great fish to try if you think that you do not like fish. The meat is flaky and light in flavor with no fishy aftertaste. At Taverna Opa, we prepare it with a delicate Ladolemono sauce of olive oil and lemon, along with a salad of chopped, fresh tomatoes and oranges to add just a touch of sweet acidity.

    Chilean Sea Bass
    The tender, buttery flavor of sea bass is rather rich, so it pairs nicely with spinach and roasted tomatoes that lighten up the dish. Lemon potatoes are served alongside the main dish for a tangy, savory accompaniment that doesn’t overpower the light flavor of the sea bass.

    Thallasino
    When you simply cannot decide which seafood dish sounds the most appealing, go for the king of seafood dishes—featuring lobster, shrimp, scallops, mussels, and calamari tossed in lemon, garlic, and wine sauce, and finished with chopped tomatoes. This generously portioned seafood stew is sure to satisfy the biggest appetites.

    For a closer look at all of the seafood specialties we offer at Taverna Opa, check out our website or call us at (813) 369-5013. Our menu of Greek delights is served in a lively, festive atmosphere where you can enjoy a few cocktails and hit the dance floor for the kind of celebration you would expect on a vacation to Santorini.

    Opa! A History of Greek Music

    Last updated 1 year ago

    Music has always been essential to Greek culture, with roots in the theatrical performances of Ancient Greece that were used for spiritual and entertainment purposes. Today, Greek music emphasizes upbeat tempos and lively rhythms to inspire energetic dances that celebrate life. This folk-style music comes out of the tradition of Ancient Greece with influences from the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, which are discussed in more detail below.

    Music and Theater in Ancient Greece
    In Ancient Greece, children were taught to play instruments and sing from early on in life. Choruses of men and women would sing during plays and operas, which are a quintessential element of Ancient Greek culture. Because music and dance was so interwoven with the other arts in this era of Greek culture, literature related to music theory also came out of Ancient Greece, providing the foundation for the music of Western cultures.

    Notes from Byzantium
    The Byzantine Empire deeply influenced Greek culture, and it brought several new elements to the music of the nation. While the technical foundation of Ancient Greek music remained a primary focus in the development of music, it was enhanced with folk influences of Jewish music and new musical instruments. These included the bowed lyre along with variations on modern bagpipes and harps.

    Ottoman Influences of the 15th Century
    Small bands and live performances highlight the mood of music in Greece during the Ottoman Empire. These groups were generally led with smaller stringed instruments such as the violin, and they often played in music clubs or cafés found in major cities. Church hymns were another important musical style in this era, and they continued to evolve as Greek culture was redefined through the Greek War of Independence.

    To get a taste for the modern music of Greece in a fun, festive environment, dine with Taverna Opa in Tampa. We encourage a spirited atmosphere where you can indulge in music, dancing, food, and cocktails. You can see more of what we have to offer to your nights out by visiting our website or contacting us at (813) 369-5013.



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