IT’S taken a long time to get there, but they did it.

Back in November last year The Press reported that partners Stam Koulouris and Maria Dendia had their sights set on opening a new Greek restaurant in the heart of York.

Well, now they have, and what a little gem it is.

Seating just 40 customers, Wine Stories at 24, Parliament Street, might be on the small side, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in atmosphere and the quality of the cuisine.

We were lucky enough to be invited along on opening night to sample the menu which is made up of smaller dishes either to share or keep to yourself.

We plumped for the lamb kleftiko - lamb shank in a vegetable stew (£16) and feta cheese on crust (£7) with spinach and rice (£12) as well as slow cooked baby potatoes (£5) and grilled peppers (£6).

The food was hearty and delicious and for anyone, like me, still dreaming of a sunshine getaway after the turmoil of the past year, then Wine Stories could be just the place if you can’t yet face travelling abroad.

Diners are seated under a tapestry of vines which cloak the ceiling to give the sensation of being outdoors so that even on a wet Monday night in October you can be transported to warmer climes at least for an hour or so.

For desserts we went with Stam’s recommendations: the galaktoboureko - filo bites filled with a custard filling and a berry sauce (£8); and an exceptionally good cheesecake (£9), washed down with a bottle of retsina - a Greek white wine with pine notes, which was truly something else.

“It’s taken us a while to open, but eventually we did it,” said Stam.

“I’m really happy as this has always been my dream, it’s scary, but so exciting as well.”

The duo also run the Greek Cafe on the corner of Shambles Market at 32, Parliament Street, as well as two stalls on the market itself.

From February they hope to open the restaurant all day serving breakfast and brunch and Stam also has plans to open the basement. There will be outside seating when the weather allows.

The restaurant is open 5pm-11pm seven days a week and taking bookings on 07479088118.