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Greek in Nassau

Erica Marcus Jun 15, 2004 02:38 PM

Is there a really good Greek restaurant in Nassau County? How about a decent Greek restaurant? I've volunteered to bring Greek take-out for a group of ten in Westbury and I'm drawing a big fat blank.
Thanks, all.

  1. j
    Jennifer Jun 15, 2004 04:31 PM

    Personally we like Greektown in RVC a lot. I think it was actually recently reviewed in Newsday actually.

    The best however in my opinion, not in Nassau though, is in Huntington--Meditteranean Snack Bar on NY Ave. I've been eating there since I was a little girl and I've never had a bad meal--calamari to die for.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jennifer
      Bud Jun 15, 2004 08:42 PM

      I've avoided the Mediterranean Snack Bar, which is in Suffolk, not Nassau County, since I was served a dish of rice wrapped in grape leaves on a bed of rice;honestly, that's all the dish consisted of. The place made its reputation by serving wine to people waiting outside for a table. Skorpio's down the block is a better choice,imho.

    2. a
      Ann Jun 16, 2004 08:08 AM

      I've always enjoyed its Greek to Me on Jackson Ave in Syosset. Its a little closer to Westbury too


      1. s
        Scribbler Jun 16, 2004 11:53 AM

        I will probably start people howling in protest, but there is that Greek place in the Fortunoff's mall; at least it's close to Westbury.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Scribbler
          Gregg Jun 16, 2004 04:10 PM

          It's Turkish, and that's offensive.

          1. re: Gregg
            Erica Marcus Jun 16, 2004 04:46 PM

            For the record, if it's Ayhan's that Scribbler is talking about, I believe he is a Turkish Cypriot. Any perusal of his menu, however, will demonstrate that he's perfectly happy to "pass" for Greek: spinach and feta pie, saganaki, scordalia, avgolemono soup. In fact the only Turkish clue on the menu is an Iskender kebab.

            So I can't see what's offensive about Scribbler's post.

            You're not talking about the Turkish place just down the street in the strip mall at the corner of Post, are you?

            1. re: Erica Marcus
              Gregg Jun 17, 2004 11:35 AM

              Do they use round bamboo skewers or FLAT bamboo skewers???

        2. i
          Ian Miller Jun 16, 2004 04:22 PM

          Writing for Newsday, you should know there is no Greek food to be had in North America, let alone New York State or even Long Island. Even Astoria Greek is a sad, sad situation. (I’m being VERY generous)

          I too have been ‘volunteered’ in the past at work to bring in Greek food as well, and I end up cooking it at home and bringing it in.

          I have also been asked to make recommendations on Nassau Greek. Rockville Centre Greektown is not a bad place, but it has NO GREEK CUISINE AT ALL! And Joan Remnick’s review sums it up just fine, down to the overcooked and mushy orzo. (too damn typical) The skordalia is gelatinous (???) the taramosalata is disgusting mayonnaise, the rest as bad as it gets. The clientele they have seems to be seeking something other than a diner and ends up here. Sad. If they only Once tasted real Greek cuisine.

          If you find anything palatable, at all, please post back with your finds. We are ALL awaiting your post with great anticipation...

          10 Replies
          1. re: Ian Miller
            Erica Marcus Jun 16, 2004 04:48 PM

            Ian, I feel your pain. I couldn't think of a good Greek place myself but I figured Hey, maybe there's a new one out there that I don't know about yet. Hope springs eternal!

            Listen, have you eaten at any of the Greek places in Manhattan? I think that Estiatorio Milos is exquisite, if extremely expensive. Molyvos is terrific, as is this new place in the East Village, Pylos. I confess I've never been to Greece so I don't know how they compare, but I've dined very well at all of them.

            1. re: Erica Marcus
              Ian Miller Jun 16, 2004 05:34 PM

              Estiatorio Milos is a nice grilled fish place, cost aside. Not much else Greek going on there. A few beans and maybe a dip, but that's it. And for a Greek (owner) who claims to be from an island, the poor example of 'plaki' is more of a baked fish stew, found in the mountains of Greece and in some parts of the French Riviera than the traditional true Greek fish plaki found on the islands and fishing villages of Greece. Milos is business lunch only for me.

              Molyvos is a nice place to dine with non-Greeks. That may already be understood. And that's fine. But just as some of my friends say that the best choice in a Chinese restaurant is the one with the most Chinese patrons, that may hold true for all ethnic cuisine restaurants. The food is ok. The menu leans toward the Greek. With much Italian influence in the kitchen. Trying to keep something familiar to those that don't know? Perhaps. Nothing I tasted had that Greek taste. That fresh zip. The hearty zest. The flavor of Greek cuisine. Some posts on these boards bash the cook for using soda water in many dishes. I don't care if it's dishwater, as long as the food tastes good. (point taken)

              Pylos is such a turn off, I just can’t bring myself to bash it here on these boards.

              I’m not saying it doesn’t exist. Greek food can be enjoyed in people’s homes here in America. It can be found in small dishes around different restaurants and tavernas. If you have tasted everything on all the menus of all the tavernas and restaurants serving Greek food and have an army of people, send each person to each place to bring back the one and only good thing the kitchen knows how to make (and probably the reason the owner was told he/she can actually cook and/or should open a restaurant). You may end up with a partial meal…

              1. re: Ian Miller
                Gary Jun 17, 2004 03:19 PM

                Nice choice of name, considering the topic. Do you have a special chinese food posting name?

                1. re: Ian Miller
                  dude Jun 17, 2004 03:41 PM

                  You've confirmed what I suspected- that the "Greek" places in and around RVC are not worth the time. Thank you for saving me money.

                  I am interested, though, in what you state makes "real" Greek food that isn't even in Astoria? My immediate frames of reference are Stamatis and Xenon (which is Cypriot Greek.) My understanding is that key seasonings are lemon, oregano, and salt. Certainly I've had skordalia with bold garlic flavor, taramosalata that tastes like fish eggs, and little meatballs with mint...

                  I'll start a thread on General Topics linking to your previous post, as we're moving into more general issues. TIA for answering.

                  1. re: Ian Miller
                    ChowFun (derek) Jun 17, 2004 09:24 PM

                    You mentioned that you need/like to cook good Greek food at home...I was wondering if you could share with us some of you're favorite Greek cookbooks...which do you feel are the most authentic/best?

                    1. re: ChowFun (derek)
                      Ian Miller Jun 18, 2004 11:15 AM

                      They are all the same. Just as all the tavernas and the 'fancy' Greek food places (Molyvos, Milos, Avra, Pylos, etc.) in Manhattan all tout 'Country Greek cuisine' and 'Rustic Greek Food', the cookbooks all guide you towards home cooking and boredom. The use of non-traditional ingredients, like cream cheese and cottage cheese, etc. is found in nearly all of them. And if they omit these non-traditional ingredients, they try something else to the recipes that 'lighten them up' or 'update them' forgetting the flavor and taste behind. I cannot recommend many Greek cookbooks. I own quite a few, as well as many other cookbooks. None have any recipes that I use directly, without changing them around, or use them just for inspiration or quick reference. Try borrowing some from the library and giving a recipe that sounds nice to you a whirl. You should like the results, even if it ain't all THAT 'authentic'.

                      1. re: ChowFun (derek)
                        byrd Jun 7, 2007 10:09 AM

                        "The Food and Wine of Greece" by Diane Kochilas, she's regarded as the Julia Child of Greek cuisine. "The Glorious Food of Greece" her follow up book is much more regional.

                  2. re: Ian Miller
                    Ketel Guy Jun 22, 2004 03:25 PM

                    Joan Reminick wrote a bad review?!?!? Must be the first time.....

                    1. re: Ketel Guy
                      Ian Miller Jun 22, 2004 04:50 PM


                      Yeah, she tries a place a few hundred times (...on our first few visits a year or two ago...) and sums up all the positives (...the grilled fish was fresh that one time a dining friend tried it...), and THEN she decides if the place is worth writing about, in NEWSDAY.
                      I haven't found many places worth the 'buzz' she claims, but the Rockville Centre Greek 'review' did have the 'suggestions' to the kitchen to actually cook the food, not slop overcooked leftovers on a plate.
                      At least that is how we read it.

                      P.S. From Rockville Centre, a short drive to Francis Lewis Blvd will bring you to a place that is leagues beyond mushy orzo. NOT that this is a culinary treasure, nor a 'find' of any kind, just better than what is in Rockville Centre. The place is called "Kati Alo". It is a gyro souvlaki joint, as the sign outside advertises, and has ok offerings, for what it is...

                      1. re: Ian Miller
                        mrbeachy Aug 3, 2008 08:22 PM

                        I went to Kati Alo for dinner. I liked it.I would consider it to be middle of the road-above a gyro fast food joint,obviously not molyvos.

                        We ate in the "outdoor" room which was quite pleasant and away from the kitchen.We had skordalia and cheese pie(with spinach) as the appetizer.My friend had moussaka and i had the greek sausages(cant pronounce the name of it) with lemon potatoes.We took our dessert-galakabourika-home.

                        Our total bill with tax and tip was around $40.We thought it was easily on a par with Greek Islands on Northern Blvd and considerably less expensive. Also much easier to find parking.

                  3. j
                    Jeremy Osner Jun 17, 2004 10:07 AM

                    There's a place in Huntington that I have liked ever time I have gone there. Nothing extraordinary but a perfectly decent place for a meal. It is called Scorpio's and is on rte. 110 just south of Main St.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Jeremy Osner
                      GCGuy Jun 7, 2007 07:54 AM

                      Any new Greek Places worth the trip?

                      I tried Souvlaki Stop in Mineola. Acceptable the 2nd try. Good enough, but not like Kati Allo in Bayside.

                      1. re: GCGuy
                        SarahSparkles Jun 7, 2007 09:16 AM

                        I like the salads at Zorba the Greek on S. Oyster Bay Road. Bethpage/Plainview border.

                        1. re: GCGuy
                          bdr814 Aug 2, 2008 03:44 PM

                          Go to Athens for Greek food. The stuff around here is glorified diner cuisine. A bad imitation of the real mccoy. Sad but true

                      2. m
                        mrbeachy Aug 2, 2008 06:20 PM

                        Ms Marcus,

                        as a food editor for newsday, you of all people should appreciate the fact of how difficult it is to find really good greek in nassau county-or most anywhere for that matter.

                        you may recall that i had notified you of a greek place in lynbrook that was very good.unfortunately it was the right place in the wrong village and didnt last.

                        i have been to greek islands in little neck-on northern blvd just past marathon parkway 5 min from the nassau line-twice in the last 6 months. We thought that it was very tasty with reasonable prices for what you get.

                        in manhattan, i like meltemi in the east 50's,and i know that im going to get skewered for this (lol) but i still like uncle nicks on 9th ave between 50-51 streets.

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