MYTHOS report - ate there today
- mar1lyn27 Aug 10, 2006 03:36 AM
This evening I went to Mythos with a friend; we are both fans of Greek food. Due to the raves this place has received here, we felt it was time to try it out.
Unfortunately, we were very underwhelmed (is that a word?). The service was poor; we had to track down our waiter after sitting for 15 mins with not so much as a water glass. Finally the water and some bread arrived. There was nothing to spread on the bread, or to dip it in. It was dense, but flavorless. The Greek restaurant I usually frequent brings baskets of warm seasoned pitas, and a bowl of seasoned chickpeas to munch on.
We finally secured our waiter and ordered. We started with fried squid (fried calamari). They were light and not greasy, but the sauce was bland. We ordered spinach pie from the specials menu - always a good dish to test the mettle of a Greek restaurant; alas, at 7:15pm on a wednesday night, they had none left.
We shared the lamb stew with potatoes. The stew was bland, and I found myself salt/peppering the dish.
At various times we had to interrupt waiters at other tables to get service, to get water, to get the check. The owner/maitre-d (I think he was the owner) came over and asked if everything was ok and we told him the truth. He was surprised because it was not that busy - why should service be poor? We didn't tell him the food was bland.
He made nice by ordering cappuccino for us, on the house. However, the waiter goofed up, and brought plain coffee. We corrected him, and then proceeded to wait a full 10 mins for the cappuccino.
THey brought us a plate of fresh melon; I dont know if this was standard, or if the maitre'd was being nice.
I feel almost guilty reporting this because so many of you love this place. We were really surprised but will continue to go to our favorite Greek spot in Little Neck.
Not to laugh AT you, but perhaps WITH you, poor service is a benchmark of a Greek taverna. This Mythos place is actually one of the better places to have old school Greek in New York, if you can fathom that.
Attentive service is actually abhored in a Greek joint. Why is a matter of debate and for another forum.
Try the simple dishes if you make it back. I found only the fried cod with ice cold skordalia to be palatable, but others swear by the Simple grilled (hunks of protein) offerings off the ice.
As for your comment on "salt/peppering the dish", well, I personally HATE touching a salt and pepper shaker in any restaurant. I find that bland food remains bland and becomes SALTY when salt is added. Fried potatoes and perhaps other fried concoctions may be a fair exception, but are almost always better when salted and/or seasoned in the kitchen.
And for salt/peppering food in a Greek taverna, it is always a necessity. I haven't had any food seasoned in any way at any Greek joint anywhere in New York or abroad.
Home cooking is perhaps the only Greek cuisine that exists.
For what it's worth, a "Greek Inspired" restaurant (not taverna, like Milos or Molyvos) is found on the upper west side of Manhattan. It is called ONERA. The food is by far the best example of Greek CUISINE around, if not the usual fare found in the "traditional/authentic/classic/ubiqiutous/dumbed down/whatever/etc" places that dot the Greek gyro/souvlaki combo food world.
Actually,I wasnt laughing. I was pretty irritated at the lack of attention; and I am a pretty easy going person. We thought that once we got the attention of the staff that service would be improved. Didn't happen. I've eaten in a number of greek restaurants and had service that was quite adequate. I felt compelled to try Mythos, and frankly, I didn't see what everyone raves about. I don't believe I will return there.
I'll continue to patronize my local greek place that I love. The service is good; the food is delish. I have never needed to use a salt/pepper shaker ever.
We have been eating at Mythos for a few years and we never had a bad meal. It has always been stellar. The last 2 times we went however, we noticed that the Moussaka and the Skordalia (sp) were not quite as good and prepared a little differently. Maybe they have a new chef or maybe the regular chef is on vacation, but a couple of things seem to have changed.
Oh. The Kopanisti (sp) was always great but the last couple of times we ordered it there it was way too spicy.
Something is different. :(
Ate at Greek Islands again tonight. Had my favorite dish (so far). Exohikos? I think thats the name. Its not always available; but it's great. Also had their homemade spinach pie which is perfect. Also, an appetizer of chargrilled cheese; forget the name of the cheese. It was quite tasty. Service is great. Oh yes, we had the fig ice cream again.
I wish I could remember the name of my favorite dish; the Greek names are hard for me to remember. It was a special; they make this, I believe, on alternate weekends. Its lamb, veggies, some mild seasoned sauce inside phyllo. Delish.
They also do lots of whole grilled fish.
George, the owner, is a very nice man, he will come over to your table with a board listing the specials and explain each one in detail. You can spot him easily; he wears pince-nez. Sometimes he brings over some wine during or after dinner.
I should also tell you that I've had regular menu items; spinach pie is very good. Pastitio, moussaka are also very good. I liked the avgolemono soup too. If I get a chance I'll ask my dining buddy to remind me of some dishes that we enjoyed.
My preference is always for one of the specials. I've had several types of fish there that I haven't had before, and it's always cooked perfectly - (something that I find fish restaurants don't always get quite right.)
THis is a review in Newsday from 2 yrs ago.
7/06 - Sunday at 5. Street parking difficult. Nice enough décor. No pita bread listed. Given plain bread. No butter until asked. Olive oil on table was tasteless. Most fish is served whole and is pricey. Greek salad had too much tomato. Salad dressing crappy (mostly insipid olive oil). 2.0 (Ratings: 1-4 with 4 the best). No spinach pie listed but they gave it too us when asked. We were both sorry we asked. It didn't taste remotely like spinach pie. 1.0 To their credit they noticed we didn't like it so took it off the check. Chicken lemon soup had tender chicken but just a hint of lemon. 3.0 Mixed grill had two baby lamb chops 4.0, chicken breast 3.5, ground pork loin 2.0, and sausage which we told them to leave out. We don't plan to return.