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May 21, 2007 11:23 AM

Any experience with Kefi?

I'm going there for dinner on Thursday at 7. Party of 5.

I just learned that they don't take reservations. Has anybody had any experience there? Much of a wait?

AND any must-haves on the menu?


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  1. Very good when it first opened. Now that it's been discovered, you will certainly have a wait. People start lining up at five most days.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Wilfrid

      The restaurant seemed pretty quiet at the front when I arrived around 6:45. Our entire party (four) was at the restaurant by seven and was seated immediately. By 7:30, though, the entire dining room was full, even crowded.

      Perhaps we had no trouble as it was the early beginning of the Memorial Day weekend, and many people were already hightailing it for other climes.

    2. Had dinner there monday night. At 6pm the ding room was fairly empty. By 7 there were only 1 or 2 tables left (this is a very small space). That being said, the food was delicious. We loved the sweetbread and meatball apps. I had the shrimp w/ feta (alittle heavy on the feta) and hubby had the lamb shank and left nothing on the plate.

      2 Replies
      1. re: berna

        i've been looking forward to trying this place since it opened. may finally get there this weekend. here's hoping it will be less crowded with everyone gone for the long weekend.

        so, i appreciate these details above. floretbroccoli, i noticed you didn't comment on the food which, i worry, may be a bad sign. what did you eat and what would you recommend? thanks!

        1. re: nativeNYer

          Oh, sorry. I didn't mean to give the impression that the food wasn't worth mentioning. Everything was good. I especially enjoyed the mezze and the sweetbreads appetizer, as mentioned by berna, above.

      2. Too late for you, but thought I'd briefly share my experience. Went Saturday night over Memorial Day weekend and only had to wait about 15 mins for a table for 2 (arrived around 9pm). We had: calamari, sheep's milk dumplings, striped bass, and hanger steak. Calamari were disappointing--thin and overcooked, but the fried lemon and chickpeas were a nice touch. Other plates were solid. I wouldn't go out of my way, nor would I wait an hour for this food, but Kefi makes for a great neighborhood place. Dessert was the walnut tart, which tasted like an ordinary spice cake, but I liked the walnut ice cream.

        Otherwise, seating is extremely cramped, and service can sometimes leave something to be desired (waited 10-15 mins for dessert menus and another 10-15 mins after everything had been eaten and drunk before the check).

        1 Reply
        1. re: Lucia

          thanks, both. we never made it this weekend. it is starting to sound like this place is no longer as stellar as it was when it once opened. sounds more hit or miss but we will try it nevertheless.

        2. Some of our truly lovely friends took us there on Sunday night to celebrate our recent wedding. We got a mix of plates and split them all, and I have to say, nearly all of them were outstanding. We had the crispy calamari, grilled octopus, crispy cod, cuttlefish, crispy sweet breads, sheep's milk dumplings, the pasta with rabbit, pork medallions and branzino. I was too slow on the draw to get the sweetbreads or cuttlefish, but the calamari, octopus and branzino were all crisp, delicious and savory. The cod and pork was a little underwhelming. We finished with the walnut cake (boring) and the chocolate mousse with halva (FANTASTIC!). We had a bottle of red wine, and one of white, of which I fear I'll never remember their Greek names. All around, food and drink-wise, it was pretty excellent food at a tremendously reasonable price.
          Our major quibble was with service. Our waiter was such a know-it-all that he was arrogant (he brought out the cuttlefish noting that it was the third member of the cephalopod family -- gag) and everything sounded like a recording. Also, we were the last party in the restaurant by 10:30. All the floor staff remaining (4 people) were within 10 feet of the table thereafter, which felt oppressive and rude. When one of my friends said something, the waiter told him they couldn't leave us till we left. I don't know why they seated us at 9 only to hover by 10:30. That was all a major bummer.
          That said, I'm sure when we're in the UWS again, we'll be back. The food was definitely delicious enough to merit a return trip. We'll cross our fingers on the service.