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May 28, 2007 08:16 AM

Bad experience at Niko's in White Plains

My husband and I had lunch on Saturday at Niko's Greek Taverna in White Plains. We have been there for lunch a number of times, and although we were never bowled over by the food, we found it a perfectly decent place to sit outside and enjoy a Greek salad and a glass of wine. Under the Salad selections on their menu, they offer each salad in an "Individual" and "Shared" size. We have always ordered our own salads, and have been charged, as we should have been, for Individual salads. This time, however, when the bill came, we were charged for two "Shared" salads. I asked a woman (who I believe is part of the management of the restaurant) about this, and she shrugged and sent the waiter over. The waiter then told us that we didn't specify we wanted "individual" salads, so we were automatically charged for Shared salads. I said that as we were two individuals ordering two salads, why would they charge us for sharing? The waiter said that's how they charge people, if I wanted an "individual" salad I should have specified that, and walked away.

We paid for our "Shared" salads, but won't be back. I could understand a misunderstanding if the salads were labeled as "small" and "large" on the menu, but I think to label them as "individual" and "shared" and charge as they did was a bit disingenuous, at best. It's a pity that management opted to lose two fairly regular customers over about $5.00.

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  1. Wow, that's good to know, I'll cross that place off my list! What a rip off. It bowls me over how some restaurants just don't understand the concept of "repeat customers" and "word of mouth"!

    1. I never had a problem like that but I have always had bad experiences with the food. I ordered the spanikopita to start and was delivered this mushy phyllo with cold spinach. I told the waitress that this looked and tasted like it was heated in the microwave, she said it was. How in the world, especially if you are a greek restaurant, would you serve anything with phyllo heated in a microwave?! The rest of the meal was on par with that. I had returned back a few more times(not my choice) and still was not pleased with the quality of the food and the service is lacking as well. I have heard people say that if you order the whole fish entrees, that it is good. I won't go back again to try!

      6 Replies
      1. re: xecuchef

        I have had many hits and misses at this place (More misses than hits!) I don't understand why restaurants can be so inconsistence. I like the whole idea of Niko's but after the posts above I am seriously considering not going back and rolling the dice to see if I will get an O.K. meal which is all I am looking for at this price point! So my question is....ARE THERE ANY GOOD GREEK RSTAURANTS IN WESTCHESTER?

        1. re: sausagekingofny

          Good Greek restaurants in Westchester?

          Yes, Lefteris in Tarrytown, at Main Street and Broadway (Rte. 9).

          Fine food, excellent prices, really nice owner and staff...not the most beautiful place, but comfortable.

          And virtually every platter comes with a tasty, big salad. In fact, one platter (say a gyro) with that salad was often enough for my wife and me, and that's all we ordered, and no one ever said "boo" or charged us extra like Nikko's for sharing.

          1. re: Dave the H.

            I agree that Lefteris is probably the best around, but not as good as it used to be. Lately the gyro has been extremely greasy. I do enjoy the salads though.

            1. re: debmom

              Agree with the previous posters... food is ok. I have had a waiter there who is consistently unpleasant as well.

              1. re: uberkelly

                i disagree, lefteris is mediocre at best, food is tasteless, big catch here( surprise surprise) is cheap prices, large portions, how un unusual lol !!

                1. re: intrepid

                  I'm with you, intrepid. I have never understood why the line is so long outside Lefteris for unpleasant service and worse food.

      2. Oh my goodness!!! I was told by a few different people that Nikos was good. Far from it! We went there for dinner tonight & were thoroughly disappointed. Walked in & the place was pretty packed...usually the sign of a good restaurant, right? Ordered the Souvalki PLATTER rather than the sandwich since I did not want fries. The platter includes spinach & rice. When it arrived there were FRIES & no rice. Now the platter is around $14 versus the sandwich which is about $6. When I questioned the waitress she told me they were out of rice. She failed to mention that to me when I ordered. Chicken was ok...nothing special. My husband had the gyro platter (with fries also) & the meat was terrible! Probably microwaved! We have had better gyros at diners! Now why was the place packed??? I will never go back again. LOVE LEFTERIS...should have gone there instead...just wish they would work on the decor a little.

        1. Shawn and all, no need to obsess over Niko's...It is good to have them there for sure, they offer good specialties if you know what to order, and Lefteris is good if you are on a budget. Fortunately, we now have Santorini in Sleepy Hollow to add to our choices and they are making a fine, friendly, tasty Greek statement at the moment, albeit out of a small dining room (a recent very favorable N.Y. Times review will make it a bit harder to get a table though), reasonably priced with generous portions as well...

          2 Replies
          1. re: gutreactions

            As the original reviewer of this restaurant on ChowHound (see, I am somewhat sad to post this review. Like so many upstart restaurants that hit the scene with aplomb, some manage to continue what makes them so successful, others drown in it. And Santorini is definitely drowning.

            It appears that the fire (and soul) has gone out at Santorini. One of the original owners "Elias" (as he has Anglicized his name), no longer keeps a firm hand on the management, and spends quite a bit less time there. Instead, he now relies on one or two uncouth, sweating fellows who lean on the very small bar at the entrance, and cannot be bothered to acknowledge your presence, -- much less interrupt their conversation with the only waitress in the place.

            So you wait, and the other diners wait.

            And, after waiting patiently, you may finally be noticed with a low grunt (a full syllable it clearly is not), then a jerk of the head, -- if at all. And the place is not full, nor is it busy. One would expect that the newly minted owners would use attentiveness to the customers to make up for the lousy, edgy location (and lack of parking), but that is clearly not the case.

            But the disappointment does not stop there, and I, as well as many of the initial supporters of the place, have noticed that much of the original quality that made Santorini has be replaced by oil and grease.

            You can see it, -- it hangs in the air, you can smell it, -- it hangs in the air, and you can taste it, -- it hangs in your mouth. On a visit the other night, the odor was palatable -- and visible -- like the haze in old days when restaurants had smoking sections.

            And that all translates into your food swimming in the same grease and oil -- and it follows you out with its smell in your clothes afterwards.

            Clearly, the kitchen cannot handle the new volume, and the surly waitstaff and management can't either. While the food was initially better than at Lefteris (see above), this was most likely due to the low volume the kitchen needed to produce. It's now also obvious why Lefteris maintains its following and a consistently packed dining room -- always friendly service, management that takes an interest in its customers and running the place, not dating the waitress, and reasonable, if not spectacular food and quality.

            All very sad when a promising place drops the ball. But also all so very common.

            1. re: EHS

              Wow this is very sad to hear. After reading your original post, we had visited maybe three or four times -- that was months ago and we haven't been back just because we've been busy with this or that.

              Is this true? I was so excited about Santorini, a different option from Lefteris and Niko's. You think that no business or bad business keeps a restaurant from succeeding at all levels, but I guess rapid growth can hurt a business too!

              I had somewhat of the same experience at the Middle Eastern restaurant in Mamaroneck/ Larchmont, and Belle Havana is Yonkers -- The first week we were there -- everything was excellent, only for things to go sadly downhill. :O(

          2. Thanks for the tip on this restaurant. I will never frequent such a rip off place. After an experience like that I would have left a 2 cent tip. The 2 cents is just to acknowledge to the waiter that I did not forget to tip, but just that I was giving him his "due."