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Excellent New Greek Restaurant In Westchester

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As many of you know, I have commented on various Greek restaurants in Westchester in the past. While my opinion on those hasn't changed, I want to alert you to a very good new one:

Santorini -- Sleepy Hollow, NY (175 Valley St.) 914-631-4300. Turn onto Beekman from Route 9, left at the first light, follow the road down into the "Valley" past the car wash.

The restaurant just opened, and I would rank it as one of the best in the area -- Greek or otherwise (better than, for example, Lefteris in Tarrytown -- which, BTW, isn't all that bad, as a matter of fact, it's quite good). The location leaves something to be desired (it's way off the beaten track and a bit hard to find), but the place is so good, it's worth the effort.

The decor is very nice, the hygiene exceptional, and the service friendly and accommodating. The chef(s) are actually Greek, as are most of the folks working there. Parking is on the street, immediately after the restaurant proper, which is on the right side of the one way street.

Pricing is, I think very, very reasonable, and seems a bit less than the other places. Certainly the portions are generous.

Some thoughts (all in comparison to the usually available fare):

1. Taramosalata: This was a hit! Most places these days serve a creamy style, with very little of what the dish is actually supposed to contain, fish eggs. They're not even shy about hiding where it comes from -- big plastic tubs clearly labeled "Taramosalata" from a factory in Astoria, Queens. Look up, the next time you're at Lefteris. ;)

However, the appetizer here is clearly homemade -- you can actually see (and taste) the caviar, and the minced onions mixed in aren't bad either (nor are they overwhelming). Much more flavorful than the more generic cream "dip" from the other place(s). Probably some of the best I've had.

2. Dolmadakia: Again, better than most. stuffed, crisp, with a filling that's not been overcooked. Clearly home made. If you like your rice al dente (as opposed to mush), you'll enjoy these.

3. Avgolemono: One of my favorites, and something that often resembles Campbell's Chicken with lemon added. This soup is different. Creamy. Lemony. Chunky. With a delicious addition of orzo to add body. Fabulous.

4. The "Zeus" combo appetizer: The traditional Greek staples of Moussaka, Pastisio, Spanakopita and a generous slicing of Gyro meat. With a side of pita. All absolutely delicious -- while listed as an appetizer, it's a meal in itself.

I'm usually not a fan of these Greek staples, but thought we'd try them as a measure of the place. For example, the pastisio isn't just your basic "macaroni and cheese" -- this one is nicely flavored, and the noodles (seem) to be home-made, and not out of a box. Give it a try.

5. Lamb Souvlaki Platter: Very tender lamb, nicely grilled, as good as it gets.

The desserts were also uniformly good, and complete the meal perfectly.

All in all, the food had a delicious and custom-made flavor to it (I don't want to say "home-made" because, besides being trite, it deserves better than that moniker).

Definitely worth a try, a bit off the beaten Route 9 path, but worth the drive. Make the effort to find it, you won't be disappointed.


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  1. Thanks for the tips, EHS - can't wait to try it! :o)

    1. I agree with everything you said and more so. Just by reading the menu it made me hungry. So, it was a wonderful surprise to see that the food actually exceeded my expectations! The Spanakoita just melted in your mouth, made to perfection. I am not a hugh Greek food fan but was totally won over with several of the selections on the menu. I especially enjoyed the Keftedes,( a first for me) the meatballs had a delicate cruchy outside and very well seasoned on the inside and the tomato sauce was just right. The Falafel was also very, very good. We shared the Mousaka which again a first for me it, was devine! all the many flavors just blended so well and the cinnimon for me was surprising, it added a smooth smokey taste to the dish.
      Hats off to the Greek chefs!

      Finally a place that lives up to it's food and won't break the bank.

      I can see myself as a regular here.

      10 Replies
      1. re: roose66

        Good to hear that the falafel is good. I made the mistake of trying it at Lefteris II in Mt. Kisco when I ate there with a bunch of co-workers last year and it was awful. I was looking for somewhere to eat before the Lea Solonga concert in Tarrytown in November, I think we'll give this place a try.

        1. re: MisterBill2

          I might call to make a reservation if you are going before a concert, the Restaurant is tiny, with very few tables.

          1. re: chowdom

            Thanks for the suggestion. Do they actually take reservations?

            1. re: MisterBill2

              Yes, I have one for tonight! Also, to answer my own question, they do not as yet have a liquor license so for now it's BYO.

              1. re: Marge

                Called and made my reservation tonight for next week, just to be safe.

              2. re: MisterBill2

                Since the Sunday New York Times Westchester section gave it an "Excellent" rating in its review a couple of weeks ago:


                ... reservations are absolutely required, two hours or more in advance.

                1. re: tbetz

                  The place is most likely the best Greek Restaurant in Westchester right now and I had a great meal there but they received a "Very Good" from the NY Times not an "Excellent" like you posted. It's nice to hear that they have long waits, they deserve it.

                  1. re: tbetz

                    Take out is the way to go until things die down! :-)

                    1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                      Hopefully things won't "die down" and as long as they keep up the quality I will keep going back. By the way thanks I.E.A.L.O.I i am ordering take-out from them tonight, on your mention!

                      1. re: sausagekingofny

                        Very true, they deserve all the business! I got take out the other night and just finished off the hummus..... yum!!!

          2. Thanks for the review, looking forward to trying it. Do they serve wine?

            1. Have to agree with EHS and roose66, the food was great, the owners and staff charming. They are proudly displaying the above original chowhound post in the front window. Valet parking will be available in the near future. We were served complimentary hummus with warm pita and a very good Greek sausage. We ordered the grilled octopus, Greek salad, gyro, sea bass, and shish kabob. One can't compare this food to the food at Lefteris, it is in a different class. This is very affordable and great Greek food we will be returning.

                1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                  Thanks for the thorough report. It's so nice to hear about good greek food.

                2. Have to add to the raves about Santorini. We went last night, and first, agree about the decor and cleanliness. Although the restaurant is small, the tables are well spaced, and the bathroom is nice and clean. The staff is delightful, we chatted with the owner for a while, and he is a stickler for good service and wonderful fresh food. The complimentary hummus and pita was delicious. We started with the taramasalata, which is as EHS described. We also had grilled octopus which had perfect texture, was nicely charred, and in lemony olive oil. For mains we had moussaka, which was unlike I have ever had, served in an individual casserole dish, and a mixed meat platter, which was an enormous platter of various grilled souvlaki and gyro. Mains also came with a choice of a variety of soup or salad. The salad is a huge bowl of chopped lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, olives and two stuffed vine leaves. We had the lentil soup which was fabulous. Mains also came with rice or potatoes...the lemony roasted potatoes were great. Portions are huge--we took home more than I think we ate. We will definitely be regulars here--I'm looking forward to trying their whole grilled fish, and so many other things.

                  1. Thanks from me too for this post - we decided this morning to head up to the Tarrytown area to visit Lyndenhurst, and so of course I immediately looked for chow and found your thread. We had a great lunch - we shared everything - the assortment of cold appetizers - I agree that the Taramosalata is wonderful, as was the hummus and the grilled bread wow - we had to contain ourselves knowing that we'd ordered more. We shared three more appetizers - the grilled calamari was out of this world - perfectly tender, the cheese/filo dough pie (small) - don't remember what it is called, and some greek meatballs in a tomato sauce. V. sweet service - including parking assistance - one of the owners had seen us circling and told us to park in front of his car in a driveway! Highly recommend. This, plus two diet cokes, set us back about $30 including tax but not tip.

                    Looking forward to going back on our next excursion up that way.

                    1. I don't suppose that anyone took home a menu that they can scan and post?

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: MisterBill2

                        I have one, I can't promise when, but I'll get to it as soon as possible.

                        1. re: chowdom

                          Sorry, I scanned the menu, but not sure where it went.

                          1. re: chowdom

                            I went there last week and enjoyed my meal there. The location is not so great and from the window I saw three (yes three) meter maids hovering around in a small two block stretch. The owners should complain to the town. The food was very good I had a variety of dishes with my guests and the only complaint was the grilled calamari was bland. It was the large type tubes and it just did not taste that great. (Sorry I think that was the first negative comment on this post) The decor seems a little cold and spaced out it would be better if they added (yes added) more tables to give a cozy feeling. They put down a decent size complimentary hummus place and pita bread to start so my question is why would anyone want to order the hummus on the menu? Overall it is much better than Lefteris Gyro and I rather go here but when I was driving to and from Santorini I passed Lefteris twice within an hour and it was packed to the gills! I guess it's true what they say location, location, location!

                            1. re: sausagekingofny

                              I loved that calamari - didn't think it was bland at all. The free hummus was a pleasant surprise - but I agree with you - it was then of course duplicated in the appetizer selection we ordered.

                      2. Chalk up another success to Santorini! I went last night and was really pleased with the food.
                        --The complimentary hummus was great. I could have made a meal out of this and the...
                        --Avgolemono. I'd never had it before and it was amazing-- a cross between egg drop soup and chicken noodle soup, lemony and creamy and filled with shredded chicken and plump orzo.
                        --The platter dishes are extremely generous and come with either soup or salad-- the Greek salad is also a win, enormous with tangy dressing and cubes of feta.
                        --The chicken souvlaki was served atop multicolored rice, all perfectly flavored.
                        --My boyfriend ordered a lamb dish (it was the 1st under the Greek specialties, we can't remember the name) that was SUPERB. It was a stew of lamb, orzo and a spicy tomato based sauce, and while I'm not crazy about lamb, the sauce was just irresistible.
                        --We also tried the spinach pie, but by this time we were so full that we couldn't eat much of it. The small is a generous portion though!
                        All of this food cost only $27 before tip. The restaurant is cute, very casual, adorned with pictures of Greece, and the owner (I presume?) checks up on everyone. Since they've only been open two weeks, the waitresses' uncertainty about the menu is no big deal, and they are eager to please. I overheard them telling another couple that they will have their liquor license soon, but until then you are free to BYOB.
                        Overall, I think that Santorini is a perfect example of affordable, great food in Westchester that is prepared with love and without pretense, and I will definitely be returning. Glad EHS gave the heads up on this one!

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                          One more try!

                          Santorini Greek Restaurant
                          175 Valley St, Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591

                          1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                            Interesting that it comes up as Tarrytown and not Sleepy Hollow.

                            1. re: MMRuth

                              Yeah, I was surprised too, but that's what it showed up as in Google.

                              1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                I think Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow are technically the same, kinda like the Scarsdale/Edgemont thing....on a more important note, we had dinner here the other night and I must say we were very pleased. From the free hummus to the perfectly grilled calamari -- I know someone here mentioned that it was bland -- I actually appreciated the simplicity of it all. Less is more sometimes, although my wife prefers it fried and heavily seasoned. The keftedes was nice, very good in fact, nothing too out of the ordinary, but to comment on the original post, when comparing menu items like the taromosalata, you can definitely tell the difference from the imposters -- sort of like having the seaweed salad at Nobu -- you know its not the frozen variety that every Japanese restaurant serves... If only they would open a great middle eastern or Greek place closer to Scarsdale!

                                1. re: RawTunaFan

                                  Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow are two separate villages in two separate towns that share a single zip code, which likely results in confusion on Google.

                                  1. re: jordanbeck

                                    I think that Sleepy Hollow used to be called South Tarrytown before they changed the name a few years back.

                                    1. re: JMF

                                      It was North Tarrytown. They wanted to fancy up the name for the tourists.

                        2. Gotta add another me too to the list. I went with my wife and a friend this evening. And we loved it. We had the complementary hummus and pita plate that also included some tzatziki too. Quite yummy! The avgolemono soup was wonderful (thought it could have been a bit hotter). My wife & friend loved the grilled octopus, saying it was tender from end to end. We also had the falafel which I really enjoyed. I liked the fact that the ball wasn't too flat, so it was crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. We also had the sausage, which was ok. By the time the entrees came out we were just about stuffed, so most of them came home. I had a gyro, our friend the gyro platter - her comment was that the meat melted in your mouth. My wife had the pork souvlaki.

                          The owner is very charming and you can tell truly enjoys what he does. I'm sure we'll be back!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ltlevy

                            Thanks to everyone for the continuing reviews. I'm planning to eat there November 2nd since we have tickets at the Music Hall. I wonder if it is too early to call for reservations?

                            Does anyone have a menu that they could scan and post here? I assume they do not have a website.

                          2. Went to Santorini last night and must add my compliments to the long list here. Had the Zeus appetizer sampler, the keftedes, the shrimp saganaki and a greek salad. Took home leftovers and several desserts. It was early - 5ish on a Sunday evening and there were only two other tables the entire time we were there. The food was wonderful - the shrimp were probably my least favorite - could have been hotter in temperature and the sauce overwhelmed the shrimp. However everything else including the homemade spanakopita, moussaka and pastichio on the sampler were wonderful. The complimentary hummus, pita and tzatziki were great. Everything was fresh and the owner came and server were friendly and warm. We took home some of the best galaktabouriko I've ever had along with leftovers. The prices were incredibly reasonable and we sadly we live too far away for delivery.

                            What was sad to see on our way down route 9 afterwards was the line at Lefteris. Not that I dislike Lefteris but it doesn't compare and most of the items there - very notably the spanakopita, are not homemade.

                            I hope the buzz here will help and keep this place open. Of course, we enjoyed not waiting but I want them to succeed. I haven't been to Mykonos but compared to Lefteris and Niko's Santorini is the best Greek in Westchester. The owner said they were up on the web as of a few days ago but I still can't find anything except CH when I google.

                            If you haven't been, please go. If you've been, keep going. Gotta keep them around!

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: laylag

                              Don't bother going to Mykonos-- it's awful. Loved Santorini too!

                              1. re: debmom

                                We went based on the posting and were very happy. very nice people and great food. Hit the spot before we headed to the great pumpkin blaze!! Will be back

                                1. re: wm3

                                  Ah, I'm jealous. Santorini and The Blaze - a perfect evening. We couldn't get tix and have to wait for next year.

                                2. re: debmom

                                  I don't know about calling Mykonos awful.. I brought my dining club there, and the food was very good! but I will have to check out Santorini.. soon! this thread is making me hungry! LOL

                              2. Does anyone know if they are open for lunch?

                                1 Reply
                                1. I just noticed a sign on Rte 9 this morning saying Santorini---->, so hopefully more people will check it out. I can't wait to go- I've never liked anything at Lefteris.

                                  1. Only disappointment was the small portion size- will have to ask owner about that- you'd expect a big portion with greek. Lamb "stew "was all orso and a bit of lamb with vggies- very yummy but sparse-Grilled oct. very small portion for the price! delicious but small. Please... give us more of your yummy food!

                                    11 Replies
                                    1. re: yeshana

                                      Small portion size? Wonder if things have changed - we had far too much food on each plate! But didn't try the lamb stew or the octopus.

                                      1. re: yeshana

                                        I think the portion size must vary by the dish. The grilled octopus was a good size for us, but my platter of mixed meats was huge! I had leftovers for 2 days afterwards. On the other hand, my husband's lamb shank was quite small-- way too small, with a skimpy portion of orzo.

                                        We really enjoyed the food and will return.

                                        1. re: Shawn

                                          We ate there a couple of weeks ago and I have been meaning to post. The hummus/tzaziki and salad/soup were great. My wife really liked her regular moussaka, but I was not thrilled with my vegetarian version (another customer had it and it was larger than mine, and served on a plate with tomato sauce; mine was in a crock and no sauce and the vegetables were terribly overcooked, which i guess is the way that is served). I had thought of ordering fish, but the server couldn't tell me the prices (she finally told me one but not the rest). We never saw the owner, just one waitress, and she got progressively busier and more harried as the night went on (they were quite busy on an early Friday evening). We had told her that we had to be out by a certain time when we got there (we had tickets in Tarrytown) but she still disappeared for a while and I eventually had to bring my check up to the register where she was helping a takeout customer). Their register has a "Discover" sticker on it but they apparently do not accept it.

                                          I'd go back but I'd try something else than the vegetarian moussaka. I was thinking of going for lunch (since I am sometimes in the area) and getting a falafel sandwich.

                                          I like the big framed Chowhound posting by the door. I wonder if that was what the owner meant when he said they are on the Internet (mentioned in an earlier post).

                                          Oh, and they have vallet parking now.

                                          1. re: Shawn

                                            I had the lamb shank too and found it smaller than expected. Very good, though, and I didn't go home hungry. I'd still recommend it.

                                            1. re: Boswell

                                              I have to say I find the reports of small portion sizes mystifying. Though any specific entree may be smallish in size, they come with enormous portions of either soup or salad, plus the gratis hummus and pita. When my husband and I were there, before we realized the main courses came with these extras, we ordered a meatball appetizer, which we ended up practically ignoring once we saw the size of the included first courses. I was eating leftover Greek food for lunch for days. (The meatball portion was also very large -- and tasty!)

                                              1. re: Boswell

                                                weird- one time lamb in a crock, the other on plate- both were much too small, but tasty!Portion size is important to diners and although profit may be a bit lower- long term benefits- people love huge portions! won't go back unless portions increase and they have all of their items, all of the time- they seem to run out of menu items occasionally- I guess the kinks of being new. Lefteris reduced portion size and quality eventually-room got dirty, etc. lost my business .satorini is good with lots of potential. hope the owner reads posts and gives us a great impression this year to carve his future.

                                                1. re: yeshana

                                                  I'm not one of those people who loves huge portions. I'd much rather have a reasonable portion of good food-- usually seeing way too much on my plate really turns me off. But when you order a lamb shank and you get a tiny shank on a big plate with a few grains of orzo, it's disappointing. There was a lot of bone and not too much meat, which is silly since a lamb shank is a relatively cheap cut of meat. That was the only disappointment of the meal and not a reason for us not to return-- just a reason not to order the lamb shank again. We really enjoyed the place.

                                                  1. re: Shawn

                                                    Shawn, its not a Greek restaurant per se, but if you enjoy a good Lamb Shank you must try the major one currently being served on City Island at Artie's, along City Island Ave. I had it earlier this week and it was a feast on a plate! The owner Spiro is Greek and knows how to put it out...

                                                    1. re: gutreactions

                                                      Thanks for the tip! I'll try Artie's.

                                                      1. re: gutreactions

                                                        "gutreactions" --

                                                        What kind of food do they serve?

                                                        1. re: EHS

                                                          EHS, it's eclectic, a combination of American contemporary, some global and traditional usually served with pizzazz and lots of flavor, I've found. Portions are quite ample and prices are moderate for City Island. You have to watch the specials board as it changes each week. www.artiesofcityisland.com

                                            2. I concur whole heartedly! What a great new addition to the westchester dining scene. We just got back. We had a great time. Friendly staff, great food. Reasonable prices. Why can't there be more like this in westchester????? They still do not have a liquor license, so byob is fine there and they have a parking valet, which is a good thing given the limited availability in the area.

                                              In sum, they are far and away the best greek restaurant in westchester. They would give most in Astoria a run for their money.

                                              8 Replies
                                              1. re: gordoma

                                                WHAT DID YOU EAT? HAVE THE PORTIONS INCREASED?HAS ANYONE HAD THE BBY LAMB CHOPS?

                                                1. re: yeshana


                                                  1. re: yeshana

                                                    I never thought it wasn't good. But we took out from here tonight and it was great. We had the Zeus Combo which is a combination platter and is so yummy. And a large Greek salad with chicken. Our kids love the pita pizza. Such a great addition to the Tarrytown dining scene!

                                                    1. re: yeshana

                                                      Which fish did you have and how much was it? My big complaint was the waitress didn't seem to know the prices of the fish and I don't like being surprised. I assume it was just grilled with lemon and oil?

                                                      1. re: MisterBill2

                                                        the branzino was the best although all were excellent. he'll really do it however you want. traditional greek is lemon, oil, garlic- yummy!i think with all whole fish, it depends on the size- just ask the owners.

                                                        1. re: yeshana

                                                          The funny thing was, when we ate there (on a Friday night around 6), we never saw the owner, at least not in the dining area. The waitress was there and she knew next to nothing about the fish and nothing about the prices.

                                                          Looks like I will be going there for lunch in the next week or so with my co-workers. I'll have to try the falafel.

                                                        2. re: MisterBill2

                                                          This has become my favorite go-to restaurant in Westchester for wonderful food at reasonable prices! Last night we had the Zeus platter and whole fish (a nice sized red snapper, enough for two @ $24, with delicious sides of sauteed dandelion greens and lemony potatoes included). The fish was wonderful--impeccably fresh and perfectly grilled. It was as good as our favorite Greek restaurant in Astoria at much less the price (not to mention gas and tolls to Astoria). The owner told us he goes daily to the Hunts Point fish market to get his fish. He also told us that his liquor license will be coming soon, and he is planning a reasonably priced wine list, with most bottles selling for under $30. As far as portions, I have a large container of leftover Zeus platter in the fridge, yay!

                                                          1. re: Marge

                                                            I had lunch there last Tuesday with a bunch of co-workers (we went there at my suggestion). I had the eggplant dip appetizer and the falafel sandwich and both were excellent. One person had the sea bass and he gave me some since it was too much for him. He may have been expecting Chilean Sea Bass, I'm not sure. It was very good, the skin was nicely spiced and it seemed to have roasted garlic inside (this was unusual as I was expecting the usual oil and lemon presentation). The complementary dips appeared to be smaller portions than when I had dinner there the first time. A co-worker had the vegetable moussaka and it was definitely better than the one I had, which was in the clay pot and overcooked (and had no tomato sauce on top). This one was a wedge of it on a plate with sauce. I am not sure how they decide which one to serve but I guess you can ask for it not in the pot to make sure.

                                                  2. I was convinced by this thread to get takeout from there last night. Very glad I did.. The food was excellent.. We stuck with basics and stuck with appetizers.

                                                    Zeus combo, hummus, stuffed grape leaves (my wife's favorite), greek salad. All were very good particularly the Zeus.

                                                    I saw a few people here asking if they have a website or menu. A hand-written url is now photocopied on the front of their take-out menus. So it's the least I can do to repay this thread and the restaurant for some fine dining:


                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: rafi

                                                      Cool, thanks for posting the link to their website!

                                                      1. re: rafi

                                                        Yes, thanks for the link. I've been asked to find someplace for a bunch of us from work (in Hawthorne) to go for lunch. Maybe I will suggest here. Downside is paying for parking, I guess, but we can car pool.

                                                        Too bad they didn't choose to put up pictures of the food instead of the dining room.

                                                        1. re: MisterBill2

                                                          call the owner, he will find pkg for you.

                                                      2. Thanks to all of you for suggesting this restaurant - we went there tonight and had a fabulous meal. Brought home a load of leftovers too - will be enjoying this all weekend. The complimentary homemade hummus and tzatziki were delicious, and the accompanying pita was exceptional as was the Greek salad that comes with the entree. My husband had the shrimp saganaki appetizer and raved about it; I ordered the Zeus combo so that I could sample several dishes - the moussaka and pastitsio were better than I've had in fine Manhattan Greek restaurants, and the gyro and spanakopita also excellent - this platter is huge, as others have said - I tasted everything and brought most of it home. Because we also ordered lamb souvlaki which came with well-prepared rice. My only criticism is that the lamb was a bit more done than we like, so was a touch dry - I would have preferred it to be medium rare, and we realized when it arrived that the waitress hadn't asked us how we wanted it prepared (and we forgot to say). But it still was very tasty - next time we'll ask for medium rare. We took a lot of it home -- just too much to eat! As a result, sadly, we didn't order dessert - but I looked at them and have my eye on the galactobureko for next time. Coffee was very good - and they are about to get their liquor license we're told. The prices are quite reasonable, especially for the quantity of food served. Service was attentive, fast and friendly, the place is very clean and bright. The ambience is not fancy - no tablecloths or frills - but it is pleasant and comfortable, and who cares about fancy: the food is truly spectacular. What a great find - and yes, much better than Lefteris or Niko's. We had no problem finding street parking, but it was a Thursday night - I saw a sign that they do have valet parking now, so that shouldn't be an issue. I highly recommend Santorini and will be going back many times, I'm sure.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: tvoz

                                                          Have to add: the food is even better the next day - seriously! Moussaka and pastitsio especially, but the gyro too. Fabulous.

                                                        2. FINALLLYYYY!!! i got to try this place... and i give it 2 big, super, erect thumbs up!!
                                                          First of all, the service was great! Even though the place was empty (thursday night at 6) and attentive service was expected, the waitress was just so pleasant and eager to serve us. It was really a great feeling.
                                                          As for the food.... Im no Greek cuisine expert but i never knew how good the greek food staples could be!!! I LOVE hummus and tzaziki, but after experiencing their (complementary) hummus and tzaziki sauce... i REALLY love hummus and tzaziki now!
                                                          I had the gyro platter.... it was huge, the meat was delicious, the rice was delicious, and it came with a generous serving of pita bread! The platters and entrees come with a HUGE greek salad which was delicious as well. My boyfriend had the pastitsio which i tried... i had never had this dish before and i really enjoyed it! It was a melding of many comfortable flavors! We finished off our meal with Baklava... again, i am not a Baklava connoiseur but this one was the best i've ever had! the top layers were still flaky and only the few middle layers were sticky with honey and nuts. Therefore it was not overbearingly sweet... just the perfect ending to a perfect Greek meal!

                                                          The place itself is adorable, kinda tiny. But its really comfortable. All in all, i loved my experience and can't wait to go back and try other things!

                                                          1. I was thrilled to see Santorini reviewed in the Times today! I totally bet Chowhound had to do with their discovery of it!


                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                              I finally got to Santorini this afternoon for a wonderful midday meal and must of hit it just right...not only did we get parking nearby but the small dining room was almost empty...It was, as many posters have stated before, a real treat! While we were there our friendly waitress announced that they now had their liquor license. We do plan to go back but I am afraid this review in the Times will make it inpenetrable for a while...unless you can sneak in at an off hour as we did today...

                                                              1. re: gutreactions

                                                                So, we got take out from Santorini tonight, post NY Times review. My husband went to pick it up at 5pm and he said it was crowded. One table was reserved. A couple walked in and said they were 2 and the guy at the front said, only people with reservations and he turned them away.

                                                                We've been coming to (or ordering from) this place since the original chowhound post and have really enjoyed our little find (well until that review awesome yesterday!).

                                                                But, here's what we had this time...
                                                                Great: The Zeus platter is enormous and so yummy. We tried the meatballs based on someone else's review and enjoyed them. We love the greek salad, so much better than Lefteris and it comes with the meal.

                                                                Not so good: We tried Chicken Oreganato and were very disappointed. Dried out chicken not much flavor over rice without much flavor. The lemon potatoes we had once before which were so delicious with a great sauce, were replaced by potatoes without any sauce. The lamb shank was very oily.

                                                                If you're going, which you definitely should, make sure you have a reservation. Most of the items on the menu are delicious, plus the prices are so reasonable and they give so much food. Unfortunately, we had a few glitches in the meal tonight...

                                                              2. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                                Yeah, I'm not so thrilled anymore. I'd gone at least 3 or 4 times before the review (each time nearly empty), and wanted to take a friend tonight-- we got there around 5ish and were turned away like Tarrytown hound wrote about. I'm kind of sad that our secret Chowhound fave has now been lost to the masses. Oh well, at least there are plans in the works for more seating.

                                                                1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                                  Had lunch there today around 2pm. Asked my five-year old son if he remembered how empty it had been during his previous visit a few weeks earlier. Explained to him why it was now full of people.

                                                                  ... Oh, and had a terrific meal!

                                                                  Someone critiqued the falafel earlier in this thread and I agree I found it to be kind of blah. Also didn't like the eggplant spread appetizer. My novel solution has been not re-ordering these after the first time trying them - problem solved!

                                                                  The Zeus combo and greek salad are still ruling the world. Good soups and hummus too. Today was my first time eating there instead of taking out and I enjoyed the free "starter" plates. Nice touch.

                                                              3. As the original reviewer of this restaurant on ChowHound (see first post above), 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.

                                                                10 Replies
                                                                1. re: EHS

                                                                  Oh EHS, I'm so sad to hear this. We don't live nearby so don't frequent but loved it when we went and looking forward to going back. I didn't see the review but it sounds like it set off a very negative downward spiral. Our first visit the place was empty, the owner chatted amicably, the waitress was attentive and the food was wonderful. We will probably try it again - hoping they see this thread - and get back to their good old ways.

                                                                  If not, we were at a wonderful place in Queens this weekend that was not in Astoria and we thought, was better. It's called Greek Islands in Little Neck and the food was great, the place was very busy, the service was terrific - helpful, great suggestions. Lots of specials including many with fresh fish determined by the mornings visit to the market. One of the specials, the red shrimp from Maine - were amazing as were the mussels with feta and tomato. Our entrees were excellent as well and it was just an overall great experience. Parking is, however, a bit of a challenge. Took us less than half an hour from lower Westchester though so may opt for that in the future instead of the 20 minutes up to Sleepy Hollow.

                                                                  1. re: laylag

                                                                    went to greek islands for the first time today. its on northern blvd in little neck,almost at the city line.arriving at 530 pm and found a parking spot almost in front.at other times it may be a challenge;id suggest trying the street around the corner.

                                                                    we had the skordalia and stuffed grape leaves for appetizers with beefteki and pastitio for the entrees.excellent food-way better than any local greek places near me. the service was attentive and excellent.dessert were galakaborio (?) and the owner's daughter recommended the baklava which was very tasty.

                                                                    this place is really a gem;a hidden find.took only 25 minutes to get back to the south shore of nassau county.

                                                                    1. re: MisterBill2

                                                                      Anyone been to Santorini since they raised their prices and reduced the portion sizes? Still yummy. But not so much for leftovers!

                                                                      1. re: tarrytown hound

                                                                        it was bound to happen. better wait staff now, though. i see they have the wine 'helper" from grape expectations working there some nights.Prices shouldn't go up- he'll price out. Is he still doing as well as months ago?

                                                                  2. re: EHS

                                                                    Sad to hear... I wonder if the proposed expansion would improve the situation. Regardless, I'll definitely go back before writing it off... that hummus is just too damn good.

                                                                    1. re: EHS

                                                                      I had lunch at Santorini's last week and dinner there the week before, which was the first time I was ever there. Both times service and food were terrific. Didn't notice any strange odors.

                                                                      1. re: EHS

                                                                        I have to go on record as saying that my husband and I have had extremely positive experiences not only in Santorini's early days but also recently, when it's been packed. To our pleasure (and relief, knowing that sudden success can, ironically, spell doom for a restaurant) the quality of the food and the quality of the service have remained impressive, especially at Santorini's relatively modest prices.

                                                                          1. re: JRBlack

                                                                            I recently went back to Mykonos and was really impressed with the Porgies. Its hard to find a place that knows how to prepare a whole fish the right way.

                                                                            1. re: MRM2008

                                                                              I had occasion to be in Dobbs Ferry and wandered by Mykonos and decided to try it after looking it up on this board. I don't usually frequent this regional board (I'm from central NJ) but I was surprised by the huge differences of opinion on whether it was any good.

                                                                              I must come down in the middle. The skordalia they brought out with the bread was very good. The fasolakia (green beans with stewed tomatoes) was tasty though the beans were mushier than I would like.

                                                                              And then there was the octopus. Some complain here that the octopus is dry; some say it is terrific. I say it is both. It was served on nice slices of grilled zucchini and eggplant. And some pieces were just perfect. And some were dry and tough. Not sure how they manage that, but there it is.

                                                                              So when I travel I often ask myself the question: if this place were in my neighborhood would I ever go there? And in the case of Mykonos, despite its imperfections, I would say the answer is yes.

                                                                        1. I went to Santorini again tonight for the first time in a while, and it seems to be back to its quiet, pre-NYT self... while the service was a little slow, it was friendly, and the food was every bit as good as I remember... though we mostly stick to the salads, soups, hummus, and sandwiches/platters. The baklava is amazing. The prices seem the same to me. They have a very reasonably priced wine list and some beer now that they've received their liquor license. Great food-- and we all know there aren't many places with great food where you can get a meal for 2 under $40 (with leftovers). I'm glad to have this option nearby!

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                                            I just checked their website and the prices do seem higher. The falafel sandwich is $5.75, I think it was $4 something before. Vegetarian and regular Moussaka are $11+, I think they were under $10. Still reasonably priced, however, just not as cheap.

                                                                            1. re: MisterBill2

                                                                              We were there a few nights ago...yes the prices have been raised a tad and the portions have been reduced a tad, but it is still a wonderful value for delicious fresh food (and even though the portions are smaller, I still was able to take home some Zeus combo leftovers for lunch the next day...). We had a whole grilled red snapper, which was impeccably fresh and perfectly grilled, and served with tasty dandelion greens and potatoes--twice the size and $10 less than the little fish with no side dishes we were served at the (worshipped by some) Spadaro's restaurant in New Rochelle. The wine list has very reasonable markups on some interesting Greek wines (and others), It was quieter because the back room is now open, and additional servers have been hired.

                                                                          2. I am sadly going to have to report that I will never be returning to this restaurant. It takes a lot for me to write a really negative review and I eat out pretty much 7 days a week, but this had to be the worst restaurant experience my boyfriend and I have had in years!

                                                                            Let me preface by saying that the food was decent. I had the gyro and the "rice" soup as I like to call their Greek soup and it tasted good. Nothing amazing, but good enough to try again. But sadly, I will never try this place again. Why?

                                                                            The service had to be the worst that I have ever experienced. And usually, I can take bad service, I am not too picky, but this service was horrible and actually pretty abusive at times. I never have been yelled at by my server before.

                                                                            First, the server. I am not sure if he is part owner or what. He is older and I think he is Greek. But he had the WORST attitude. He was rude, unfriendly, and acted like we were bothering him. He was the only server and he did not let any of the very sweet busgirls? (no idea what to call them) help him out at all. It was his restaurant and he had all the tables and he was the MAN of the restaurant. So this led to us waiting for about 25 minutes to order. 15 minutes for drinks. And then about 45 minutes for our food. And in-between all these things, NOBODY would get us refills, answer any questions,etc. The busgirls wanted to help, but he was the one in charge, so all they could do was tell him and he just ignored our requests.

                                                                            I had to ask for pita bread 8 times! And when I finally asked him again he YELLED at me. I mean, yelled at me!!

                                                                            Then after he yelled at me, it took 30 minutes for us to get our check!!

                                                                            NEVER will eat at this place again.

                                                                            I don't want to be doted on when I go to a restaurant and I always try to understand when they are busy. But I do expect to be treated like a human being!

                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                            1. re: chloe4ever


                                                                              See my post above from February 6, 2008. I believe we are talking about the same gentleman -- does your experience sound at all familiar to mine?

                                                                              The owner actually called me after my post (he had my number from the takeo out orders I'd made) to say that I was being unfair, and I had hoped our candid discussion would help improve things. Obviously he said I was completely wrong. But, between your experience and many similar ones in the other Santorini thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/520324 , it's a shame that such service and attitude drags down a place that serves decent Greek fare. Very sad.

                                                                              1. re: EHS

                                                                                In response to some of the bad noise about Santorini.

                                                                                I don't feel it is worth saying that the service is horrible at the restaurant. I have been there many of times with my girlfriend since its opening and the staff (including the older Greek Gentleman) have always been hospitable, friendly and generous. I have to say that I naturally trusted their character enough that I brought my own mother and father with me because I recommended the restaurant on several occasions. The "older gentleman" in question, was actually very candid and quite honestly, very entertaining. He went as far to tell us stories about himself when he was younger. Maybe he was a little self-deprecating, but certainly not rude or anything of the sort. He actually danced a little and sang which I thought was comedic, but most of the time he was trying to keep conversation flowing will all of us and others in the restaurant. He reminded me of that classic (obviously foreign) uncle type that pats you on the back and makes interesting quips about things.

                                                                                Most of everything is great at Santorini, I have had no complaints about the food. I like my Skordalia prepared a different way, but that's the least of their worries. They have a great salad, spankopita and their Kalamarkia platter is even better than most Italian restaurants.

                                                                                As far as the food is concerned, I feel that outside of other boroughs, Santorini has always been the best in Westchester compared to some others like Mykonos, Nikos, or Lefteris Gyro. Unfortunately, I have eaten at Nikos and Lefteris. Nikos wasn't absolutely terrible, but I wouldn't go back there because the Spanakopita was like having hortas greens stuffed into a paper bag and then roasted through. Their horatiki (country) salad was just too much. The vegetables were proportionately too large, under-ripe, and were bombarded with unmalleable triangles of feta cheese; for some reason, it would not crumble or separate without use of a knife. Their saganaki was wet and rubbery. My branzino-style entree was the only thing that I ate with a smile.

                                                                                Mykonos so I have heard, isn't much better.

                                                                                In terms of service ??? Lefteris IS THE WORST. I remember going there last year and the owner (without making any eye contact) practically dealt us a table like he was playing a card game. I pretty much had the menu in my hand before I sat down. like he just wanted to seat people to keep anyone/everyone out of the way. The waitress was short in tone and was almost exactly like the owner. When I ordered my salad, it must have flown out the door the minute it was tossed. It was dropped down so fast, that the damn bowl spun 360* as the waitress walked away from the table. Did I mention the salad was served in an old metal bowl ? Come on, I am not going to eat out of a salad prep bowl ! Other than that, the salad was ironically limp and freezing cold. The dressing just added to my confusion. The classic Greek honey and oregano vinaigrette was like. . . .(and I am not mincing words !!!!) VOMIT ! I don't mean to be graphic, but it seriously tasted, looked and smelled like it. I guess that's what happens when you mix too much honey with too much oregano and some olive oil ! To shorten things up, this is what I thought of the rest:

                                                                                Hummus: Too grainy and wet, felt like eating mashed chickpeas with salt and vinegar.

                                                                                Falafel: Like biting into a crispy air pocket with an overabundant second wave of clove and parsley.

                                                                                Swordfish: Again, light as air, but with absolutely no seasoning or an attempt to flavor. All I tasted was wooden skewer.

                                                                                Tzatziki: Strained cucumbers. It's like baby food.

                                                                                All-in-all, I went down to the Pizza place just south of the restaurant and got something more satiating.

                                                                                Honestly, I could walk to Santorini from Lefteris . . .I recommend doing the same if you like Greek Cuisine.

                                                                                1. re: Plat Chaudetfroid

                                                                                  There seems to be a sudden influx of people on this board complaining about the metal salad bowls at Lefteris. You don't go to Lefteris for the fine china or the service. You go for a very quick but satisfying salad or other menu items. Their soups are great. I love the salad for a quick lunch. My daughter and I love the salad dressing and we have bought their jars of it to take home. If you don't mean to be graphic - please don't be. To each their own opinion but I question your extreme review of a restaurant in a thread criticizing its closest competitor.

                                                                                  1. re: Plat Chaudetfroid

                                                                                    "I don't feel it is worth saying that the service is horrible at the restaurant."

                                                                                    I'm sorry, but no matter the quality of the food (and some of it is quite ordinary), there's enough people having a less than satisfactory experience with the service at Santorini that it's right to make note of this defect in their attitude. Customers are guests in a restaurant and should be treated, uniformly, with respect and with a welcoming attitude. No one needs to get an ulcer from unfriendly or incompetent wait staff. Our job as Chow Hounders to is be honest - some have had a perfectly ok experience at this place, others less so. Forwarned is forearmed, and we can choose to roll the dice with Santorini, or not.

                                                                                    1. re: Nancy C

                                                                                      I hate to come on here and flame a place with really good food and great value like this, but last night the service we had was so bad that I can't see going back. I'd rather not eat out than spend 90 minutes being aggravated. Too bad-the place could be great.

                                                                                2. re: chloe4ever

                                                                                  If I was ever with a date or girlfriend and a waiter yelled at her, I don't think I'd wait for my food. Because I'm pretty sure whatever I had been served would be shoved up the waiter's.....

                                                                                  What made you stay?

                                                                                3. I had a great lunch today at Santorini. The mean waiter who I have had in the past, and who I think has been mentioned by others on this thread, was nowhere to be found. Our waiter was very sweet and let us linger. They have a nice lunch menu that includes a cup of soup + an entree (greek salad, wrap, spinach pie, and a bunch of others) from as low as $7.95. As always, they have their complimentary hummus and pita, which I love. The split pea soup was great and I enjoyed the Greek salad too. It was not very busy and made for a perfect leisurely lunch spot.

                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                                                    I've been there three times in the last few months and would like to report that the service has always been friendly and warm--imperfectly timed, sure, but always with a smile and a sense of real caring. And the food's been satisfling and well priced. We've enjoyed the complimentary hummus and pita, spanokopita (with lemon; I never thought of that, so good), terrific greek salad ( with flavorful tomatoes a couple of months ago; not so much now, obviously), chicken souvaki, lentil soup, and falafel. We'll be back!

                                                                                    1. re: spa

                                                                                      Consider trying the new Persian place in Elmsford - similarly good food, some of it quite like the menu you are describing (try the berry rice).Sorry to blank on the name right now...

                                                                                      1. re: Nancy C

                                                                                        SHIRAZ . Anyone else finding the cornish hen and chicken kabobs overcooked and dried out lately? Meat kabobs were almost overdone as well. What's going on? I love(ed) this place

                                                                                        1. re: yeshana

                                                                                          Went about a month ago, for the first time. We both had the chicken kebab, which was really good. Sorry if you'd had bad experience. I love cornish hen, but hate all the wee bones, so didn't try that.

                                                                                        2. re: Nancy C

                                                                                          Thanks, good idea! I've been to Shiraz a couple of times and am looking forward to going back.

                                                                                    2. If you're looking for really delicious Greek food in Westchester, try Elia Taverna in the Chester Heights section of Bronxville. I have had several wonderful meals there with pleasant service, and the price is very reasonable. I recommend it highly. Elia Taverna is at 502 New Rochelle Road in Chester Heights.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                        I agree Roxlet. Elia is wonderful and I prefer it to Santorini.

                                                                                        165 Atlantic Ave, Lynbrook, NY 11563

                                                                                      2. we went tonight for the first time. They started us off with a generous plate of hummus and pita. We shared the fried calamari, my wife and I had satisfying bowls of avgolemeno soup and the kids had salad. My 12 yo daughter, a budding chowhounder, pointed out that the croutons were packaged but the greens and dressing were good.

                                                                                        We had three generous orders of striped bass and I had the lamb souvlaki. The striped bass was delicious, very fresh, perfectly cooked and full of flavor. The lamb souvlaki was very good though I'll probably order the fish next time. The kids had large portions of home made rice pudding for the dessert.

                                                                                        We were one of four tables on a friday night. Our waitress was terrific, service was warm and friendly. We'll definitely be back.

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: vinouspleasure

                                                                                          Did you go to Elia, or Santorini?

                                                                                          165 Atlantic Ave, Lynbrook, NY 11563

                                                                                          1. re: Nancy C


                                                                                            165 Atlantic Ave, Lynbrook, NY 11563

                                                                                            1. re: vinouspleasure

                                                                                              Careful, I think the autolink is to the wrong place.

                                                                                        2. Santorini in Sleppy Hollow? Are you kidding me? Went there when it opened and it was good. Went back a couple of times and it wasn't. Bad service and food that was off. I even went in once to speak with them about catering a party for 36. They were disinterested and snotty. It may have been good when it opened but not now.

                                                                                          165 Atlantic Ave, Lynbrook, NY 11563