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Seeking a Great Greek restuarant

birdie32 Dec 15, 2007 10:45 AM

I'm looking for a nice upscale Greek restaurant with amazing food in the city. Everyone I talk to says to go to Astoria for Greek food but I'd like to stay in Manhattan. Any suggestions?

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  1. LeahBaila RE: birdie32 Dec 15, 2007 11:07 AM

    Ethos or Pylos

    5 Replies
    1. re: LeahBaila
      RGR RE: LeahBaila Dec 15, 2007 12:49 PM

      Ethos is one of our favorites though I'd hardly call it upscale. Very tasty mezzes + excellent whole grilled fish. The taverna-style setting has bright lighting and fairly tight seating. When the room is packed, the noise level gets quite high


      We recently had dinner at Pylos for the first time. After reading so many raves on this board, I was a tad disappointed with the food. It certainly wasn't bad. Far from it. Most of what we had was well-prepared and quite tasty. It just wasn't any more extraordinary than the food at Ethos. A case of unmet high expectations. The one area in which it did surpass Ethos was the ambiance -- very attractive rustic decor with a warm and cozy feel.


      1. re: RGR
        DarthEater RE: RGR Dec 16, 2007 01:33 PM

        I see they offer their grilled fish by the pound. How big are the fishes?

        1. re: DarthEater
          RGR RE: DarthEater Dec 16, 2007 10:31 PM

          Presuming you are referring to Ethos, the whole fish vary in size. Some are small and will feed one person. We usually get one larger fish -- 2/2-1/2 lbs -- which is more than adequate for my husband and me. If you don't feel like fighting with bones, the servers will gladly filet the fish tableside. And, btw, the roasted lemon potatoes that come with it are delicious!

        2. re: RGR
          financialdistrictresident RE: RGR Dec 18, 2007 05:15 PM

          RGR, glad to see you finally tried Pylos :) It's definitely good, not great. We have eaten almost everything on the menu. I don't care for their grilled octopus with balsamic and once I had a bad scallop. Otherwise everything we've had has been delicious and it's consistent. Can't wait to return for my favorite wine, Anny's Animus. Ethos sounds like a bit of Astoria in the city and it's on my list to try.

        3. re: LeahBaila
          PhishFoodie RE: LeahBaila Dec 18, 2007 05:28 PM

          I FINALLY tried Pylos last night, and thought it was every bit as good as I have heard it to be. We were there for our company dinner, party of about 25, and even with that, the service & cozy ambience was wonderful, food was very well paced ( i think we had/tried the majority of the cold & hot appetizers and later desserts!) and then had a choice of some entrees, probably covering most of them among us. Wine was refilled often, which was great, of course!
          Everyone really enjoyed it, and I plan to go back, now that I finally made it in there...I don't tend to go out for Greek much, but everything I tried at Pylos was delicious.

        4. s
          snaporaz RE: birdie32 Dec 15, 2007 12:56 PM

          Try Milos Estiatorio... IMO overpriced, but still very good.


          1 Reply
          1. re: snaporaz
            marye RE: snaporaz Dec 19, 2007 10:09 AM

            Defintely the best in NYC- great food

          2. jakew8 RE: birdie32 Dec 15, 2007 01:41 PM

            Anthos is another very upscale Greek restaurant. Pretty expensive and I had mixed feeling about it, but some people are wowed by it. Not as traditional as the places in Astoria.

            1. s
              scrittrice RE: birdie32 Dec 15, 2007 02:23 PM

              Love Snack Taverna.

              1. a
                anil RE: birdie32 Dec 16, 2007 06:02 AM

                Amos near GrandCentral on Vanderbilt.
                Kellari Taverna 44th between 5th & 6th
                Peraius on 21st St.

                2 Replies
                1. re: anil
                  LeahBaila RE: anil Dec 16, 2007 06:05 AM

                  While Kellari Taverna is gorgeous, I found the food to be extremely underwhelming.

                  1. re: anil
                    RGR RE: anil Dec 16, 2007 09:26 AM


                    I think you mean Parea, on 20th St. If so, it closed earlier this year but was recently re-opened by the Kellari Taverna owners and is now called Kellari's Parea.

                  2. c
                    cymoril RE: birdie32 Dec 16, 2007 07:09 AM

                    i love periyali. the food is fresh and tasty and the interior is very attractive..

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: cymoril
                      RGR RE: cymoril Dec 16, 2007 09:33 AM

                      Periyali is definitely upscale. However, based on my one experience there, I felt I was paying more for the very nice surroundings rather than for great cuisine since Greek food of equal or superior quality can be had elsewhere at far less cost.

                      1. re: cymoril
                        financialdistrictresident RE: cymoril Dec 18, 2007 05:09 PM

                        I second Periyali. Upscale, consistent, fresh fish, lovely ambience, excellent service. Hope to return in January. Periyali has best grilled octopus out of Astoria. Food is better than Ithaka (love their service and ambience is nice). Just went to Ithaka in November. I go to Astoria and Pylos the most. Pylos is very good. I haven't tried Thalassa downtown which also appears more upscale. I don't care for Avra or Kellari. Maybe just an off night but service was slow at Avra. Both are gorgeous, upscale at least in price. Ambience over food. I'd go to Kellari for cocktails. Kyma is okay. Need to try Ethos next.

                        1. re: financialdistrictresident
                          RGR RE: financialdistrictresident Dec 18, 2007 07:33 PM


                          I used to really like Ithaka when it was in the Village. Excellent food and charming ambiance. However, after it moved uptown, I read so many reports indicating that it had lost a lot in the transition, i.e., food went downhill. What did you think?

                          I presume you know that Kyma and Ithaka have the same ownership? We tried Kyma once a long time ago, and I thought the food was mediocre.

                          1. re: RGR
                            financialdistrictresident RE: RGR Dec 19, 2007 08:14 AM

                            RGR, I first discovered Ithaka when it was in the Village. The courtyard was charming and food was very good. I think I read an article that the owner of Periyali was seen dining there. Ithaka is okay now. We just went in November. The grilled octopus was a little overcooked. I met my SO there so it's more about memory/ambience than the food for us.

                            Yes I'm aware about Kyma and Ithaka having the same owners. It's been awhile since I went to Kyma. I've been there several times. The grilled octopus was overcooked. The food was good, but it's been a long time since I've been. Service was fairly relaxed.

                            We go to Pylos, Astoria and sometimes Periyali. I'm looking forward to trying Ethos.

                      2. s
                        s.piller RE: birdie32 Dec 16, 2007 07:37 AM

                        I loved the food at Anthos but they are way too quick to remove your dishes, sometimes before you are finished. This is a pet peeve of mine in many upscale restaurant.
                        It is not a relaxing experience.

                        1. g
                          G3B RE: birdie32 Dec 16, 2007 02:50 PM

                          i second the recs for Anthos and Milos for upscale Greek. Ethos food is fine, but far from upscale and I was not impressed with Periyali.

                          1. f
                            Farfalle RE: birdie32 Dec 16, 2007 07:57 PM

                            I can give you several recommendations, but lets just start with the best. Molyvos. Hands down, best Greek in manhattan. Fish is generally top notch, though expensive. All the mezze are fantastic as well and their baklava is the best that I have ever had. The dining room itself is very nice as well and they have a good selection of greek wines. The non-greek wine selection just okay, but you'll find more than enough selection.

                            Others that are very good
                            Milos - similar quality to molyvos, but a touch too stiff for me, and even more expensive
                            Avra - very good quality food, this is my go to place for midtown-east greek
                            Ethos - great neighborhood Greek. It's not really upscale and it doesnt quite compare to the others, but it's a bargain for a casual meal on a random night.

                            My opinion on some of the other Greeks mentioned here.
                            - Pylos: not worth the effort. Some people really enjoy it, but I find many of their dishes to be not authentic. They put sugar in their melizanosalata... that should be enough of a reason to stay away.
                            - Ammos: also very good food, but quality of the whole roasted fish does not compare to Avra and they are in the same neighborhood.
                            - Kellari: Solid good, good whole roasted fish. The dining room is also very comfortable. Problem with this place is that service is spotty and they overbook all the time. Went twice in the last couple of months. Waited 15 minutes first time, about an hour the second time.
                            - Periyali: Completely disappointed. The selection and quality of the fish left a lot to be desired.

                            As far as manhattan vs. astoria. I have eaten at a dozen different restaurants in Astoria and I find most of them to be just so-so. There are 3 or 4 really great places in Astoria, but quite honestly, I think Molyvos is better than all of them. Especially when it comes to whole roasted fish. The real draw to the Astoria restaurants is price. A fish that will cost you $30/lb in Manhattan will cost you $18/lb in Astoria.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Farfalle
                              Jane A. RE: Farfalle Dec 16, 2007 08:05 PM

                              We like Molyvos a lot and use it when we're heading to Carnegie Hall. Somehow, while we've never had a bad meal there, I don't think of it as a "destination" restaurant, but then I'm rarely looking for Greek - just enjoying it when it's around.

                            2. k
                              katie570 RE: birdie32 Dec 20, 2007 08:05 AM

                              I am not a huge Ethos fan--for less money, Kefi is better by far.

                              But for upscale, I love Periyali, Anthos is okay--I agree service is lackluster at times.

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