HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

Greek Restaurants

c
chowhoundnewbie Apr 25, 2008 08:33 AM

My parents are coming in to town (so budget is not an issue) and my dad wants to go to a good Greek restaurant. Any suggestions? I live in midtown and will travel anywhere in Manhattan so location is flexible and price range is flexible (although I don't want to take him to a diner).

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. jakew8 RE: chowhoundnewbie Apr 25, 2008 08:49 AM

    I like Periyali on W. 20th St. The service is a little quirky and it feels like you're eating in a country club, but I've always enjoyed the food. The grilled octopus app is excellent and they do fish and lamb very well (as should be expected--it's Greek). It's in the $20 entree range.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jakew8
      Jel212 RE: jakew8 Apr 25, 2008 10:18 AM

      I second Periyali - and get the grilled octopus appetizer

      1. re: jakew8
        e
        Elyssa RE: jakew8 Apr 15, 2009 10:11 AM

        I'm going to be dining here on Sunday. Any updates? Which lamb dish do you like best?

        1. re: Elyssa
          LeahBaila RE: Elyssa Apr 15, 2009 11:18 AM

          Fantastic Greek salad, grilled octopus and fish.

          www.thelunchbelle.com

      2. 280 Ninth RE: chowhoundnewbie Apr 25, 2008 09:00 AM

        Milos would be my choice...in midtown, 55th between 5th and 6th.

        3 Replies
        1. re: 280 Ninth
          g
          G3B RE: 280 Ninth Apr 25, 2008 09:09 AM

          I like Milos too, although Anthos is good too on 52 Street bet. 5th & 6th too. Why don't you look at the menus of both and decide?

          1. re: G3B
            biondanonima RE: G3B Apr 25, 2008 12:39 PM

            Another midtown choice would be Molyvos - it's a little on the upscale side (although I don't find the prices to be outrageous), and the food is a nice mix of traditional Greek dishes and more creative, updated things.

            I was also going to add that you should stay away from Metsovo at all costs, but I just discovered that it closed. Thank GOD! I've never had such a terrible meal at that price point in my life.

          2. re: 280 Ninth
            Motosport RE: 280 Ninth Nov 22, 2010 04:18 AM

            Milos is excellent but VERY expensive for Greek food.
            We go to Ethos on 3rd Ave which is also excellent but t bit more casual and less expensive.

          3. m
            mieliepap32 RE: chowhoundnewbie Apr 25, 2008 09:11 AM

            A little more casual- Ethos on 34th and 3rd is really good- not too expensive. Food is always fresh.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mieliepap32
              r
              RGR RE: mieliepap32 Apr 25, 2008 09:49 AM

              Ethos is our favorite Greek spot. The grilled whole fresh fish is exceptional, and all the mezzes -- cold and hot -- are delicious. But to be honest, when it's very busy, it's a zoo. No place to wait comfortably for your table, seating is quite tight (except for the booths along the right wall), and the noise level can get extremely high. When we contemplate having dinner there, we make it our business to go early before the crowds descend.

              http://www.ethosnyc.com

            2. i
              iforman2001 RE: chowhoundnewbie Apr 25, 2008 11:01 AM

              Anthos or Milos

              1. l
                Lucia RE: chowhoundnewbie Apr 25, 2008 11:31 AM

                I like Pylos, Snack Taverna, and Ethos in Manhattan.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Lucia
                  m
                  mjh5821 RE: Lucia Apr 25, 2008 01:19 PM

                  I'm a big fan of Pylos, highly recommend it.

                2. f
                  FLnow RE: chowhoundnewbie Apr 25, 2008 11:31 AM

                  I highly recommend The Symposium on W. 113th St., between Bdwy. and Amsterdam. They have been at that location for at least 40 years, which is saying something! I ate there last week, after an absence of 38 years (moved to FL), and the food is as delicious as I remembered. The portions are huge and prices are modest. I arrived there at 4 PM and lunch service had just ended, so I ordered from the dinner menu. I had a cup of chicken-rice-lemon soup that was more like a small bowl. Warm, fresh slices of pita bread were served with this. I had an O'Doul's while waiting for my dinner of mousaka, rice, and an unusual vegetable medley, all of which was served on a small platter. The huge piece of mousaka was far more than I could eat, so I took it back to my room...and ultimately to FL the next day. I also had crema caramele (flan)...a very large portion. Total for all was $24.

                  This place has many lamb dishes, as would be expected in a Greek restaurant, but also pasta dishes, chicken, etc. Their menu is available online.

                  Wine, beer, and ouzo is available.

                  The ambience of this restaurant has not changed. It's still warm and friendly, with booths, small tables, and a large, long communal table in the middle of the room. Yanne's artwork still adorns the ceiling and walls, though I was told that the artist has returned to Greece to live out his remaining years.

                  1. s
                    sea97horse RE: chowhoundnewbie Apr 25, 2008 01:20 PM

                    I love Symposium! But for something more downtown and more refined, try Kellari Parea on East 20th, which I adore. Great space, quite good food, welcoming staff.

                    1. b
                      bastet212 RE: chowhoundnewbie Apr 25, 2008 05:57 PM

                      My boyfriend is greek (off the boat) and he demanded i reply to this query. He says the best greek restaurant in the city is Milos, but a dinner for two costs two months rent. The second best and slightly more affordable is Avra and he highly recommends this one.
                      He tried molyvos once with another greek friend and they both found it to be the least authentic greek food of any greek restaurant in the city. He says go for Avra.

                      -----
                      Molyvos
                      871 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10019

                      Avra
                      141 East 48th Street, New York, NY 10017

                      Milos
                      125 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019

                      18 Replies
                      1. re: bastet212
                        MMRuth RE: bastet212 Apr 25, 2008 06:03 PM

                        There's quite a decent place on the UES - maybe 2nd in the high 60s - that is similar to those places, but more reasonable. Will try to recollect the name.

                        1. re: MMRuth
                          b
                          bastet212 RE: MMRuth Apr 25, 2008 06:09 PM

                          trata or cafe greco?

                          1. re: bastet212
                            MMRuth RE: bastet212 Apr 25, 2008 06:19 PM

                            Trata Estiatorio - just looked it up - had a lovely meal there - though we didn't pay for it - hosts did - so not sure what the bill looked like.

                        2. re: bastet212
                          biondanonima RE: bastet212 Apr 25, 2008 06:15 PM

                          I agree that Molyvos isn't traditional, authentic Greek food, but that doesn't make it a bad restaurant. Everything I've ever eaten there has been creative, delicious and well prepared. They do serve certain classic dishes (like moussaka, taramosalata, etc), but often with a twist, and much of their menu is untraditional. I would describe the restaurant as more Greek-inspired than authentic Greek, in much the same way that Babbo is not an "authentic" Italian restaurant but rather an Italian inspired one. It's a solid choice, just not a traditional one.

                          Another option for more traditional, home-style Greek is Kefi, on W. 79th. I haven't been, but it gets excellent reviews and is very inexpensive.

                          1. re: biondanonima
                            i
                            InfoMofo RE: biondanonima Jun 24, 2011 09:46 AM

                            Kefi is quite good, but it is not terribly traditional. It has Italian and Spanish influences.

                            For Molyvos, I have had very good meals and very bad meals there, and the inconsistency is enough to make me wary of recommending it.

                            -----
                            Molyvos
                            871 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10019

                            Kefi
                            505 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

                          2. re: bastet212
                            t
                            taboo RE: bastet212 Feb 6, 2010 05:08 AM

                            I agree with bastet212......Milos and then Avra. I have eaten at Avra more times than I can count and amazing every time.

                            1. re: taboo
                              p
                              parkslopemama RE: taboo Jun 15, 2011 12:47 PM

                              I agree with bastet212's boyfriend and taboo re: Avra.

                              The grilled octopus appetizer was nicely charred but still tender. Also, the atmosphere is nice -- not too formal or stuffy.

                              -----
                              Avra
                              141 East 48th Street, New York, NY 10017

                              1. re: parkslopemama
                                Windy RE: parkslopemama Jun 23, 2011 09:43 PM

                                What else do you recommend ordering at Avra? Was just looking at the dinner menu on the website and found it a bit overwhelming. I eat everything; my companion probably doesn't.

                                Otherwise we're considering Kellari Taverna or Bi Lokma (new Turkish), all near Grand Central. On a Monday night, walk in.

                                -----
                                Kellari Taverna
                                19 W. 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

                                Bi Lokma
                                212 E 45th St, New York, NY 10017

                                1. re: Windy
                                  r
                                  RGR RE: Windy Jun 24, 2011 07:06 AM

                                  Since my post upthread in '08, Ethos is no longer our favorite Greek. In fact, we stopped going there because of the extremely high noise level.

                                  Kellari Taverna is one of the Greeks we now visit when we are in the Theater District. The food is excellent. They do a particularly fine job with whole fish, which we share. Lemon potatoes, a traditional Greek side, are well-prepared. Efficient service and very nice ambiance.

                                  Molyvos, which we hadn't been to in years but have recently returned to a couple of times, has become another favorite when we are further uptown in that area. Their mezzes are terrific, they do a superb job with whole fish and lemon potatoes, and their desserts are delicious. Excellent service and lovely ambiance.

                                  Kellari Taverna photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                  Molyvos photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                  We have not been to Avra.

                                  http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                  -----
                                  Molyvos
                                  871 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10019

                                  Ethos
                                  495 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10016

                                  Kellari Taverna
                                  19 W. 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

                                  1. re: RGR
                                    c
                                    City Kid RE: RGR Jun 24, 2011 07:18 AM

                                    I also love Kellari Taverna and don't think a Monday night walk-in should be a problem. For the caliber of the place and the food their pre/post-theater dinner (4-7/ 10-12) is a steal at $32.95 and has what I would choose à la carte...tender, lemony kalamari; lavraki (steamed Mediterranean bass); and for dessert I always ask for their homemade cookies, which are excellent and include melomakarona (Greek honey cookies).

                                    -----
                                    Kellari Taverna
                                    19 W. 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

                                    1. re: City Kid
                                      Windy RE: City Kid Jun 24, 2011 07:27 AM

                                      Thank you both for weighing in. Kellari Taverna is the easiest option, and the closest. The seabass and eggplant look amazing.

                                      -----
                                      Kellari Taverna
                                      19 W. 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

                                      1. re: Windy
                                        c
                                        colfaxBee RE: Windy Jun 24, 2011 10:09 AM

                                        Another vote for Kellari. The food is excellent, even my picky Greek in-laws love it. The fish is very good and fresh, but I always get the lamb chops-- divine!

                                        1. re: colfaxBee
                                          Windy RE: colfaxBee Jun 24, 2011 11:26 AM

                                          Went ahead and booked for Monday. Full report to follow--while I decide on the fish or the lamb (or eat off my friend's plate). Will definitely try the honey cookies.

                                          Thanks all! Heading to the airport....

                                          1. re: Windy
                                            c
                                            City Kid RE: Windy Jun 24, 2011 01:04 PM

                                            The bass is really good...re. the melomakarona (Greek honey cookies): They are offered at the bar, along with cheese, olives, and bread, and I have been known to snag one as I leave!

                                      2. re: City Kid
                                        r
                                        RGR RE: City Kid Jun 24, 2011 07:33 AM

                                        City Kid,

                                        I'm surprised that you ask for the cookies. We didn't request them, but they were brought to us after dessert, so I presumed diners get them automatically.

                                        http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                        1. re: RGR
                                          c
                                          City Kid RE: RGR Jun 24, 2011 09:25 AM

                                          Yes, RGR, we have gotten them too but I'm not sure if that was with the prix fixe. In any case the cookies are my favorite dessert and I can never have too many. I usually request only the honey cookies.

                                    2. re: Windy
                                      w
                                      windycity RE: Windy Jun 25, 2011 09:50 AM

                                      I was pretty disappointed in Kellari Taverna to be honest, I wouldn't go back. I ordered the octopus which was lauded and I didn't like the flavor.

                                      -----
                                      Kellari Taverna
                                      19 W. 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

                                2. re: bastet212
                                  c
                                  chewch RE: bastet212 Jun 16, 2011 09:28 AM

                                  I think Avra is a great choice for parents. Milos is good, but super expensive esp if you get fish. It could easily cost $50/head if you pick your fish to be grilled. I like Avra. It's a little more "fun" than Periyali which is a bit subdued and quiet.

                                  -----
                                  Periyali
                                  35 W 20th St, New York, NY 10011

                                3. r
                                  rrems RE: chowhoundnewbie Apr 25, 2008 07:35 PM

                                  I'm surprised no one has mentioned it, so I will: Snack Taverna. I'm not normally a fan of Greek food, but everything I've had there has been delicious, and it's not expensive.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: rrems
                                    l
                                    Lucia RE: rrems Apr 25, 2008 07:45 PM

                                    I did above.

                                    1. re: Lucia
                                      r
                                      rrems RE: Lucia Apr 25, 2008 08:08 PM

                                      Oops, yes, I see it now. Thanks.

                                  2. bigtallmamma RE: chowhoundnewbie Jan 9, 2010 10:33 AM

                                    While I realize this reply comes too late for your parental night on the town, I highly recommend a lovely little UES (near Bloomingdales) Greek restaurant called "Persiphone" -- really delicious and usually quiet during the lunch hours which makes it an awesome place for a little get-away lunch with the significant other to plan or dream of your future summer voyages around the Greek islands! Enjoy

                                    1. p
                                      paulnyc RE: chowhoundnewbie Feb 6, 2010 03:49 AM

                                      As others mentioned, Ethos (on Third Av) was one of my favorite Greek places, until last night anyway, when I went to Kellari Taverna on 44th (bw 5th and 6th) for RW. They were clearly trying to impress, offering delicious whole grilled Mediterranean sea bass on a RW menu! As you walk in you'll see a display case with beautifully colored, clear-eyed, fresh fish anywhere in New York. (The Lobsters still creeping on the ice). Try the chilean sea bass in grape leaves with parsnip mash. Sounds gimmicky, but was delicious. The wine list is great. The room is spacious. And the service was impeccable. Only complaint is the baklava, which they prepare in bite size pieces rather than by the slice, making them very dense and dry.
                                      For rustic Greek, I LOVE Pylos (on E. 7th St.) in the LES.

                                      1. h
                                        habsfan110 RE: chowhoundnewbie Nov 20, 2010 12:16 PM

                                        The Greek Kitchen is the best Greek restaurant in manhattan.

                                        -----
                                        Greek Kitchen
                                        889 10th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: habsfan110
                                          p
                                          Pan RE: habsfan110 Nov 22, 2010 12:02 AM

                                          That's close to my girlfriend's place! What have you liked there?

                                          1. re: Pan
                                            h
                                            habsfan110 RE: Pan Sep 25, 2011 08:57 AM

                                            the chicken souvlaki, and the gyros are delicious there

                                            -----
                                            Greek Kitchen
                                            889 10th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                                        Show Hidden Posts