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May 13, 2009 02:25 PM

Dafni on 42nd between 8th and 9th Aves - new Greek

We had a delightful lunch on Sunday in this new restaurant (I think it only opened on the 10th, but you would never know it from the smooth way things were being handled).
There was a prix fixe for Mother's Day at $30.00 for 4 large courses - choice of soup (excellent avgolemono or white bean) or romaine and dill salad, appetizer of 3 dips (fava, tzatziki, tarama, nicely plated with tomato slices separating them, the fava topped with red onion and capers, the others with olives), choice of several main courses (we both had the grilled quail on sautéed spinach, served with a spicy feta dip which went extremely well in a sort of Buffalo chicken wing way, and I mean that in the best sense, other choices were mossaka, leg of lamb, fish), galaktoboureko, baklava, or Greek yogurt with walnuts for dessert (we were stuffed and split the Greek yogurt), and coffee or tea to finish. We had a good bottle of xinomavro for $29.00. This is a great addition to a fairly bleak neighborhood (right across from the Port Authority bus terminal). We will definitely return.

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  1. Were there again on Saturday for a late lunch - they had more tables occupied this time. Had the Ntakos rusk salad with tomato, feta, and olives to start - very good even with winter tomatoes; the pork tigania for me (a huge amount of strips of pork loin sautéed in a white wine and oregano sauce, werved over their very good french fries; the lamb stew over horta (escarole I believe) in an avgolemono sauce for M, quite delicious and remarkably tender and mild; both came with a lettuce and scallion with dill salad drizzled with a slightly sweet mustard sauce; and good American and Greek coffee. With a $30.00 bottle of xinomavro, $84.00 before tip - and a small glass of Muscat each thrown in for afters. Better than most places we've been in Astoria.

    1. That is quite a detailed and specific post. I'm afraid I can't be so to the point, but I can say that I have no interest in sending anyone to this restaurant. Therefore, without any puffery, I have to second the OP. We went there for dinner last week before the theater. The host was welcoming,as was the staff, it was very clean and pleasantly decorated. The portions were large and delicious. If you're looking for a place for dinner,especially if you are going to the theater near 42nd Street (ours was at 42nd and 9th), put this one on your list. A very pleasant surprise in the middle of a not so pleasant stretch of 42nd Street, and certainly much nicer than any of those chain restaurants between 7th and 8th.

      1 Reply
      1. re: pammi

        I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it as well. We have no affiliation whatsoever with the restaurant, we just happen to have chanced across it and like it a lot. Hve been there 5 times now and enjoyed every one of them.

      2. Just wanted to thank fellow chowhounders for the rec - I didn't think there was much to eat this close to Times Sq. We went last night and had a wonderful time. The shrimp dish was fantastic, as was the salmon plate (solomos) - also they gave me a HUGE piece of salmon, easily twice as big as any other salmon plate I've had in a Greek restaurant for the same price - am thinking of Ethos here.

        My friend had the lamb shank on pasta, which was also great. I'd come back in a heartbeat. Plus we ordered this delicious tart white wine which was a Greek wine.

        4 Replies
        1. re: windycity

          I'm so glad you liked it - especially given your screen name. Chicago Greek restaurants are also a treat.

          1. re: buttertart

            Actually, a friend thought we should check it out and commented that they used yelp as a barometer, and I immediately said, I'm checking chowhound. When I saw that you had recommended it, I thought it would be just dandy and it turned out great.

            Part of the problem with yelp is that it's harder to have a handle on what kinds of tastes different posters have, whereas I have a good sense for which CHers I mostly agree with on food. :)

            Ah, Greektown . . . not to mention nearby Little Italy. Both ethnic neighborhoods with restaurants that do the cuisine justice, unlike NYC.

            1. re: windycity

              :) - we don't get to Chicago as much as we used to but 2 things were ALWAYS on the agenda: Greektown (whatever place was "eating best" at the time) and Topolobampo for the big splash.

              1. re: buttertart

                If you go between May-September, check out Little Italy for the Italian Ice at Mario's - huge chunks of fruit in all the flavors you can imagine. My faves are pineapple and tutti frutti. I can eat a whole gallon in a day.

        2. This place is a real gem, and I hope it sticks around. Service is top-notch, and nearly everything we've had--the Greek salad, the shrimp over rice, the seafood brochette, tzatziki, skordalia, and calamari--was wonderful. Having lived in Astoria for several years, I think this place stands up well against the best Greek restaurants in Astoria.

          1. If it's true that pictures are worth a thousand words, here are pics of our lunch there Saturday. Mediterranean salad (tomatoes, red onion, feta, kalamatas, dolmades and eggplant salad. Whole broiled bronzino (perfectly cooked) - also came with well-cooked spinach. Shrimp with feta. Everything top-notch and great with a very interesting bottle of Xinomavro rosé that hit the spot on a beautiful day.

            5 Replies
            1. re: buttertart

              It is hard for me not to order the shrimp w/feta everytime I go, that's how delicious it is!

              1. re: gloriousfood

                I hope they can hang on - it's been almost a year now, so that speaks to determination at least. Has it been busy when you've been there? It certainly isn't very on weekend afternoons.

                1. re: buttertart

                  I'm usually there during the weeknights, and I've yet to seen the restaurant entirely full or even half full. So yes, I hope that it hangs on. I think the location is a deterrent.

              2. re: buttertart

                Oh you've got to try the wine in the blue bottle, i think it's dionysus or something. i am going back to dafni's this weekend. so much good food for a reasonable price.

                1. re: windycity

                  Red? White? Yes I love this place, always happy to eat there.