New Greek Restaurants in Bridgewater/Somerville
- ambrose Aug 16, 2011 03:20 PM
Some time ago I bemoaned the fact that I had to drive an hour to Pithari Taverna in Highland Park to satisfy my Greek food craving. Today, in the space of about 45 minutes, I learned of two new Greek restaurants in the Bridgewater/Somerville area, about half an hour from me. One of these restaurants is open, the other is coming soon, or so they say.
The one that's open is Grill 85, located at 85 Old York Road in Bridgewater. If you're familiar with the area, it's very near Fortune Cookies, a dynamite Chinese restaurant. Grill 85 is a pretty small place, more conducive to lunch than dinner, though they are open until 11 PM. If you look at their on-line menu, it's split between what they call American Fair (sic) and Mediterranean, the latter being mainly Greek dishes. There's nothing earth shattering about the Greek selections (moussaka, spanakopita, gyros, souvlaki, baklava, etc.) but hey, it's fairly close to me! I picked up a menu today and will probably try them for lunch in the next week or so. Btw, their pricing seems to be absolutely ridiculous (half an oven roasted chicken with two sides for $6??).
The second place is, or will be, on Main Street in Somerville where Splash of Thai used to be. There's a huge sign in the window saying AUTHENTIC GREEK CUISINE but nothing else. No name, no opening date, no hint of who's behind it. I guess we'll just have to wait. The space is pretty large so I’m hoping this restaurant will be more substantial than Grill 85.
The closing of Splash of Thai seems to have broken Somerville’s Law of the Conservation of Thai Restaurants, i.e. if one closes, one opens in the same location. I believe the number of Thai restaurants in Bridgewater/Somerville is now down to five.
Thanks, Ambrose, for the heads up on this.
I tried Grill 85 the other day for lunch. The place is very small but there are at least 8 or 9 small tables for eat-in or you can take out. They also offer catering. The owners seemed very friendly and very willing to please.
I had a pork gyro which was good. It is real pork meat and not that pressed bologna-like gyro meat so often found around here. They also have a chicken gyro and they do offer the aforementioned pressed meat variety for those who want it.
They offer many other homemade Greek specialties. I didn't try any, but they all looked authentic and fresh.
I will definitely go again and would like to try them out for dinner sometime soon, too.
We have tried Grill 85 several times and love the food. While I liked Splash of Thai I thought it was expensive and not child friendly. It will be great to have a greek restaurant with (hopefully) awesome food and not have to travel to Astoria Queens for real authentic Greek food.
BTW the name in the window is GYMA Greek Cuisine but they do not appear to be open yet.
Actually, the name is KYMA, and they are now open.
I stopped in today to pick up a luncheon menu and to take a look at the place.
It appears that they retained much of the interior decoration that had been put in place a few years ago by Splash of Thai, and the overall effect is pleasing to the eye.
The menu features two pages of luncheon entrees in the $10-12 range, including Avgolemono (did I spell that correctly?) soup. I plan to have lunch there on Friday with a friend, and will report back afterward with our findings.
re: Ted in Central NJ
I had lunch at Kyma today with one of my friends, and I have an overwhelming positive report.
The decor is very clean and fresh looking. Some of the newish interior decoration of Splash of Thai has been retained, but the overall color scheme is now Aegean Blue and white--as you might expect in a Greek restaurant.
The service was good, efficient, and attentive--without being overbearing or fawning. Ergo--the type of service that I like.
The food, overall, was very good.
A plate of pita and toasted baguette-type bread, accompanied by a yellow pea spread, was brought to the table, and it was very nice.
The Avgolemono soup was excellent.
A shared plate of Dolmades was pronounced by my friend to be "the best that I have had in a restaurant". Since she is more of a Greek food aficianado than I am, I have to assume that she is correct in her assessment of the very yummy stuffed grape leaves.She did state that a Greek friend of hers makes somewhat better Dolmades, but that these were the best resto version that she has tasted.
My friend had the Baked Grouper (Plaki), and she raved about it. I sampled it, and agreed that it was very good. I like my fish slightly undercooked, and this dish was done that way, leading to a "melts in your mouth" texture, as well as a wonderful taste. The Plaki is accompanied by something that is described as a type of pilaf, but instead of a rice dish, it turned out to be similar to Ratatoille, at least IMHO. Very tasty!
I had the Lamb Shank, and--aside from the temperature, which could have been a bit hotter--I thought that it was great in terms of taste and texture.. It comes with a generous portion of orzo in a nicely-seasoned home-made tomato sauce. Very satisfying!
My friend ordered the Baklava for dessert, and she commented that, while it tasted very good, it was a bit soggy.
While we were dining, the staff filled a stainless steel vessel near the door with an assortment of fresh fish, on ice. In back of the fish were some baskets of fresh vegetables that looked like a still-life oil painting because the effect was so artful.
I will definitely be returning!
Incidentally, I recommend using street parking when visiting Kyma. The parking lot in the rear is shared with Verve resto and with the Veda Grille. The result is much congestion and aggravation in that lot. Perhaps it is better in the evening when some of the other businesses that share the lot (a graphics firm, a dance school, a gym, a welding supply company, and The Dessert Plate) are closed, but during the day, the rear parking lot is best avoided.
re: Ted in Central NJ
When I saw the title I immediately thought, "Oh I know a great place" ... and then I saw that my great place was already yours ... the one in highland park. It's a good hour for us and we make the trek now and then as it's just the best around. There's a fantastic place in Cincinatti but that also doesn't help you :-)
re: Ted in Central NJ
After reading about Kyma here, I decided to stop on my way home the other night, since I was passing right by. I have been looking for a good Greek restaurant, since my local favorite closed over a year ago and the reviews I read were very positive. It was bigger than I expected and the place is a cheerful modern space with Mediterranean overtones. The menu had most of the classics, but some other interesting items as well. I chose the mixed calamari – calamari stuffed with cheese and grilled served over a bed of fava bean puree. Wow! It was outstanding, especially with the caramelized onions that came with it – a very nice touch. I could have stopped their,but I had ordered the arni youvetsi, braised lamb shank with orzo – one of my favorite all-time comfort foods. The lamb was a little tough- not fall-off-the- bone, the way I like it - but the orzo was amazing and there was just a hint of herbal spice that elevated it above the usual taverna-style dish. Clearly Kyma wants to offer Greek cuisine, not just Greek food and I commend them for that. Although I was stuffed, I ordered the galaktoboureko for dessert and that was a mistake. The prices were higher than your ordinary Greek places, but Kyma is definitely worth it. I’ll be going back.
Had dinner at Kyma last Saturday night. The restaurant was pretty busy - we waited about 20 minutes for a table. When we sat down, a tray with pitas, grilled bread and a chickpea spread (I think) was placed on the table along with water by a busboy. The menu looked great. We waited quite a long time before a server came over to acknowledge us. I think they were a little overwhelmed by the volume of people in the restaurant.
We started off with Keftedes (meatballs with dill) and Kyma's chips which were fried eggplant and zucchini chips with Skordalia (sp?) dip. Both were very good. For entrees we had lamb medallions and whole red snapper. Both were served with lemon potatoes and were very tasty. We enjoyed our meal and would eat here again. The service was slow, but hopefully over time they will work out the kinks. Overall, a good experience.
Had dinner at Kyma last weekend and had a great experience. As you may guess from my name, I am a Greek food afficionado! Thought the food was excellent and very authentic. The service was very attentive and friendly. Really liked the decor. My only complaints would be the entertainment ( a bad guitarist) and the prices (a little high).
For starters we had the Kyma chips which were thinly sliced eggplant and zucchini fried and served with a garlicky sauce called skordalia. They were very very good. We also had the calamari and the octopus. The calamari was a bit salty but still very fresh tasting, The octopus was grilled nicely and was tasty but for some reason was a little mushy on the inside. Not really sure, why. Maybe it was overboiled before they grilled it. Lastly we tried the spanakopita and the keftedes. They were both quite good.
For the entrees we tried the barbounia (grilled fish) which was excellent. Barbounia is a Greek fish but in this case, they get it from South Africa. It tasted very fresh and was very meaty. We got the vegetarian moussaka which was quite good. It was made with eggplant and artichoke which is a nice combination. This version is not exactly authentic but it works. The bechamel sauce was a little creamier than I like but had good flavor. Also had the shrimp risotto which was excellent. The shrimp was maybe a little overcooked but the flavors were really wonderful and the combination of the shrimp with the artichoke hearts was great.
For dessert we had almost everything on the menu! The galaktoboureko ( a custard pie) was a little too sweet with the drizzled honey but clearly homemade and very fresh. The yogurt with quince was just OK. I didn't really love the combination of those two items. The yogurt is a bit sour as is the quince and I didn't think they went well together. The ouzo ice cream was fabulous and, in my opinion, the best of the desserts. The baklava was a little dry but I am a baklava freak and have extremely high standards for bakalava so I may be overly critical. The kardopita (walnut cake) was excellent, though I prefer mine with a honey syrup and not straight honey.
All in all, I thought it was a great experience. Yes, the prices are a little high but the quality and freshness of the food is great and the servers made us feel welcome and well cared for.
Definitely will go back and definitely will recommend to others.
Once again I am reminded why restaurant reviewers visit a restaurant several times before writing a review.....
I have been to Kyma twice for lunch. The first time everything was exceptionally good; the second time, not so much.
On my first visit the restaurant was about half full (ten to twelve tables occupied), a pretty good showing for any Somerville restaurant on a weekday. I opted for the combination beef/lamb gyro and it was right up there with the best gyros I've ever had. The potatoes tiganites (Greek style fries) were excellent as was the avgolemono soup which seems to accompany most lunch specials. The soup was piping hot and contained several chunks of chicken. An added bonus was the "bread" that was served before the meal. It consisted of small pieces of toast and pita along with a dip made, I think, from fava beans. Yummy!
Last week I went to Kyma again and again it was a weekday, but this time only four or five tables were occupied. This time I chose the chicken pesto which is a sandwich containing marinated chicken, pesto and feta on a ciabatta roll. The sandwich was huge and unfortunately the roll completely dominated. I ended up removing one half of the roll and eating the resulting open face sandwich with a knife and fork. It was fairly good but nothing special and it certainly didn’t match the gyro for flavor. In addition, the avolemono soup was luke warm and contained only a few small pieces of chicken. The potatoes too were disappointing, lacking the crispness of the ones I'd had previously. Again, however, the pita and toast were excellent, this time served with a dip made from beans, potatoes, olive oil and something else.
Service the first time was outstanding, even though the two servers had to take care of five or six tables each. The second time the two servers had only two tables each and service was indifferent - not bad but not especially good either. I did notice, however, that my server seemed to be particularly lackadaisical.
I’ve read so many good things about Kyma that I will probably try them for dinner and cross my fingers that my second lunch experience was just an aberration.
Added in Edit: I should have noted that the prices at lunch are VERY reasonable.
I would suggest that you run to Pithari Taverna in Highland Park rather than eating at KYMA.
Ate there on the recommendation of some neighbors who haven't eatin at Pithari - they said it was great.
If you know Greek food, you can tell immediately that KYMA doesn't use the best ingredients. the Feta in the Greek Salad was a small portion & very poor feta cheese - there were two olives & 3 or 4 capers - guess they don't want to run up their costs!?
I order a vegetarian Mussoka - which was okay - but certainly not the same quality or portion of Pithari Taverna. Wife had a shrimp dish that was okay - but again, not the quality of a similar dish served at Pithari.
So try it for dinner if you must - then next time Greek food sounds good - run to Pithari to get Great Greek food.
Just went to Kyma last night to meet friends coming down from Hacketstown. You are SO right on about what they call their Country salad!! I mean - get-out-of-here - what do you mean making it with cardboard, hard, tasteless winter tomatoes in the middle of harvest time in N.J. (if you can find good heirloom ones that is). We should have listened to the other poster who said the same about the salad. - Otherwise, spot on: we got there at 6:00 on a Saturday night, and halfway through our meal, we were shouting over the noise. Outside is the better option is the temps and mosquitos allow. - And we didn't order the best dishes. The three spread starter was good, but our fish dish over white beans was meh: the beans were soupy. And yes, you need to order carefully if you're watching your budget. - Thanks for reminding us of Pithai in Highland Park. We went once and must return! And also to Kyma and order different things this time.
Coldsolderjoint, what exactly do you mean? Has Grill 85 moved to another location or has it dropped the Mediterranean part of its menu and renamed itself Neil's? Or, has it gone for good?
I had a couple of good lunches at Grill 85 though on both occasions the baklava was burned on the bottom.
Added in Edit: Just partially answered my own questions. Found a couple of on-line reviews of Neil's and it appears to be a new restaurant. On the other hand, there is mention of both falafel and hummus in one of the reviews. Still wonder if Grill 85 has moved elsewhere.
I have no idea what the people from Grill 85 are planning to do, so I didn't want to post that they are "out of business". But at the 85 Old York Rd Restaurant, it's now Neil's All American Grill. There was no mention of any Greek or Mediterranean on the menu. It was an array of breakfast, deli items, chicken sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, cheese steaks, and some Italian items like Meatballs, Sausage and Peppers, Eggplant, etc. They also had a special that you can get Free Coffee in the morning.