Boukiés: Quick report
New Greek meze taverna Boukiés is now open on 2nd & 2nd. Stopped in last night with the gf for a late, light dinner and came away pretty happy.
The space itself is very comfortable, with tables set at modern, cream-colored couches as well as chairs. There's outside seating, which would've been nice earlier in the evening, but as it was a bit chilly when we got there at 10pm, we ate inside. The host was very pleasant, and our waitress was funny and delightful.
The menu is made up of small plates, with only two entrees (a whole grilled fish, grilled lamb chops). We started with Saganaki me Diafora Tyria sto Fourno, baked Greek cheeses topped with red pepper compote. This was very good, if a bit too salty, which I think can be blamed on the cheese itself. The sweet red pepper provided a fairly good balance to the saltiness, but the saltiness kinda won out. Still, pretty tasty, and texturally rich, with a nice crust from the oven.
Dolmades Dodecanesioi, stuffed grape leaves with rice, raisins and mint, are quite sweet. Good grape leaves provided a nice, almost sausage-like snap. The dill-lemon olive oil provides a contrast to sweetness. These arrived at the same time as the baked cheese, so their sweetness offset its saltiness.
Manitaropitakia Nymfaio, mushroom phyllo pie. Four to an order, and a bit larger than I expected, which was a welcome surprise. Very simple, not spectacular, only a little bit greasy. I thought it could have been more intensely mushroomy-y, but not bad.
Psito Ktapodaki, Pligourosalata me Fakes, marinated grilled octopus. On the .pdf menu that I'm copying the names of these dishes from, it says that this is served on a bed of pickled artichokes, but this was not the case (I can't remember if it read this way on the printed menu). No matter, as this dish is simply prepared, high-quality octopus in a light lemon-caper dressing that compliments the meat well. Very tender, absolutely delightful.
There's a lot more on the menu, and it definitely seems worth exploring. All in all, a nice addition to the neighborhood.
Here's the menu:
Three of us had dinner at Boukies over the weekend. Much of the experience was very positive. To whit: the Spanakotiropitakia (this is really too long a word, but that's what the menu calls 'em) were just about perfect. Everyone's had these spinach triangles before, but Boukies' are on another plane entirely, and I will never be able to go back to the freezer case kind, which were good enough for me before. We all burned our mouths because we tried to eat them too fast, because they were that good.
I was also impressed with the Fava se Psomi me Gavro Marinato, which is bruschetta: toast covered in pea puree, roasted peppers and marinated anchovies. I am a sucker for all those things. My tablemates were anchovy-phobes, so more for me, basically. The octopus is very well cooked, but it's not really that thrilling. Could have used a bit more char, or a zing-ier sauce, or something.The dolmades were fine, adequate, not too sweet. I can't get too excited about grape leaves, though. My carnivorous companions liked the meatballs. The only miss, and it wasn't a big miss, was the shrimp with saganaki. The shrimp were perfectly cooked - I could tell as soon as my fork hit them - but the cheese simply beat them into submission. Lovely texture, sadly indiscernible taste.
The space is very pretty, and since the restaurant's on a corner, there are two views of the sidewalk, which is nice. But certain aspects of the service either baffled me or pissed me off. First, we were initially shown to a booth that was nearly impossible to get into. The hostess had to slide the table away from the bench, and even then there was barely four inches of clearance. It was ridiculous, like asking someone to eat in a veal pen. We were moved to a more comfortable table. Our server seemed to know the wine list very well - he steered me to a by-the-glass selection that I very much enjoyed. But we would have gotten a bottle had he not rather blatantly tried to nudge us toward the high end, and only high end. It was off-putting, as was the extremely fast service. So it was an pleasant meal, and a reasonably priced meal, but I'd recommend Boukies only with a few caveats.
I went with two chums on Friday after the very positive NY Times capsule review and had a lovely light dinner. We started with the saganaki; which I'll admit, I was disappointed didn't arrive at the table in flames. Nevertheless, it was pretty good. It's a bit one note, being fried cheese and all, but a few bites were nice with the lemon accompaniment.
Saganaki was followed by a light and extremely flavorful spanakopita, a hearty and rustic chickpea and tomato casserole and excellent grilled octopus. We ended with a pile of fried smelts, which was quite possibly the best fried fish I've ever had. They were ever so lightly battered and fried. I usually don't like anything fried, but these were delicious and addictive.
Service was excellent -- knowledge, attentive and hospitable.
The 3 of us had 5 dishes and 2 glasses of wine total, and we spent about $30 each. I will definitely be back, and would have no problem trading 5 farm to table restaurants in west Brooklyn to have one really good Greek one.