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Aug 27, 2012 02:54 PM

We've got dinner reservations at Avra Estiatorio, BUT...

...but I've been reading some of the online reviews and so many of them complain about less-than-attentive service. I'm wondering if I should choose another Greek restaurant.

We''ll be coming into the city from out of town, and I'm hoping to have a dining experience that's different from what I might find at home (Philly suburbs). I really don't mind paying for great quality food, but when I do, my expectation is that the service and ambiance will also measure up.

The only other Greek restaurant I'm familiar with is Periyali, which I've been to and enjoyed several times. I wouldn't have a problem going there again, but it'd be nice to try someplace different. I've read through the recommendations here on CH and based on what I've read, I'd also consider Pylos, Milos and Kellarie Taverna.

If you were me, which place would you choose? Thanks!

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    1. I haven't eaten at Avara Estiatorio, but I'm posting because, unfortunately my last 2 experiences at Molyvos (last March, last October) were less than wonderful, and I felt the place had really lost its touch. The one time I ate at Kellarie Taverna, I was left scratching my head about the praise for this place. It really is so average. You didn't mention Dafni, but I positively hated it last week, and I see recommendations for it on Chowhound.

      3 Replies
      1. re: barberinibee

        What did you have at Dafni? I went again a couple of weeks ago and liked it again.

        1. re: Pan

          A dip of fava beans tasted terrible. Skordalia was better, but not a go-to version for me (too fluffy). My dining partner's entree of baked fish was unpleasant and was further queered by way too much oregano. I had grilled quail, some of which looked like it missed the heat completely and had to be left uneaten because it was marginally raw. Best item to arrive on the table was the side of roasted potatoes that accompnied the fish.

          I usually like your picks, Pan, and maybe on a Sunday night in late August, the chef at Dafni takes the day off (and maybe my partner should not have ordered fish). I never expect a workaday midtown Greek joint to be fab dining, but I was actually taking bites of food out of my mouth and returning them to the plate. What do you recommend at Dafni?

          1. re: barberinibee

            I've been there only twice, and if I had had a meal like yours, I wouldn't go again.

      2. I don't think I know enough of the more pricey Greek restaurants in Manhattan to give you a really knowledgeable recommendation, but I would suggest that you also consider restaurants in Astoria, and for that, you'd want to post to the Outer Boroughs board.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Pan

          I would second Pan's recommendation of going to Astoria, much cheaper than the city Greek restaurants and much better.

          1. re: irvingk

            I keep promising myself that "on my NEXT trip to NYC, I'm going to explore Astoria." Hopefully I will -- on my next trip.

        2. i used to get dragged to avra for business lunches and was never impressed. i was walking by the other day and the smell of stinky fish was strong.

          molyvos is a tourist trap if you ask me. id say milos but its overpriced. skip them all. pylos is good.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sam1

            100% agreed w/ everything you said. Bravo!

            1. re: sam1

              It's really a shame about molyvos because it wasn't always a tourist trap, but I have to agree it ended up that way.

            2. I had lunch at Kellari not long ago and liked it just fine. The space is nicer than Dafni, and it's quieter. I ate a slightly weird lunch (grilled octopus meze and a side order of horta) and the waiter was very gracious about my quirky order. Dafni is also fine, not outstanding--I'd pick Kellari over that one.

              I haven't been to Avra in 4 years or so, but when I have been there I have not had occasion to find fault with anything.

              Milos is great but it is another order of magnitude up in price. I would not eat there if I were paying for my own food!

              I do not care for Molyvos. I went there once pre-theater and was distinctly underwhelmed by the food.