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Greek and Turkish Restaurants

Coming from SF to NY and want to check out Greek and Turkish restaurants prior to a trip there next spring.l

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  1. Molyvos
    Turkish Kitchen

    1. Ethos
      Ali Baba
      Sip Sak
      If you'd like genuine Middle Eastern Syrian/Lebanese try:
      Al Bustan
      Byblos

      1. Avra
        Bourkies
        Thalassa
        Periyall
        Limon BYOB
        Sahara

        1 Reply
        1. re: rae305

          All,
          Thanks for the great suggestions here. What do think is the most talented Greek (or Turkish) kitchen for a reliable, high quality, creative meal? i.e. fabulous appetizers, entrees (fish at least), desserts? A relative suggests Thalassa.

          thank you!
          Janet

          1. For Greek-Estatorio Milos-the best zuchinni fried slices! And of course the freshest fish. For more budget minded but just as fresh-Ithaka on east 86 St is wonderful as well-not the cache of Milos but good eats.

            1. Milos is indeed very very good. But very very expesnsive.

              Sip Sak and Turkish Kitchen are both great options for Turkish food.

              4 Replies
              1. re: comiendosiempre

                I'll add another vote for Turkish Kitchen. Their lamb tandir is wonderful. There's a spiced rice dish that comes as a side that's great as well. I also highly recommend the ezme.

                1. re: Bob Martinez

                  I second the ezme. I agree with Bob's good taste once again.

                  1. re: NYJewboy

                    I'm shipping that bottle of XO cognac to your house. :-)

                2. re: comiendosiempre

                  We had a marvelous dinner @ Milos in 2007. I think I am still paying for it. Very expensive.
                  Ethos is a much more reasonable place with excellent fresh fish.

                    1. re: Rmis32

                      Pylos was the best Greek food I've ever had.

                      1. re: gator28

                        Seriously? I mean, I think it's a dependably good place, though about $5 overpriced per dish or so, but what did you order?

                        1. re: Pan

                          I live in San Diego, where good Greek food just does not exist. So there's that. I've had good Greek in San Francisco, but Pylos was pretty magical for me. It was over a year ago, but we had the calamari, a salad with lentils and scallops, and pita with various spreads. So basically appetizers...but it was all so good.

                  1. For Greek -
                    Kellari 44th Street
                    Avra

                    1. Some friends of mine from Greece (they live here since 8 years now) brought me to Stamatis in Astoria... And I understood why...

                      Simple, unpretentious place, but the food was amazing! Don't expect fancy menus.. simple fresh grilled fish, vegetables, simple and authentic, just really good.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: alepenazzi

                        Stamatis is where my relatives go as well. I can make a nice meal out of some smelt and horta

                        1. Turkish Kitchen has a great brunch buffet! Breakfast was probably one of my favorite meals in Turkey.

                          I have heard good things about Tacis Beyti in Brooklyn, but have not been yet.

                          1. Greek - Avra. Absolutely delicious and both fish and produce are super-fresh. The grilled Lafraki (sp?) is great and the grilled octopus appetizer is one of the best such renditions in NY.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: BonVivantNYC

                              Molyvos for Greek seafood.
                              Milos is good but will steal your pocketbook.
                              I have heard Kellari is good but haven't been yet.
                              Skip Kefi which is good on the UWS but you will go deaf by the time you leave. You can do nothing but read lips of the person sitting directly next to you.
                              Even the restaurant warns you of the noise level when you call for a reservation.

                            2. winetutor,

                              Where are you going in Greece? Most Manhattan restaurants really do not replicate Greek food. Most of it is too simple to make it in Manhattan restaurant world. One of the memorable things about Greek food in much of Greece is the absence of seafood and fresh fish, even right at the sea, and yet most NYC "Greek" restaurants make their reputations on seafood and fish. Interestingly, Turkish restaurants come much closer to what Turks eat in Turkey, maybe because people think it is a very low cuisine.

                              I think a lot of the plain Greek dives that once served some Greek food like you might readily get in Greece have gone out of business because people thought the were just too close to coffee shop food. (Greeks really do eat a lot of salad and feta.) One of the few that remains is Symposium, which still dishes up some recognizable Greek standbys and serves cheap retsina. Almost every place else is pushing something fancier and fishier than what you are likely to find most places in Greece unless you eat in resort hotels.

                              I'm a real naysayer on Molyvos, Kellari and Dafni (which hasn't been mentioned yet)., all of which I find just average and below when it comes to dining in NY.

                              [Edited to add: Out of curiousity I looked at the online menus of Greek restos in SF, and Myconos comes quite close to what you would find on a menu in Greece, although maybe not so many choices. Mezes also has basic Greek dishes. Alas, no lamb and artichoke stews, but you'll rarely find those in NY either.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: barberinibee

                                You hit the nail on the head. Fresh seafood in Greece is extremely expensive and really not that popular.

                                Many of the restaurants mentioned above are great in their own right, but not representative of what one consumes in Greece.

                                While Taverna food can be great, it really is not haute cuisine (nor does it pretend to be). Symposium serves a good facsimile of what most Greeks would eat in Greece, though there are plenty of other places do it just as well (e.g. - Taverna Kyclades, Uncle Nick's etc.)

                                I usually spend about a month in Greece every year and am bored with the food by the end of the trip and eager to eat something different. This usually involves visiting something with a Michelin star in Athens the night before I fly back.

                                1. re: Jez

                                  thanks. Most people think I'm crazy when I write things like that.

                                  I wouldn't have even mentioned it except the OP posted being interested as a pre-trip scouting trip.

                                  I could live forever -- as the Greeks do! -- on yoghurt and Greeks salads, olives and bread. I can get addicted to skordalia and such. I've eaten at Varoulko in Athens and wasn't impressed. A lot of food in Greek restaurants is not very good (poor olive oil is a big culprit). But I don't get tired of it if it is done well.

                              2. Surprised that no one mentioned my favorite: http://www.turkuazrestaurant.com

                                1. For Turkish, I love Limon in Murray Hill. Very small space and very reasonably priced (or at least it was when I last went there a couple years ago).