Anassa's grand opening on Thursday, May 30th let guests take a first look at the impressive two-level interior, which features a large wood-paneled bar as the centerpiece of the first floor. Stairs lead to an upper level with white-cushioned booths, exposed white brick, and a view of the streets below. Traditional Greek worry beads and evil eyes are displayed and available for purchase at the entrance to the restaurant.
The menu is dominated by fresh seafood, prepared with extra virgin olive oil. Wild striped bass, red grouper, and rouget are among the selections of Mediterranean fish, and lobster is offered both grilled and in mousaka. Customers order sides separately, which are kept simple: potatoes, braised lima beans, and several vegetable dishes. Appetizers include Charcoal-Broiled Octopus with onions and capers, in addition to favorites like Saganaki and Spinach Pie in phyllo dough. Seafood is also front and center in the raw bar, where clams and oysters are sold individually and by the dozen or half dozen.
Meat options are fewer in number but varied enough to please more carnivorous diners, with organic chicken, lamb chops, and angus steak as regular entree items. The specials menu includes slow-cooked Pork Shoulder with lemon potatoes and a lobster spaghetti for two.
Baklava heads the dessert menu, served with orange honey syrup and vanilla ice cream. Another standout is Karidopita, a walnut cake with cinnamon and lemon syrup. Greek yogurt drizzled with thyme honey and walnuts is a lighter option.
Though more casual than its predecessor, Avra, Anassa isn't cheap. Still, customers can choose among several entrees under twenty dollars and pay a visit to Anassa without breaking the bank.
Anassa Taverna is located at 200 East 60th Street
For more information, check out their website.