This time of year when spring is trying desperately to blossom, the thought on the minds of many is when they’ll be able to relax by the ocean, feel the sunshine, and enjoy a dinner of freshly prepared seafood. Greek cuisine relies heavily on the Mediterranean to create their healthy and simple cuisine. Recently, Thalassa in Tribeca, celebrated their ten year anniversary of serving diners contemporary and classic Greek seafood dishes in a glamorous nautical atmosphere. If Poseidon owned an authentic Greek seafood restaurant, Thalassa, meaning sea in Greek, would be it. With handsome leather chairs and banquettes, Greek urns, white billowing sails overhead, and a white marble and mosaic curved bar, Thalassa is fit for the gods of the sea.
Murray Hill’s newest eatery, Meli, honey in Greek, serves Manhattan diners authentic cuisines using the cultivated Greek flavors, traditions, and ingredients that have made the Greek-Mediterranean diet so popular among health nuts and foodies alike. The Konstantinos family, who has run multiple restaurants across the Aegean for decades, partnered with Greek Chef John Pilouras (formerly of Nisi and Molivos) to bring diners an authentic Greek dining experience by using the finest Greek imports available. An example of Meli’s penchant for authenticity is the Goges ($12). This traditional Greek pasta dish is made of hand-made pasta shells in a creamy sauce made of vlahotiri cheese and imported goat and lamb’s butter. If we know anything about Greek cuisine, we know this dish has got to be delish. According to my source of all things Greek, the best combination to make anything dairy-related of the Greek variety uses both goat and lamb’s milk.
Locally-grown food has gotten much attention in the last couple of years for it's great flavor and positive environmental impact. However, starting a personal garden can seem like a daunting and overwhelming project. Fear not!: creating a personal garden is super easy, low cost and fun!
First, you have to assess the space you have for your garden. Whether you’re lucky enough to have a yard or even just a windowsill, the concept is the same: you are looking for a space that has lots of light where you can plant herbs and vegetables that grow well in that season.
Craving some delicious Greek food? If traveling abroad is not in your plans, no worries! New York City and its surrounding regions have a number of lovely upscale Greek restaurants to choose from.
Thalassa, an award-winning Greek restaurant in Tribeca, is one of the most frequented Greek restaurants in New York. Fashioned after a restored sailboat, it features a curved, marble bar, wood plank floors and handmade wood tables- all imported from Europe, particularly the Greek islands. Fresh fish served here playfully jives with the décor, with dishes such as Lemon Snapper Filet with Trahana and Asparagus. For those who shy away from seafood, try their exceptional Lamb Shank Braised in a St. George Wine Sauce. A variety of pleasing appetizers lead the menu, such as the Horiatiki Salad made from tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and imported feta cheese. The wine list on hand exceeds expectations with 5,000 bottles in their cellar, allowing for perfect pairings.
The Static Jacks, 4:00 p.m., Bowery Ballroom
by Ryan Egan
Do you wonder why you should love the Static Jacks? Well, it's easy. This band has a similar passion and camaraderie of your first high school rock band, the only catch is they're really, intensely good. The group is yet another beacon of hope shining in New Jersey, sending out signals that the scene is not dead. The live experience has fans remembering At the Drive In and Refused all the while realizing this music never left. My only critique of the performance is that we should have thrown the Jacks in a bus, high tailed it out of the Bowery Ballroom and propped them on stage at Madison Square Garden where their sound and energy could truly be harvested. The Static Jacks are musically begging to break down barriers and small venue walls, and soon enough we'll see them doing just that.
6824 8th Avenue
Barbrix Restaurant & Wine Bar
2442 Hyperion Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
On Friday night, my friend Jim and I decided to check out Barbrix Wine Bar. Los Angeles Magazine recently named it one of the Ten Best New Restaurants in Los Angeles. It doesn't hurt that I know the owners, Claudio Blotta and Adria Tennor Blotta. Those of you who are avid TV watchers might recognize Adria Tennor Blotta as well. When she's not greeting guests at the door, she recurs on the ABC Family hit show Greek.
"Breaking of the Fast" Midnight Dinner
Saturday, April 3, 2010 at 12:00am
871 Seventh Avenue
(Between 55th & 56th)
New York, NY 10019
$65 per person
After 40 days of fasting for Lent, Greeks, like myself, are eager to "break the fast," and sooner is better than later. Celebrated at midnight, the very break of Easter Sunday, Greeks will attend church and then rush home for an Easter feast with family and friends that will last until the wee hours of the sacred morning. A time for bonding and celebration, a Greek Orthodox Easter meal is not just about feasting, but tradition.
Price: Rabbit pasta, $10.95
Upper West Side
505 Columbus Avenue
(between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue)
New York, NY 10024
For Greek food like your grandmother used to make (assuming your grandmother was Greek!) visit Kefi. Using recipes from his family table, Chef Psilakis is taking authentic tastes, giving them some flare, and serving them up at affordable prices in this family friendly eatery. Previously located on West 79th Street, the new location on Columbus boasts a larger dining room and walls adorned with painted dishes and baskets. The meze (tapas-like) style menu features more than ten dishes for under $10, including creamy chickpeas, which turned fire engine red when sprinkled with red pepper, and crispy sweet bread. The rabbit pasta, with graviera cheese and cinnamon, is by far the highlight of the menu. Pick a night, and hire a babysitter so you can sample the 8 types of ouzo or the variety of Greek beers.