Last weekend my mom, cousins and I met up in New York City for a girls weekend! Every time we we meet in New York, three things must happen: Indian food, Mexican food, and Greek food. The goal here is not what it seems, we are not trying to be ethnically diverse or eat cuisine from three different continents. We are simply trying to please my mother’s limited palate. Denise only likes said cuisines, and only a couple dishes per. Usually she has a hard time finding something she likes, but never in New York!
I used to make her try new things, but when she didn’t like anything but Greek, Mexican, or Indian, I gave up. In case your’e wondering, she does like cheese (thank god). Embracing her food limitations is actually really fun, and I have been so some great Mexican restaurants because of it. She’s seriously the weirdest / pickiest / random-est eater I have ever met. If one thing is for sure, it’s her ability to pick a Greek restaurant.
We had lunch Kellari Taverna, a Greek spot in west Midtown that my Mom discovered on her last trip to NY. When she said Greek, I thought Greek diner, gyros, falafel, etc. etc. etc. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Kellari was an upscale Greek restaurant. Then I realized, I have never even been to an upscale Greek restaurant before. Serious food blogger foul. Hey, there’s a first time for everything…
I knew I was going to like Kellari when I saw the “come as strangers, leave as friends” sign hanging above the entryway. In the front of the rustic-looking restaurant there is a small lounge area that looked perfect for cocktails and appetizers. Behind it, the seating area is enormous.
We got a bunch of small plates to share. The first: Pikilia – an assortment of savory traditional Greek spreads served with pita. That’s Tzatiki in the center, eggplant dip, codfish roe mousse, hummus and a feta anchovy spread. All dips were great, my favorite was the Tzatziki because it had chunks of cucumber in it. The eggplant had an interesting smokey flavor to it that I really liked. The cod roe mousse texture was a little freaky (the pink one on the right), but the taste was really good.
MmmmMM Greek Salad with creamy feta and no lettuce (just like Cafeteria‘s)! The feta was great because it wasn’t too salty. Just look at this salad, how could it not have been great. Yellow tomatoes are underrated.
Eggplant and zucchini chips. These are sliced so thin, I didn’t think they were going to be flavorful at all, but they were full of flavor and not that greasy. Everything one could ask for in a eggplant and zucchini chip.
Maryland crab cakes, Greek style. I actually don’t know what made these crab cakes Greek, but they were damn good anyway. Being from Maryland, I have eaten a great deal of crab cakes in my day, and these were right up there with the best of ‘em!
Last but not least: Lemony chicken and rice soup. Well, it is least photogenic. This was one of my favorite parts of the meal. This soup had so much flavor and more than satisfied my cold, windy day soup craving.
And for the service…attentive, but not annoying. Friendly, but not fake. Food, great. Service, great. Atmosphere, Great. JustAddCheese rating 5 of 5! OPA!
I will definitely come back to this place anytime I’m in NY and want some Greek food.
Kellarni Taverna is located at 19 West 44th Street, New York NY 10036.
P.s. Afterwards, we saw The Town and I LOVED IT, has anyone seen it yet?