New recipes

Grilled Octopus with Gigante Beans and Oregano

Grilled Octopus with Gigante Beans and Oregano

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds octopus (preferably large tentacles only), thawed if frozen
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 750-ml bottles dry red wine
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • Gigante Beans (click for recipe)

Recipe Preparation

  • Sprinkle octopus with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add octopus to pot and cook uncovered until octopus releases its liquid and most of liquid in pot evaporates, turning occasionally with tongs, 20 to 25 minutes. Add wine, onion, garlic, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf to pot; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until octopus is very tender when pierced with fork, about 2 hours. Using tongs, transfer octopus to rimmed baking sheet and cool. If desired, rub off outer skin from octopus and discard. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

  • Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Cut octopus tentacles crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place on platter and brush with 2 tablespoons oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill octopus slices until heated through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to bowl and add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, red wine vinegar, and oregano; toss to coat.

  • Place Gigante Beans in large shallow bowl. Top with octopus mixture and serve.

Nutritional Content

One serving contains: Calories (kcal) 319.3 %Calories From Fat 28.6 Fat (g) 10.2 Saturated Fat (g) 1.9 Cholesterol (mg) 57.8 Carbohydrates (g) 28.5 Dietary Fiber (g) 7.3 Total Sugars (g) 4.5 Net Carbs (g) 21.2 Protein (g) 27.7 Sodium (mg) 499.2Reviews Section

What to eat at your favorite Greek Restaurant

So as promised I am making recommendations on menu items in Greek restaurants based on how closely they adhere to the principles of the original Mediterranean diet. Almost all Greek restaurants have a choice of traditional dishes based on vegetables, however they aren’t always really promoted-you might see them under “sides” or “extras”. Luckily the new generation of Greek restaurants are offering a wide range under their featured dishes that include plenty of beans, greens and vegetables cooked perhaps in slightly different way or even deconstructed, but with the same ingredients used in the Mediterranean diet.

All the restaurants have many meat and fish main courses and I am not saying you shouldn’t choose meat, but just pointing out dishes that better represent that original Mediterranean diet and have more nutrition bang for your buck. And really, most of us probably eat more meat than we need to, and Greek restaurants are the place to go for some tasty vegetable and bean dishes, so try and choose some of these for appetizers. I am listing my top 5 picks of each restaurant. I have added the links to each restaurant, so you can check out where they are.

Obviously this list is by no means exhaustive, just a few of the more known restaurants (traditional and modern) that come to mind. But you get the idea, try and order dishes with beans, horta (wild greens), cooked vegetables with tomato or lemon and some small fatty fish such as sardines to get some of the good fats, fiber and antioxidants the Greek-Mediterranean Diet is so famous for.

For those in the U.S. the Greek-American newspaper The National Herald has compiled a list of the 100 best Greek restaurants in 2011, click here to see the list. Today I am presenting U.S. Greek restaurants, in my next posts a selection of restaurants from the U.K., Australia and Canada and then I will also dedicate a post to Greek-Mediterranean Fast Food chains which may be a bit more tricky.

Restaurants in alphabetical order and items are noted as written on the original restaurant menus.

Agnanti-New York: Tomatokeftedes (tomato and herb croquettes), Mushrooms Kalitsounia from Crete (homemade dough wrapped around mushrooms and herbs), Politiki salad (shredded red and white cabbage, lettuce, peppers, cabbage, garlic), Fasolia Plaki (oven baked lima beans with vegetabes and herbs), Grilled Kalamarakia (calamari grilled)

Avli – Illinois: Prasopita (leek, fennel and Greek cheese wrapped in filo), Aginares Skaras (Artichoke halves skewered and char-grilled. Dressed with capers, lemon zest and olive oil), Lentil salad (Baby Greek lentils with roasted red pepper, feta, herbs, and olive oil over baby spinach), Cretan dakos (Whole wheat bread rusk, grated and chopped tomatoes, feta, herbs, and extra virgin olive oil), Horta (blanched fresh dandelion greens with olive oil)

Cava Meze-DC-Maryland-Virginia: White Bean Ragout (Tomatoes, onions, basil), Cauliflower (Pan roasted, EVOO, Greek yogurt), Lentil Soup (Aged red wine vinegar, roasted garlic, savory broth), Roasted Eggplant (Red pepper, garlic, herbs), Green Beans (Roasted garlic, Assyrtiko wine, tomatoes, onions)… READ ON FOR MORE RESTAURANTS

Costas Restaurant-Florida: Dako (Cretan crunchy wheat bread topped with feta cheese, fresh tomatoes, olive oil and oregano), Horta (greens endives topped with olive oil and lemon), Gigandes (Lima Beans Baked in a Hearty Tomato Sauce with Olive Oil, Basil, Garlic and Onions), Spanakopita (Greek spinach pie), String beans in tomato sauce

Dio Deka-California: Piperies (roasted shisito peppers, smoked tzatziki, lemon, Urfa pepper, Greek sea salt), Kounoupithi (Roasted cauliflower florets, chili flake, Kefalograviera mousse, lemon juice, summer herbs), Lavraki (Mesquite-grilled Mediterranean branzino, sautéed early summer greens, herb-crusted lemony potatoes), Ntomatosoupa (Chilled sungold tomato soup, basils, green tomato and roasted garlic, charred eggplant puree), Elies (Marinated Kalamata olives, chili, rosemary)

Estiatorio Milos-New York: Lavraki and Petropsara soup (traditional fish soup from the island of Santorini), Vegetables (Grilled Zucchini, eggplant, asparagus, peppers, the famous Cypriot cheese, and yogurt with dill), Fava (Cultivated on the volcanic earth of santorino, pureed, served with French shallots, olive oil) Sardines (Fresh Mediterranean sardines, charcoal-broiled and served with extra-virgin olive-oil, lemon, and oregano), Yogurt With Honey (Greek-style artisan-made goat’s milk yogurt with Thyme Honey from kythera).

Greek Islands-Illinois: Fava (Traditional Greek spread from chick peas), Hot Lima Beans (Gigantes beans cooked in tomato sauce), Bamies (Baked okra in a light tomato sauce), Fresh artichokes served in homemade egg-lemon sauce, Lahanosalata (Cabbage Salad -Finely chopped cabbage with carrots, and celery in garlic vinaigrette)

Kefi-New York: Fasolada me praso, spanaki, tomata, kremidi fresko, lemoni (White Bean Soup, Leek, Spinach, Tomato, Scallion, Lemon), octapodi stin sxara, revithia, fasolia, tomates liastes (grilled octopus bean salad), mithia-gigantes-feta (mussels-gigantes beans-feta), melitzanokeftedes, tahini, pita (chickpea-eggplant-bulghur fritter), tzatziki-taramosalata- melintzanosalata-revithia (Spreads: Yogurt, “Caviar”, Eggplant, Chickpea)

Kokkari Estiatorio-California: Karpouzi me Feta (watermelon & feta with pine nuts & Greek basil) ,Gigantes (oven-baked giant beans with tomato sauce, olive oil & herbed feta), Marithes Tiganites (crispy smelts with garlic-potato skordalia & lemon) , Fakes Soupa (lentil, vegetable soup with braised greens), Aginares Souvlaki (grilled artichokes & eggplant skewer with Greek yogurt)

Kyma-Georgia: Spanakopita (spinach and feta cheese triangle pies, baked in country filo), Whole sardines (herb grilled, Hawaiian sea beans, olive oil, fresh lemon), Eggplant stew (caramelized sweet onions, tomato), Braised Greens (warm greens, olive oil, lemon) , Baby Beets (olive oil, aged red wine vinegar with potato garlic spread)

Loi-New York: Gigantes me spanaki (Oven Baked Gigante Beans With Spinach, Cipollini Onions Topped With Parsley And Olive Oil), Papoutsakia (Baby Eggplant Stuffed With Tomatoes And Caramelized Onions, Topped With Smoked Feta Mousse), Sardeles Plaki (Baked Sardines In Tomato Sauce), Salata me rodi (Crispy Endive And Arugula Topped With Fresh Pomergrante Seeds), Saligaria Kokkinista (Braised Snails In Fresh Tomato Sauce)

Molyvos– New York: Revithia Hummus (Chick Peas, Tahini, Garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil), Patzaria me Gigantes ( Marinated Baby Beets, Giant White Beans, Skordalia), Dolmades Lahanikon (Grape Leaves Stuffed with Arborio Rice, Almonds,Currants and Mint, Skordalia, Fennel and Preserved Lemons), Piperies Yemistes (Stuffed Roasted Red Peppers,Arborio Rice, Eggplant, Zucchini, Tomato and Manouri Cheese), Lavraki Plaki (Mediterranean Sea Bass Baked in a Clay Pot, Horta, Onions Tomato, Kalamata Olives)

Pylos-New York: Spanakorizo (classic spinach-rice pilaf served with crumbled feta, lemon and cracked black pepper), Tsigarellia (chard and spinach cooked with celery, fennel, onions, tomatoes and crumbled feta), Gigantes skordalia me psiti tomata (giant beans pureed with roasted garlic, extra virgin Greek olive oil and charred tomato), Sardeles skaras (sardelles scharas classic grilled fresh sardines served with chopped parsley, garlic and extra-virgin olive oil) , Patzaria psita ( olive-oil-rubbed roasted beets filled with mint-and feta mousse)


You Say Potato, I Say Batata

The breadth of Rick and Shiva di Virgilio’s beguiling Portuguese-indian-Italian menu means there’s more than enough for everyone to agree on.

Y ou can get in over your head fast at Oporto Fooding House. Everything on the jumbo-sized menu sounds so beguiling&mdashand is so reasonably priced&mdashthat ordering too much is unavoidable. &ldquoLet&rsquos see, we&rsquoll have the charred carrots with root chips and goat cheese, please,&rdquo you tell your waiter. &ldquoAnd the blue-cheese-stuffed dates. Oh, and the risotto croquettes.&rdquo Then your friends pipe up, &ldquoCan we get the stuffed piquillo peppers? And the octopus?&rdquo And before you know it, your table is littered with plates and bowls and utensils. On both of my visits, the servers jumped in to warn us, &ldquoWhoa! That&rsquos plenty. Finish these and see if you&rsquore still hungry.&rdquo Obviously they&rsquod had experience with customers whose eyes were bigger than their stomachs.

The menu&rsquos varied enticements are a natural result of the backgrounds of Oporto&rsquos owners, Rick and Shiva Di Virgilio, the husband-and-wife team who also own Queen Vic Pub and Kitchen. Rick, who is the executive chef, was born in New York and learned to cook from his Portuguese and Italian grandmothers. Shiva, the executive chef at Queen Vic, comes from London and is of Indian descent. As a result, Portugal, Italy, and India make strategic appearances on the menu, augmented by Rick&rsquos creative riffs and culinary training at the Arts Institute of Houston. Talk about fusion.

The funny thing is that I almost missed Oporto because I thought it was a second location rather than something new (and, no, I don&rsquot understand the word &ldquofooding&rdquo either). &ldquoOporto has been around since 2006,&rdquo I objected when friends recommended it, thinking of the Di Virgilios&rsquo Oporto Wine Café. But they insisted that the airy restaurant on West Gray was nothing like the smaller, rather New Yorkish original on Richmond. And they pointed out that the menu was much longer. So I agreed to give it a try, in no small part because Portuguese cuisine is a rarity in Texas. And that is how I ended up sitting in a tall, wedge-shaped room in a corner of Houston where modern Midtown bumps up against remnants of the historic Fourth Ward, pondering whether our stalwart group was up for bacalhau, a.k.a. salt cod, Portugal&rsquos national dish.

As soon as I saw pão com tomate on the menu, though, I knew what our first order would be. Anyone who has been to Spain or Portugal has been seduced by the Iberian Peninsula&rsquos favorite appetizer of grilled bread drizzled with olive oil and generously rubbed with a juicy ripe tomato. Here the treatment was over-the-top (i.e., geared toward Americans), because the bread was piled high with grated tomato that had been tossed with lemony sumac and smoked sea salt. While we were eating and talking, we scanned the menu for more starters (conveniently, it is mostly small plates, and the three large ones are easily shared). Almost immediately, the heirloom carrots caught our eye. Grilled till al dente and served with a white bean&ndashyogurt dip accented with Coupole goat cheese, they were so sweet and the dip so bracing that they barely needed their garnish of citrusy carrot-top gremolata. Switching to legumes, we checked out the feijão, a terrific stew of gigante beans and fideos, fragrant with oregano and basil grown in the gardens that run alongside the building. (Savvy entrepreneur Rick adds, &ldquoWe even have a &lsquococktail garden,&rsquo where we grow herbs for our drinks.&rdquo)

On a second visit, we somehow found ourselves on a batata, or potato, kick. First came flavorful fingerlings, lightly &ldquosmashed&rdquo and amped up with fresh thyme alongside were a pungent aioli and a sweet and spicy tomato-tamarind chutney. Potatoes also provided a soothing continuo for the wonderful wood-grilled octopus accented with a lively mustard-seed sofrito. But the highest and best use of Oporto&rsquos batatas proved to be the caldo verde, a silky puree slicked with olive oil and scattered with characteristically Portuguese additions of kale and chorizo.

About halfway through the meal, we got a welcome pause as the kitchen adjusted to the fast-growing crowd of young people from the nearby apartments. With time to look around, I recognized the motifs&mdash abundant warm woods and strong, straight lines&mdashof a familiar restaurant designer, Austin&rsquos Michael Hsu. By placing low booths down the side and adding seats at counters and bars as well as tables, he has made the room feel spacious rather than cavernous. Portugal&rsquos traditional crafts get their due too. Graceful rope lamp shades echo Madeira&rsquos famous wickerwork, and colorful clay figurines depict the country&rsquos death-defying folkloric rooster, the Galo de Barcelos.

Back in racing form&mdashand in fact racing to finish before the place got too noisy&mdashwe ordered three seafood dishes in rapid succession. Portugal has a strong seafaring history, after all. The Mediterranean mussels, steamed in a lidded cooking vessel called a cataplana, sounded like an especially good bet. But while the clamshell-shaped cookware was interesting and the dish&rsquos tomatoey sofrito tasty, some of the shellfish were a little funky (apparently it was mussel-spawning season). Similarly, the bacalhau with potatoes and parsnips seemed promising but turned out to be blander than cream of wheat and about the same texture. So we ignored them both and concentrated instead on the splendid piquillo peppers stuffed with chopped shrimp and crawfish, all snugged under a cap of melted mozzarella and Gouda and lavished with a crunchy almond romesco sauce.


Grilled Octopus with Gigante Beans and Oregano - Recipes



Over the past 10 years, charred/seared or grilled octopus has become de rigueur at just about every restaurant we patronize.

That’s great news, because we love grilled octopus with a drizzle of olive oil. It doesn’t get more delicious than that.

Yet, simple as it is to grill seafood, we never tried it at home. One reason: We typically don’t see mature octopus at fish markets (in mainstream markets, it’s often a special order) and we personally don’t like the miniature size (not as meaty, not as tender, etc.).

So this past weekend, we happened upon frozen octopus at a Latin American grocer. It was tentacles only, which means we didn’t have to remove the head and beak. What could we do but buy it and give it a shot?

It turns out that frozen octopus is actually more tender than fresh. Freezing and then thawing the tentacles helps to tenderize the meat. White wine, often used as a braising liquid to slow-cook the tentacles, is a second tenderizer.

Octopus, first braised/poached and then charred/seared or grilled, is incredibly versatile and can take on any aromatics. The classic Mediterranean preparation is poached in white wine with garlic and oregano, served with gigante beans and/or some combination of capers, lemon, olives and tomatoes.

But you can make anything from octopus tostadas to tandoori octopus or go beyond the popular octopus and bean salad with a salad of fennel, mint, orange slices and red onion in a sherry vinaigrette.

You can cut the cooked octopus into kabob chunks, serve it thinly sliced on a flatbread pizza. We made a hero sandwich with sliced octopus, roasted red peppers and giardiniera.

Perhaps the most difficult step with octopus is he first step: deciding how you want to serve it, with so many delectable options. Some of our favorites are shown in the photos—at least, the ones we’re capable of making. Also take a look at pulpo a la gallega, an octopus and potato torta from Spain and octopus terrine, which can be turned into octopus pastrami.


RECIPE: SEARED OR GRILLED OCTOPUS

Here’s an important note before you start: As with bacon, onions and other foods, what looks like a lot of cooks down to far less. Estimate 3/4 to 1 pound per person as a first course.

Ingredients For 6 First Courses


Preparation

1. REMOVE the beak from the octopus. Place a plastic cutting board in the sink, slice off the head, and flip the octopus to remove the beak, which is in the middle of the tentacles. With a paring knife, slice around the beak and pushing it through, as if coring a pear or tomato. It will to pop out the other side.

2. HEAT 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole or dutch oven. Add the octopus and cook over moderately high heat, turning until lightly browned (2 to 3 minutes). Transfer the octopus to a plate or bowl. Add the garlic cloves to the casserole and cook over moderate heat, stirring until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds.

3. ADD the white wine gently, and bring the braising liquid to a boil. Here’s a tip from every Italian nonna: When slow-cooking in wine, put the actual wine cork in the braising liquid to cook along with the octopus. It’s one of those tricks that no one can explain. But simple slow cooking (braising) also creates tender tentacles, so don’t go crazy looking for “the secret.” There is one tip we’ll pass along from Bon Appetit: If you want the tentacles to curl, dip them in the hot poaching broth three times before submerging.

4. RETURN the octopus to the casserole, add up to 1 cup of water or broth if necessary, to cover the octopus. Cover the casserole and braise over moderately low heat until very tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the octopus completely in the braising liquid, another technique that keeps the flesh tender.&rsquo&rsquo

5. REMOVE the red skin by rubbing it with a paper towel, taking care to leave the on suckers, which are the parts that get crispy when grilled. Plus, removing them will dry out the cooked octopus. If the suckers start to come off when rubbing, it means the octopus has been cooked it too long. It isn’t ruined, but do your best to keep the remainder intact for the aforementioned reasons.

7. PLACE on a platter lined with paper towels to absorb any excess olive oil. Season lightly with salt. Transfer the octopus to plates. Fill the radicchio leaves with the Italian salad and set beside the octopus. Garnish with fennel fronds and serve.

Variation: You can also roast the octopus, but we haven’t tried it.

WHAT IS AN OCTOPUS (SCIENTIFICALLY SPEAKING)?

The octopus (plural octopuses, octopodes or octopi) is a cephalopod mollusc in the phylum Mollusca (class Cephalopoda, order Octopoda, family Octopodidae, genus Octopus, species vulgarism, plus more than 100 total species, representing one-third of all cephalopods.


Preparing Octopus Carpaccio with the Easiest Method

I have prepared my octopus carpaccio in the Japanese method. Instead of cleaning and boiling the octopus, I used octopus sashimi (it is already pre-cooked and ready to eat) from a local Japanese supermarket. All you need to do is to thinly slice the boiled octopus and place them on your serving dish, and then top the seafood with chopped veggies before you drizzle in the lemon and olive oil sauce.

The dish requires less than 15 minutes to put together, which makes it a perfect appetizer for a big party.

Octopus dishes are commonly enjoyed in the Mediterranean, South American and East Asian countries. Beside this Japanese style octopus carpaccio, there is also an Italian version of octopus carpaccio that is very popular. The preparation for the Italian version is slightly different and requires a bit more work.

If you plan to buy a whole octopus, and don’t know what to do with the rest, these are some of the delicious octopus dishes that I’ve shared:

And check out these links from other sites for more octopus dishes!

Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you next time!

Don’t want to miss a recipe? Sign up for the FREE Just One Cookbook newsletter delivered to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook , Google+ , Pinterest , and Instagram for all the latest updates. Thank you so much for reading, and till next time!


ELIA AUTHENTIC GREEK TAVERNA

False advertising by restaurants is taken for granted. How many times do you just shrug when you see “homemade” on a menu, or “best ___ in town” on a sign? So inured are we to the hyperbole of food puffery that we barely blink when something tells us that some foodstuff is the greatest this, or the the most authentic that. Most of the time, most of us presume the exact opposite of what is being touted, and no one bats an eyelash.

When it comes to “real” Greek food, most Greek restaurants are co-conspirators against consumers and the land of their birth. Like the Chinese and Italians before them, these immigrants created facsimiles of recipes that dumbed-down the real thing, because, they thought (rightly at the time), Americans couldn’t handle the truth. Unlike other ethnic restaurateurs though (who simply watered things down), Greeks decided to invite entire countries into their kitchens. Thus can you often find everything from mezze platters (Persia), to falafel (Syria), to hummus (Israel), to Caesar salads (America) to kebabs (Turkey) in your average Greek restaurant. Imagine French chefs cooking up a passel of pizza, bratwurst and bangers in a bistro and you’ll get the idea. The bastardization of real Greek food started decades ago, and it shows no signs of abating, as most Greek food now gets compromised by a lava flow of babganoush and a enough shingles of pita bread(Lebanon) to tile a roof.

Amidst our Aegean sea of mediocrity there is an island of Hellenic serenity. With nary a cliche in sight, Elia Authentic Greek Taverna opened its doors a little over a month ago, and immediately started changing people’s preconceptions about this cuisine. There are no Greek flags flying. No hideous Greek statuary adorns, nor is the color scheme another variation of bright blue and white. The walls are muted, the linens are thick, and the tablecloths are real cotton. Even the bouzouki music is tuned to a nice, conversational level. In short, this small, 30 seat space is unlike any American-Greek restaurant you have ever been to.

Small it may be, but mighty are the things coming out of this kitchen. Whole fish, supple, grilled octopus, spanakopita (pictured above), gorgeous, oregano-dusted lamb chops, oven-roasted lemon potatoes, superb tomato salad, gigante beans, and the big 4 of savory dips (tzatziki, tarama, tyrokafteri, and skordalia), all pay homage to the kind of food that Greeks take for granted — be it at home or in the neighborhood taverna. The all-Greek wine list is well priced, and the welcome makes you feel like you belong — because you do, and because real Greek food finally does in America .

The only untrue thing about Elia is that it’s not located on a side street in Athens.


Tag: Greekl food

False advertising by restaurants is taken for granted. How many times do you just shrug when you see “homemade” on a menu, or “best ___ in town” on a sign? So inured are we to the hyperbole of food puffery that we barely blink when something tells us that some foodstuff is the greatest this, or the the most authentic that. Most of the time, most of us presume the exact opposite of what is being touted, and no one bats an eyelash.

When it comes to “real” Greek food, most Greek restaurants are co-conspirators against consumers and the land of their birth. Like the Chinese and Italians before them, these immigrants created facsimiles of recipes that dumbed-down the real thing, because, they thought (rightly at the time), Americans couldn’t handle the truth. Unlike other ethnic restaurateurs though (who simply watered things down), Greeks decided to invite entire countries into their kitchens. Thus can you often find everything from mezze platters (Persia), to falafel (Syria), to hummus (Israel), to Caesar salads (America) to kebabs (Turkey) in your average Greek restaurant. Imagine French chefs cooking up a passel of pizza, bratwurst and bangers in a bistro and you’ll get the idea. The bastardization of real Greek food started decades ago, and it shows no signs of abating, as most Greek food now gets compromised by a lava flow of babganoush and a enough shingles of pita bread(Lebanon) to tile a roof.

Amidst our Aegean sea of mediocrity there is an island of Hellenic serenity. With nary a cliche in sight, Elia Authentic Greek Taverna opened its doors a little over a month ago, and immediately started changing people’s preconceptions about this cuisine. There are no Greek flags flying. No hideous Greek statuary adorns, nor is the color scheme another variation of bright blue and white. The walls are muted, the linens are thick, and the tablecloths are real cotton. Even the bouzouki music is tuned to a nice, conversational level. In short, this small, 30 seat space is unlike any American-Greek restaurant you have ever been to.

Small it may be, but mighty are the things coming out of this kitchen. Whole fish, supple, grilled octopus, spanakopita (pictured above), gorgeous, oregano-dusted lamb chops, oven-roasted lemon potatoes, superb tomato salad, gigante beans, and the big 4 of savory dips (tzatziki, tarama, tyrokafteri, and skordalia), all pay homage to the kind of food that Greeks take for granted — be it at home or in the neighborhood taverna. The all-Greek wine list is well priced, and the welcome makes you feel like you belong — because you do, and because real Greek food finally does in America .

The only untrue thing about Elia is that it’s not located on a side street in Athens.


35 octopus salad Recipes

Octopus Salad

Octopus Salad

Octopus Salad with Spiced Cucumber (Robert Irvine)

Octopus Salad with Spiced Cucumber (Robert Irvine)

Greek Octopus Salad

Greek Octopus Salad

Htapodi Vrasto (Octopus Salad)

Htapodi Vrasto (Octopus Salad)

Ensalada de Pulpo: Octopus Salad

Ensalada de Pulpo: Octopus Salad

Octopus Salad with Scallion and Lime

Octopus Salad with Scallion and Lime

Octopus Salad with Potatoes and Green Beans

Octopus Salad with Potatoes and Green Beans

Chickpea and Octopus Salad

Chickpea and Octopus Salad

Greek Grilled Baby Octopus Salad

Greek Grilled Baby Octopus Salad

Grilled Octopus Salad (Insalata di Polipo)

Grilled Octopus Salad (Insalata di Polipo)

Grilled Shrimp and Octopus Salad with Piquillo Pepper Fondue and Crispy Chick Peas

Grilled Shrimp and Octopus Salad with Piquillo Pepper Fondue and Crispy Chick Peas

Octopus and Rice Bean Salad Appetizer

Menus

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Cocktails

SHINJIRO

suntory roku, joto yuzu sake, shiso, lemon, bisol ‘jeio’ prosecco 15

ROTHMAN

old forester bourbon, giffard apricot,cocchi torino, campari 17

GRAMERCY NEGRONI

junipero gin, dolin blanc, chamomile infused aperol, lemon bitters 18

JACOB´S LADDER

ginger infused tanqueray rangpur, green chartreuse, orgeat, lime, basil 16

EIFFEL 19

grey goose, plum wine, butterfly pea, jasmine, lemon, love potion #9 bitters, bisol ‘jeio’ prosecco 18

FALL IN

400 conejos mezcal, lillet rose, fig, thyme, lime, peychaud’s bitters 17

PACIFIC RIM

kombu infused arette blanco tequila, togarashi agave, lime, yuzu 17

WHAT’S IT CALLED?

plantation pineapple, maraschino pistachio, lime, owney’s overproof rum, tiki bitters 16


NYC’s Breezy New Greek Restaurant Kyma Delivers Slick, Luxury Fare

Greek dining seems to be undergoing a resurgence. Not only are gyro joints like GRK Fresh Greek flourishing and hipster Greek bistros like Kiki sporadically appearing, but there seems to be action on the upper end of the dining spectrum, too. Since the last millennium our stock of upscale restaurants — such as Estiatorio Milos and Molyvos — has remained largely static. These places were distinguished by their sumptuous displays of imported fish on ice, for which you were charged by the pound, with the tab for a single fish sometimes ending up in the three figures. The fish were grilled to perfection.

But as further evidence of an impending Greek renaissance, a new branch of Estiatorio Milos is slated to open in Hudson Yards. And the Flatiron District has just witnessed the appearance of Kyma, at 15 West 18th St., between Fifth and Sixth avenues — an offshoot of a Greek restaurant in Roslyn, Long Island of the same name. It will be followed by an Upper West Side restaurant from owner Reno Christou called Eléa.

Kyma seems about to spill its tables out onto the sidewalk.

Kyma is decorated with akroteria, ancient Greek motifs

Kyma, which means “wave” in Greek, is tsunami sized, with 250 total seats in a barroom, sprawling dining room, and on a second level, as yet unopened. Like nearly every Greek restaurant in town, the decor is intended to evoke the tourist island of Mykonos, with whitewashed surfaces, patio furniture, and pottery in niches. Behind the greeter’s podium and along the walls are displayed the Ancient Greek terra cotta motifs known as akroteria. This place is classy.

When my dining companion and I arrived around 7 p.m. on a recent evening soon after the restaurant’s debut, the place was nearly filled to capacity with a smartly dressed crowd. Women wore sheath dresses and lots of jewelry, and men wore tailored sport coats with shirts open at the collar and leather shoes with no socks. Both groups were extensively tanned.

Our first meal there was damn near perfect, and not quite as expensive as Molyvos and Milos Estiatorio might have been. The menu is longer and fussier than most upscale Greek restaurants, with more inventions among the recipes. We generally steered clear of such things as a plank of feta seared in a sesame seed crust and yellowtail crudo with carrot and chamomile puree and a dashi broth. They didn’t seem very Greek.

Instead, we started out with a raw oyster service (six for $20) that offered one variety from Virginia and another from Oregon. No Long Island oysters, alas. A watermelon salad ($16) dotted with walnuts and heaped with crumbled feta sported a slightly tart dressing that seemed mainly watermelon juice. It was particularly refreshing on a summer evening. A trio of triangular spanakopita ($17) snuggled into a fluffy blanket of tzatziki followed. Though these spinach pies seemed a little pale, the garlicky yogurt proved a perfect condiment.

Watermelon and walnut salad

Spinach pies on flavored yogurt

We worried that the octopus, advertised as coming with peppers, onions, and capers, would be more of an octopus salad. These provided a welcome garnish, but the dish was mainly charred octopod delicious in its vinaigrette. Indeed, the apps were all delicious, though we considered it a defect that they all arrived at the same time on the small table, when we would have preferred they be coursed out.

Now, here’s where Kyma is different from most upscale Greek restaurants: Instead of being weighed and sold by the pound, the fish are price-fixed, selling for $32 to $38. From lowest to highest in price, they offer branzino, royal dorade, black sea bass, red snapper, and pink snapper. These fish are each enough for two people if you get a side from a list of nine that runs to Greek fries, asparagus, dandelion greens, and gigante beans.

Black sea bass with capers, simply grilled

Our black sea bass was superb, cleaned, grilled, splayed, and covered in capers. Lemon juice had been applied, too. The fish arrived deboned, but we had to stay the waiter’s hand from cutting off the head and tail and leaving us only the filets. The cheeks, of course, are the best part. Sprinkled with dried oregano, the Greek fries were abundant and nicely browned.

For dessert, we ordered a reconstructed form of galaktoboureko ($10), a little light on the custard and heavy on the whipped cream. Usually it’s a sheet pie or hand-held pastry. It’s a slick sort of place, and tellingly, Kyma offers espresso but no Greek coffee, a muddier specimen. Tab for two people with tax and tip but no alcohol: $180. We probably could have gotten by for two-thirds of that figure.


Watch the video: Κάνε την καλύτερη ψητή τσιπούρα. Συνταγή του Λευτέρη Λαζάρου (December 2021).