Traveling through TriBeCa, we spotted The Greek, which upon walking in, you're lead into one of the most romantic, breathtaking places possible. Ivy covered ceilings with white flowers sprouting out, enchanting gardens, and lights dimmed just enough adorn this local hotspot. Seating myself and my #hopelessromantic date at the best seats in the house (ask for the two-seater all the way in the back where Bobby Flay sits), our host Anastasios Gliatis gave us the run down on the stunning decor. Gliatis told us that the decor was his project, crafted from his memory of the Southern Greece home he grew up in. "Classic stone is mixed with wood to create a welcoming atmosphere where amiability can grow within the meal," he said.
Taking us to "The Odyseey," each item on their cocktail list takes after a different Greek legend. Our favorite from the bunch was the "Paris," named after the Trojan prince who eloped with Helen of Troy. For those #chessclubpresidents who enjoy Greek mythology (myself included), we find the correlations between the names and the drinks intriguing. The "Paris" includes Finest Roots Rahomelo (a natural honey-flavored spirit going back to 12th Century Greece), St. Germain Eldeflower, Lemon, and Lavender bitters. Gliatis told us that they planned the cocktail menu based on nature, making it a unique staple for The Greek.
We ordered the variety of spreads to share - always a good idea to share an appetizer with your date so you have a commonality to talk about - and we loved each and every single one. Gluten free and vegetarian, yet hardly boring. If we had to choose a favorite, we'll declare a tie between the tzatiki and the tirokafreri (spicy feta). For non-gluten free folk, we'd recommend the freshly-made brick oven bread served on the side.
Our entrees included the Kokinisto (braised short rib), which was cooked to divine perfection, served with greek fries underneath the ribs. The other dish was the Mousaka, a traditional Greek dish made with layers of zucchini, eggplant, potato, and beef. Served with a layer of cheese on top, we'd recommend sharing the dish as it is filling and you won't be able to stop yourself from finishing the whole thing! Tasting each layer was a new surprise for our palate, never soggy or dry, which is virtually impossible when cooking a layered dish like the Mousaka.
Stuffed to the brim, the perfect after-dinner drink to order is the "Kalliope’s Rakomelo Spitiko," which has the Greek liquor Tsipouro Tsilili (imported specially from Greece itself by The Greek), Spiced Honey Syrup, and Greek Herbal Mountain Tea. Gliatis tell us that this also "doubles as an actual tea given to the Greeks when they are feeling under the weather." Sign us up for this drink no matter how we're feeling! Although we tried to beg off dessert, our server would have nothing of it, surprising us with a Kidoni Napoleon. The crisp layers were filled with moist quince mousse, not too heavy to finish off the perfect meal. Save some room for this scrumptious dessert, it won't leave your mind for a long, long time.
458 Greenwich St., New York, NY
By Nisim Frank