The upscale Greek restaurant Onera earned critical acclaim and hound love, but that by itself doesn’t pay the rent. So chef Michael Psilakis has dropped prices, traded his ambitious modern fare for more casual, family-style dishes, and rechristened the place Kefi. Our first report suggests that the newly downscaled menu is accessible and delicious.
americanafan reports a satisfying meal highlighted by terrific moussaka, unusually light yet also hearty and filling. Traditional spreads–tzatziki, taramasalata, melitzanosalata, fava bean–get a slightly nontraditional tweaking, but they’re still comforting and familiar, served with tasty, warm pita slices. Main courses (which now top out at just $16) include a couple of holdovers from Onera, including the hound-endorsed helopites (a wide egg noodle with braised rabbit and grated cheese). The wine list is modest and nicely priced, with bottles for as little as $18. “It looks as if chef Psilakis has accomplished exactly what he set out to do,” americanafan adds. “I was a big fan of Onera and was disappointed to see it close. But Kefi should be a very popular neighborhood restaurant.”
Across town, Upper East Side hounds have one fewer dessert option. Martha Frances Mississippi Cheesecake, beloved for pecan, sweet potato, and Key lime pies, as well as its signature cheesecake, closed abruptly late last year.
Kefi [Upper West Side]
222 W. 79th St., between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave., Manhattan
Martha Frances Mississippi Cheesecake [Upper East Side]
1707 2nd Ave., between E. 88th and 89th Sts., Manhattan