Restaurants & Bars

Manhattan Greek

Kellari's Parea Greek Bistro, Flatiron

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Kellari's Parea Greek Bistro, Flatiron

MercerChow | May 20, 2008 05:11 PM

I had a wonderful meal last year at the original Parea, was subsequently disappointed that they had closed, then happily surprised that they had reopened under the Kellari umbrella. So four of us tried it one evening on a business occasion.

Top line: Food fine, wine list (for Greek varietals) terrific, service spotty.

For starters we ordered bottles of the Biblia Chora Sauvignon Blanc/Assyrtiko blend for a white and the Kir Yianni Ramnista 2000 Xinomavro for a red – the former quite good but the latter a bit thin. On the food side we shared the grilled marinated octopus and the Keftedes (angus beef Greek meatballs in Agiorgitiko sauce), both pronounced good.

For entrees, everything was delicious: Yesterdays Lamb, “our style of fire roasted baby lamb slowly cooked overnight to enhance mature flavor and offered the next day” and “served with oven oregano lemon potatoes,” a semi-traditional Moussaka, and the daily special, Veal Sofrito, pounded to resemble a skirt steak (or skate wing?), served with mushroom risotto.

An excellent bottle of the Gaia Estate 2004 Agiorgitiko was ordered and consumed somewhere in there.

For afters, we sort of shared Rizogalo (arborio rice pudding with mastic & spice poached quince), Galaktoboureko (vanilla bean semolina custard with a phyllo crust & apple syrup), and Pagoto (ice cream) – all yummy.

Now about that service. It was relaxed, but that was not really a problem as we were not in a big hurry. But no question some could find it annoyingly slow. Biggest issue for me was the Biblia Chora, which was kept in a cooler away from the table. In every case, when glasses ran low, there was no one around to refill them so one of us had to run over and fetch the wine. At these prices, not acceptable.

Good food and wine, yes, but with the number of quality Greek options in Manhattan, given the service I am not sure I would go back before I had tried some others.

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