To understand why Westchester hounds can’t say enough about Santorini, consider its taramosalata. Lesser Greek restaurants skimp on the fish roe that gives this classic spread its oceany tang. Some don’t even make it themselves but have it trucked in from Astoria. Not so at Santorini, where EHS observes that “you can actually see (and taste) the caviar, and the minced onions mixed in aren’t bad either (nor are they overwhelming). Much more flavorful than the more generic cream ‘dip’ from the other place(s).”
That’s how it is all the way down the menu at this two-month-old restaurant in Sleepy Hollow: Dolmadakia (stuffed grape leaves) are crisp outside, and the herbed rice inside is al dente, not overcooked and mushy as at many other places. Avgolemono is fabulous—creamy, lemony, chunky, and nothing like the usual mediocre brew that, for EHS, brings to mind Campbell’s chicken soup tarted up with lemon juice. A combo dubbed the Zeus highlights four hot dishes, all first-rate: moussaka, spanakopita (spinach pie), pastitsio (pasta layered with ground meat and béchamel sauce), and a generous slice of gyro meat. With a round of excellent house-baked pita, this appetizer plate is a meal in itself, EHS says. Others recommend the falafel, tiropitakia (cheese pie),
galaktoboureko (custard-filled phyllo), delicate, well-seasoned keftedes (meatballs in tomato sauce), and a superb rendition of youvetsi (lamb shank and tomato stew).
Charcoal grilled dishes are masterly. Standouts include meltingly tender lamb or pork souvlaki and nicely charred octopus. For a broad sample, try the Santorini platter, an enormous combo comprising gyro, chicken souvlaki, and beef kebab. These and other main courses come with soup or salad and rice or potatoes, and even the sides are exceptionally strong. The salad is huge and fresh: chopped lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, olives, and two stuffed vine leaves. The potatoes are roasted, lemony, and delicious.
Overall, hounds say, this is shaping up as the best Greek place in Westchester—outshining Lefteris in Tarrytown and Niko’s in White Plains, to name a couple. Their only concern seems to be that not enough people are making their way to this off-the-beaten-path restaurant. After enjoying a wonderful early dinner at a nearly deserted Santorini, laylag drove past Lefteris and was saddened to see a long line. “Not that I dislike Lefteris but it doesn’t compare.”
Santorini [Westchester County]
175 Valley Street (between Chestnut and Depeyster streets), Sleepy Hollow, NY
Board Link: Excellent New Greek Restaurant In Westchester