Chowhound Presents: Table Talk with Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh of Sweet: Desserts from London's Ottolenghi | Ask Your Questions Now ›

Restaurants & Bars

Diaspora, Rhinebeck, last night! (long)


Restaurants & Bars 5

Diaspora, Rhinebeck, last night! (long)

lucia | Jul 24, 2003 11:34 AM

We ate at Diaspora last night.

The place was apparently extremely busy last weekend, despite their lack of advertising, and they were basically running on fumes. Incredibly we had a good experience anyway, with a few minor gripes.

The tables are really tiny and generously spaced, so I kept thinking, why did they get such teeny tables when they have enough room for bigger ones? That annoyed not only us but the server as well because she couldn’t fit our dinner plates and bread plates and glassware on the table all together.

They were out of almost their entire wine list, but the waitress did have a list of the few that were in stock, and we had a dry Greek white (not the retsina we wanted) for $18 that was fine. Also had a sturdy Manhattan to start. The AC was blasting! Yay.

I ordered the taramasalata, but they must’ve been out of it, because they gave me skordalia instead without telling me. It was pretty good, though, with lots of little garnishes, good olives, a little tomato salad, garlic toast. Again, despite the annoyance, I was happy. The hub had the saltcod fritters with skordalia and loved it. Apps came out quickly, always a satisfying thing.

Hub had the roast leg of lamb with garlic and oregano. Perfectly pink in center, sliced prime meat with great Greek-style potatoes, steamed green beans perfectly cooked, and some roasting-pan juices. Nothing fancy, plated like real food, but exactly what he wanted. I had a shellfish stew with two giant head-and-shell-on prawns, mussels, clams, in a spicy tomato-based broth. I had to wrestle the prawns open with my fingers. Lucky I had a black shirt on and the next table was empty. Tasted good, though.

There was only one dessert left after the weekend rush—ouzo cheesecake. We declined. We spent some money, no more or less than at comparable places around Rhinebeck, and the service was straightforward and sweet. Waitress was not a good closer, though. Took like 10 minutes to settle the bill.

The menu has so many good choices—red snapper, octopus stew, pork, even the fish and chips looked good. And the guy knows how to cook. We’ll definitely be back. Hopefully their supplies will be in.

One thing that made me particularly happy was the old Greek guy (father of the chef/owner?) at the bar who gave us a warm welcome and a happy send off. A genuinely nice place, not a show.

Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound