We ate tonight at Pelagos, a brand new Greek seafood place on 77th off Columbus, which took over another Greek place that wasn't doing so well. According to this week's Time Out New York, the chef/owner-- Peter Spyropoulos-- is formerly of Bouley and Mylos; in fact, in the style of Mylos, they sell freshly grilled fish "by the pound". As the official opening isn't until the 15th, they were offering 20% off everything on the moderately-expensive menu tonight. So, here's the "review":
Grilled octopus: Perfect! I've had it done this well elsewhere, but never better.
Pan fried smelts: The highlight of the meal; absolutely delicious! You just put the whole little fish in your mouth, bones and all, chew it a bit and swallow. It was kind of like eating a really tasty plate of french fries!
Grilled sardines: Very nice, but I think they're a bit tastier (and you get more of them) at my favorite Astoria place, Esperides.
Grilled portobello mushrooms: Very nice, and served with some delicious lettuce greens and two fabulous cheeses, one of which was orange colored and smooth-spread in form, and had a very sharp, cheddar-like flavor. The mushrooms themselves, though-- while good-- were not as good (to my taste) as the ones I get at Esperides. It may have been due to a slightly inferior balsamic vinegar, but that's just my (non-chef's) theory.
The salads: Excellent.
The grilled fish: Surprisingly, this may have been the LEAST tasty part of the meal. We had a Sargos and a Loup de Mer, and both of them were actually a bit on the bland side. So, again, this round I'd give to Esperides, whose grilled fish are ALWAYS delicious.
The service: Very nice and warm, with a delicious complimentary fruit & yogurt plate given to us by our waiter for dessert.
Conclusion: Almost as good as Astoria's best, at 20% higher prices (once they're no longer offering tonight's 20% discount). But then, we did save a half-hour's worth of subway rides followed by a six-block walk (and a freezing wait on the outside platform for the trip back). Would I return? Yes, for many of those appetizers, and just skip the ($21 to $24 pound) grilled fish.