Just say no. Stamatis should be a safe bet; more reasonably priced and local-populated with as good if not better food than Telly's/ Elias. But it just doesn't cut it. Tonight the fish was mediocre , the salad and tzatziki uninspired, the service rude (you don't want to know but it was a group situation where gentle prodding to pleasantness was stomped on) AND uneven (the sides of veggies/potatoes came 10 minutes before the entrees (served lukewarm)). All for $25 per.
Is it safe? Unlike the movie Marathon Man, the answer here is explicitly "no". And even if it's good sometimes -- and it is -- at these prices it has to be consistent to be worth bringing a group. And with the occasional very poor service, it's now for me way beyond the pale of even thinking of taking anyone else there. And tonight's memories will be enough to prevent me from returning.
I'll try Syros, which just got a favorable notice in the Chowhound weekly summary of 4/28. If that doesn't cut it, I'll make do with Titan foods takeout and the spinakopita at Opa! Opa! (both on 31st St., north of Broadway). That is, unless, there are other recommendations.
Chowhound agony: A stinker at a place you recommended not because you loved it but because you thought it was relatively risk-free to non-hounds. Eat and learn. And don't forget your muzzle.