Monday, April 09, 2007

Kefi: New Upper West Side Greek from Fancy Beginings

Kefi only takes cash. So remember to bring some when you go. Kefi does have a full bar, so even though the prices are quite reasonable, you may need the money by the time you're done. They have one good Greek margarita (according to the the lovely wife: I was having a respectable martini). Located at the site of, and owned by the same people as Onera, 222 West 79th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam (212-873-0200 / no reservations), Kefi is a downscaled version of the fancy (and not overly popular) Greek restaurant. As opposed to Onera, Kefi has a traditional Greek Menu featuring classic meze such as grilled octopus with bean salad (really good), Greek Salad (good enough) and a traditional selection of spreads (very small amount of each spread, but each was excellent). Other appetizers include feta, spanakopita, souvlaki and other traditional dishes.

Main courses included a limited selection of fish (grilled swordfish, baked cod and branzino). We had the branzino and it was very good. It was crispy on the outside, moist on the inside and well seasoned and oiled. There are also traditional meat dishes, such as souvlaki (its so traditional, they needed to make it an appetizer and a main course!), baked cod (ditto) and lamb shank. I had the baby lamb chop special, which came with a well seasoned and cooked side dish of spinach and rice. Most appetizers cost $6-$9 and most main dishes are around $15.

The service is fast. They do not take reservations. When we got there at 6:45 PM tonight we had no problems getting a table, but the place was packed with a line not quite out the door when we left at 8 PM. The lovely wife said she would go with the kids, but I would only do this early. There is plenty for the to eat, however. As I live and work only several blocks away, I'm sure I'll to back to Kefi. It will be great for a quick after work or before movie meal. To be honest I know why they changed to a more downscale restaurant. I only ate at Onera once.

1 comment:

Robin said...

Kefi is my favorite UWS restaurant. The chef just opened an even more upscale version of Onera, called Anthos, on West 52nd Street. Like Kefi, it won't win restaurant design awards, but the food is sublime. Greek salad a fancier version than the one served at Kefi (the Kefi version is the regular salad at Anthos). Octopus even more delicious (a lot more expensive, though, and portion smaller.) But that's the difference between Midtown business lunch crowd and UWS. Branzino at Anthos is plump and grilled and utterly delicious. Lots of wines by the glass at lunch, most of them Greek and yummy. (Although waiter did try to push the expensive Chardonnay.)
Tried only the yogurt dessert at Anthos. It's better, and bigger, at kefi.