Top Chefs Talk to TNH about Their Greek Easter Favorites
Sharing traditional food with family is a treasured part of the Easter holiday. It can also be exhausting for the home cook. For those who prefer leaving the cooking to the experts, there are many options available among the Greek restaurants in New York City. Make a reservation and let someone else take charge of the souvla.
The National Herald spoke with two top chefs from Greek restaurants in Astoria and Manhattan who created delicious Greek Easter dishes for a family feast this year at their respective restaurants- Executive Chef Giuseppe Scalco of Merakia: GreekMountain Thief Spithouse + Steak, and Akrotiri’s Executive Chef Nicholas Poulmentis.
Executive Chef Scalco, told TNH, “My all-time favorite Greek Easter recipe to eat and cook is Margiritsa. I love it because of the rich flavors of the ingredients, including the lamb. I am excited to share this traditional dish with the diners at Merakia.”
Located at 5 West 21st Street in the Flatiron District, Merakia: Greek MountainThief Spithouse + Steak offers a Greek Easter feast for large groups. Guests can pre-order a whole lamb cooked on a spit and served table-side. The group dinner by Chef Scalco features lemon potatoes, Margiritsa soup, dips, pita, Marouli salad, and Kokoretsi. For dessert, Merakia offers Tsoureki drizzled with chocolate. Parties who reserved their lamb by April 1st received two complimentary bottles of Greek wine per table with their family-style feast. The ”GreekMountain Thief” in the restaurant’s name refers to the Greek War of Independence and the Klephts and Armatoloi. More information is available online at: www.merakia.com.
Executive Chef Nicholas Poulmentis at Akrotiri, told TNH, “My favorite dish is the baby lamb. It melts in your mouth and the recipe I make is a specialty of mine.”
Akrotiri, 29-20 30th Avenue in Astoria, is a brand-new restaurant and guests are encouraged to make reservations for the Easter feast. Lambs roasting on spits (arni stin souvla in Greek) will greet the guests before they walk into the restaurant. The meal begins with magiritsa soup and kokoretsi. Chef Poulmentis slices the lamb off the spit for the guests as they relax and enjoy a glass of Greek wine from the list which features many of Greece’s top regional grape varieties. More information is available online at: wwww.akrotiritaverna.com.
Chef Mina Newman of Christos Steak House, 41-08 23rd Avenue in Astoria, also created a traditional family feast with a spit-roasted lamb on the outdoor charcoal grill in the restaurant’s backyard area where guests can soak up the sun and enjoy Chef Mina’s take on the classic Greek Easter dishes, Margaritsa soup, Prasini salad, and Kokoretsi. More information is available online at:www.christossteakhouse.com.