The Greek, a lovely restaurant situated among the cobblestone streets of industrial Tribeca, is at once welcoming, delicious, sophisticated, and cozy. Upon entering the dimly lit space, what I assumed to be traditional Greek music greeted me, as did a kind hostess, who had a Greek accent.
My brother was–as usual–running behind, so I was offered to enjoy a drink at the bar while waiting for his arrival. The handsome bartender, with a friendly smile and Greek accent, handed me a menu complete with Greek titles for each dish. (As a lover of languages and an amateur learner of Ancient Greek, I greatly appreciated this element.)
The wine list consisted only of Greek wines, and, not knowing what to order among the natural/biodynamic selection, I timidly asked for some guidance. The bartender kindly responded by inquiring about my preferences: did I prefer full-bodied, etc.? Not too well-versed (yet) in the beautifully complex world of oenology, I stated that I enjoyed Malbecs, unsure of which adjectives applied to this varietal amongst the wine-adept.
The bartender then selected two wines to taste. Both were fantastic, and, upon witnessing my surprised/delighted expression after swirling and sipping the second selection, a man–whom I assumed to be the sommelier–approached and began to passionately share his love of Greek wines, in particular the one I had just tasted, speaking of the islands on which the grapes were grown and ancient history of some varietals.
Such passion and hospitality permeate throughout every element of The Greek. Not only are the staff incredibly kind and hospitable–as well as extremely knowledgeable–but also professional, a rare combination in New York City’s competitive food environment.
The food is also insanely delicious and fresh. The Greek proudly holds itself to high standards with regards to the experience it seeks to create, especially the culinary element of this experience. Dedicated to cooking with seasonal, local, and organic produce, as well as scrupulously chosen Greek products, the food is of extremely high quality, as evidenced by its refreshing simplicity and unpretentious beauty and flavor.
Think whole-roasted bronzino so tender and flaky it melts in the mouth, accompanied by braised greens that lend it a delightfully chewy, lemony accompaniment; or a simple salad of spicy arugula, crisp Persian cucumbers, sweet tomatoes, and luscious, triangular slices of feta; or creamy Greek yogurt, kissed by sweet honey and cherries, with crunchy almond halva.
The authenticity of The Greek is evident and shows through its lively music, its rustic interior, its friendly (mostly Greek) staff, its Greek translations on the menu, and its beautifully-crafted, delicious food, made from the finest ingredients. The Greek refers to itself as a “home away from home” and humbly shares how the restaurant is, for those who work there as well as its guests, a house.
This designation could not be more accurate.