Press Dinner at Thalassa in Tribeca - NYC, New York | I just want to eat!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Press Dinner at Thalassa in Tribeca - NYC, New York

Image of Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York
If you follow this blog, you will probably think that this is deja vu! No, you are not mistaken: I went to Thalassa already for a press dinner and the review was just ok as there were some mishaps. So, their PR proposed that I come back as they acknowledged that there were some issues that night I went. I accepted of course as, after I wrote my review and posted it, I checked other bloggers' reviews and they seem ecstatic about that place. After all, everybody can have a bad day and I wonder if, knowing that you will serve people who will write about your food, can add a bit of pressure to the kitchen.

As a reminder, when you will read this revisiting post, please remember that the restaurant knew who we were and served us a complementary tasting menu of their choice.

So what makes Thalassa different from other Greek restaurants in the city? It is definitely the fish selection. Anyway, doesn't Thalassa mean "The Sea"?

They have this great fish display where you can see the fish selection and you can order fish by the pound.
Image of fish display at Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York

In fact, the Chef, Raphael Abrahante, told us that he tries to only buy wild fish as opposed to farm raised. Of course, the price will be different from the market to the plate.
Image of fish display at Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York


So, here I was at Thalassa, still remembering the place: modern with a spectacular decor designed by a French architect, Jean-Pierre Heim. The bar still looked fantastic with the blue lights and I decided this time to order a ouzo mojito, as we were waiting for other guests to arrive.
Image of ouzo mojito at Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York

The cocktail was pretty good, combining perfectly the anise flavor of the ouzo and the mint. They definitely score some points on the cocktails as I still remember the delicious Greek Pear Martini I had last time.

Once everybody was there, we sat at the table and started our dinner. It seemed very familiar: olive oil, olives, eggplant with roasted red pepper and crostini.

Then, started our culinary adventure that I thought would not stop...

The Cod Fritter:
Image of Cod fritter at Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York

It was a perfect bite: tasty and not greasy, this is the type of dish I would for sure eat at Happy Hour.

Horiatiki or what any of us would call a Greek salad when ordering in order not to sound ridiculous!
Image of Greek salad at Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York

It was composed of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and peppers with Dodonis feta. Light an fresh,  I liked the fact that they removed the skin from the tomatoes, leaving the crunchiness to the cucumbers and peppers.

Pikilia or Mediterranean dips:
Image of Mediterranean dips at Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York

This is a great meze to share. They were served with warm homemade pita.

Image of Pita at Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York

My favorite remains the eggplant dip for sure!

Zucchini and Eggplant chips:
Image of Zucchini and eggplant chips at Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York

It was fried zucchini and eggplant with Tzatziki sauce (kind on the middle of this veggie tower) and saganaki graviera cheese. I started with the saganaki that was fantastic! I love that cheese, that is a bit salty and has a semi firm texture. The chips were awesome: slightly warm, they are crispy and not greasy. They paired perfectly with the tzatziki sauce.


Next, we got the Bakalao:

Image of Bakalao at Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York

Bakalao is cod croquettes with garlic–almond mousse over sliced roasted beets. First of all, the color of the beets was beautiful! Then, the taste of the dish was fantastic: the croquette was perfectly cooked, a bit crispy, with the fish still moist. The beets were a nice pairing with it.

The Octopodi:
Image of Grilled octopus at Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York
This is one of their signature dishes: grilled octopus, extra virgin olive oil & red wine vinegar, gigantes beans. The octopus was amazing: it had a nice char and was very tender, thanks to the technic, that includes massaging from the Chef!

Then we got two ceviches:

The Fluke Ceviche
Image of Fluke ceviche at Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York

The Arctic Char Ceviche
Image of Arctic char at Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York

The ceviche were very refreshing and had a nice acidity. It was served with fried oysters that were pretty good. The fish was and tasted very fresh and delicate.

The tartare trio:
Image of Tartare trio at Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York

It was composed of Royal Dorado, Tuna and Lavraki (aka Branzino or Loup de mer - Lean white fish with mild, moist tender flakes) with taramosalata, tzatziki and garlic almond mousse drizzled with truffle oil. It was a nice an refreshing appetizer. The garlic almond mousse was very good, however, I did not taste any truffle oil.

The Main Diver Scallops:
Image of Main diver scallops at Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York

This is another signature dish. The last time, I did not like it at all, but this time, it was a hit! The perfectly cooked scallop was wrapped in kataifi filo with sheep’s milk butter and Kalamata balsamic reduction. The shell was crispy, a bit messy to eat if you like clean bites, but it was so good, with a nice balance between the butter and the acidity of the balsamic reduction. Fantastic!

The last dish before dessert (I started to get full at that point!) was the Branzino (aka Lavraki or Loup de mer):
Image of branzino or loup de mer or lavlaki at Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York

They brought it whole, so we could see it, before cutting the filets and serving it to us with collar greens.
Image of branzino or loup de mer or lavlaki at Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York

The fish was perfectly cooked, flakey and moist. It was served with capers that added some saltiness to it. I really liked it, but there were quite few bones...

The feast was not over! After that, came desserts! Know that the Chef has not been trained as a Pastry Chef, that is amazing considering the desserts below!

Valrhona Chocolate Molten Cake:
Image of Valrhona chocolate molten cake at Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York

I love this type of cake, except when the center is overcooked and not overflowing, which was not the case here!

The Mastiha Panna Cotta:
Image of Panna cotta at Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York

It was topped with fresh strawberries. I loved it! It was so light and not too sweet! Perfect!

The Baklava:
Image of Baklava at Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York
I was disappointed by it: it was unfortunately dry! Too bad as it was the only traditional Greek dessert!

The Ekmek:
Image of Ekmek valrhona chocolate dome at Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York

Ekmek is Kataifi & Cream with Pistachios wrapped in a Valrhona Chocolate Dome. The dome was a bit tough to break.
Image of Ekmek valrhona chocolate dome at Thalassa Greek restaurant in Tribeca NYC, New York

But when broken, it was a nice sight! This was a delicious dessert: the filling inside the dome was more like a creamy ice cream with a bit of crunch from the chocolate. One of my favorites!

This dinner was spectacular and night and day compared to the first Press Dinner I attended last year. The fish was really the star! So, I definitely changed my mind on Thalassa! Surely a place to recommend!

Enjoy (I did)!

And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!
  Thalassa on Urbanspoon

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