In New York, I have two references:
- Ithaca on the Upper Eat side (308 East 86th Street New York, NY 10028).
Last Friday was the first time I went since their renovation: the restaurant is way nicer! It looks brighter and more modern than before. I love the blue color as well as the walls of shelves with plates: it give a soothing and homy atmosphere, reminding the Greek Islands. In fact, Molyvos is the name of a village on the Greek Island of Lesvos.
They have a nice menu, proposing not only appetizers, but also tasting plates (mezedes). So, this time, we went for some new dishes as well as usual ones. Let's see what we got:
The first one is the Saganaki. If you are not lactose intolerant, you have to try it! It is Haloumi cheese (cheese made of goat or sheep's milk that originated from Cyprus) that is flambe with Ouzo and then drizzled with a lemon sauce. See the process on the video below!
What is interesting about this dish is the texture of the cheese that is rubbery but not chewy! And it tastes so good!
Then, we got the Keftedes.
These are meatballs that were served with some tzatziki, that is a spread made with yoghurt, mint, cucumber, garlic and dill. The meatball by themselves were very good and tasty. I could taste some spices in it, that I believe are cumin. The fact that it was served with yoghurt gave some freshness to the dish. I could it it with or without in fact.
Then I was surprised to see crab cakes on the menu and decided to try.
It was served with an artichoke salad and an eggplant spread.
It was a nice presentation and you could easily see that they cooked the crab cake with a ring, giving to it this perfect shape. The top was crispy and you could really taste the crab. The artichoke salad and eggplant spread was original and was well associated with the crab. You could from time to time get a hint of lemon that I guess was drizzled on the plate first, before putting all the components together.
For the main dish, we ordered the mousaka. Each time I went there, I had to have it. It is one of their specialty dishes and according to the waiter, one of the most ordered. The plate came extremely hot and it was still sizzling from the toasting of the cheese on top.
It is made in several layers: potatoes, eggplants, grounded lamb, bechamel and tomato sauces between layers and cheese. I love it! It was the first time that I tried a lamb moussaka and it is delicious! I do not know if it is the strong taste of the lamb that gives more flavor to the dish or the bechamel sauce, but the flavors are simply amazing.
Of course, we had to finish with dessert...
We ordered the baklava (rolled layers of phyllo stuffed with walnuts and pistachio with a spiced honey syrup. On the side, they give you some candied walnuts. Usually, restaurants will serve you pieces of baklava rather than this chunk of it. Fortunately, they give you a knife so you can easily cut it through and share! It is one of the best baklava I had: tasty and very moist. My wife who does not like nuts usually loves it too! So it tells something.
I once again had a great dinner at Molyvos: I have never been disappointed and recommend it! The diversity of the menu will satisfy all palates and the variety of small plates and appetizers is a good opportunity for groups to try some delicious Greek food!
Enjoy (I did)!