Yeah…easy to find, I know. There is a ton of good Greek food in NYC. Pretty much the entire neighborhood of Astoria can meet that requirement. But as we wandered across the Flatiron neighborhood last night towards what we thought was an Indian restaurant, we certainly weren’t expecting to find the level of dining that we happened upon.
Periyali sits on 20th Street between 5th & 6th Avenues and is a couple steps down from the street level. The bar area is nice and I was rather amazed at just how large the restaurant is without appearing too big. It is split into a few small rooms and just keeps going back into the building. Somewhat amazingly, all the way in the back there is actually a skylight without buildings blocking the view straight up. But enough about the view – on to the food!
When we walked in my wife asked if they had haloumi available. “Not tonight, but we have saginaki; very similar.” And, just like last time, asking for the haloumi served us very well. The saginaki was very good and reasonably similar to haloumi, but the star of the course was the Oktapodi Sharas – charcoal grilled octopus that had been marinated in red wine. It was phenomenal and has taken over as my top choice for octopus in NYC, besting that served by Le Zie.
For our main course we had a lamb shank stewed in red wine until it was fall-off-the-bone deliciously tender and served over orzo. We also had the collection of dips – taramosalata, melitzanosalata and tzatziki – and some other fried things as part of the dinner and each of the three were incredibly well done.
The meal was a bit on the expensive side and certainly not in my everyday spend budget, but the food was phenomenal and it is now on my list as a great place worth going back to.
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