So often today’s crowd associates Greek cuisine with gyros, souvlaki, and Greek salads. While Athenian easily masters these dishes, their menu will introduce you to classic Greek cuisine at its finest.
The Chef-owner, Alex, has been at it for decades and takes great pride in his restaurant and loyal patrons. His goal is to keep the cuisine as authentic as possible while still offering many dishes that will appeal to the mainstream. Alex speaks fondly of his Yia Yia, the inspiration behind many of their dishes. In fact, he proudly explains how the recipes from the old country have been handed down from generation to generation.
The Htipiti and Fava are served with pita breads. Although these two spreads may look similar, they are quite different. The Htipiti is a spicy feta dip with a hearty texture and subtle heat, which pairs wonderfully with a nice glass of red wine. The Fava is a yellow split pea purée with capers and, although you may want to compare it to your classic hummus, this spread is made without garlic, giving it fresher, lighter notes.
Their grilled halloumi, which is a mild goat & sheep’s milk cheese, is served with sliced tomatoes, and a roasted pepper and red onion relish that nicely accents the natural flavors.
One of our favorite appetizers is the Fried Zucchini, which is as authentic as you will find this side of Athens. The succulent zucchini is enrobed in a crispy, paper-thin battered shell, and is accompanied by scordalia — a creamy garlic potato dipping sauce that perfectly compliments the zucchini.
Our unanimous favorite was Yia Yia’s Eggplant — sautéed in a light tomato sauce and topped with three cheeses (Kasserri, Parmesan, and Feta) — One tender bite will bring you back to the magic memories of Yia Yia’s kitchen.
A very popular dish at Athenian is their artfully executed Spanakopita. This delicious Greek spinach pie was hearty and robust with flavor. After one bite it was easy to see why it’s such a crowd pleaser.
Now if you love lamb, their Arni Tis Souvlas is simply heavenly. This fresh roasted lamb, served with superb roasted potatoes, is truly out of this world. As a matter of fact, even if you are not a lamb-lover, you soon will be.
The Keftedes, also known as Yia Yia’s meatballs, are perfectly cooked and served with a home made tzatziki yogurt sauce. Seasoned with cinnamon, salt, pepper, and tomato, these meatballs are nothing like the Italian variety you may be accustomed to.
This restaurant is great for those that already love authentic Greek food, as you will find all of the classics perfectly prepared. It also provides a great opportunity for diners that have been timid with Greek cuisine – if that describes you, it’s now time to take a chance! Anyone can pronounce “Greek Salad,” but try to pronounce “Htipiti,” it’s worth the embarrassment even if you say it wrong.
2188 Jericho Turnpike
Commack, NY 11725