Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fine Greek Eatery, Persephone, Opens in Manhattan

Persephone, a comfortable fine dining Greek restaurant by the owners of Periyali, Steve Tzolis and Nicola Kotsoni officially opened on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

The executive chef of Periyali, James Henderson, oversees the kitchen. When creating the menu for Persephone, the owners invited Sophia Gerasimidu, a home chef in her native Greece, to fly to New York and work with Mr. Henderson on making the cuisine authentic and true to the traditional food served in Greek homes.

The menu features side dishes of such time honored Greek recipes as Chick Pea Eggplant Stew or Stewed Okra, generally served as main courses. One of the signature menu plates, Yiouvetsi, adapts a lamb preparation to cook seafood and is served in a broth incorporating saffron, a spice widely used across Greece and the Mediterranean. Fresh fish selections: organic Scottish Salmon, Mediterranean Sea Bass and three daily specials offering whole or filleted fish are central to the simple, uncomplicated light fare at Persephone. Popular entrée selections include the Braised Beef Frikase with dill and lemon sauce and Kouneli Stifado, a tender and succulent rabbit stew with pearl onions.

Delicious starters range from Fava, a spread made from split yellow peas, Spiced Meat Balls, garnished with tomato and strained yogurt and Grilled Sardines lightly flavored with cilantro and mint. For dessert, Persephone delights with classic Greek cakes and cookies, Greek yogurt, rich with a thick velvety texture, and an amazing sumptuous flowerless chocolate cake along with a wide selection of Greek wines sure to satisfy the most demanding palate.

The restaurant’s elegant interior is a masterful mix of materials and decoration found in native Greece. Famous Matisse woodblock prints based on a Greek goddess are hung throughout the restaurant. A unique design choice and a welcomed change, are the hand-made wall scones imported from Greece, suggesting the bow and sail of a sailboat and that make it all the easier to imagine the Mediterranean. At the entrance to the restaurant is a restored hand-painted bar decorated with a pattern inspired by a popular Greek motif and repeated in variations on the beams. By the terrace doors in the front are two quiet tables that would be ideal for a small private party or anyone wishing to enjoy the garden and sunlight.

Persephone will be open for dinner Monday-Thursday 5:30-11:00 p.m., Friday-Saturday 5:30-11:30 p.m., and Sunday 2:00-9:00 p.m. Starting on Monday, February 11th, Persephone will be open for lunch from 12:00-3:00 p.m. Persephone is located at115 East 60th Street between Park and Lexington Avenue and can be reached at (212) 339-8363.

No comments: