Avra Estiatorio

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barlounge

Out of the cavernous depths of the now defunct Rouge Tomate has risen, like a phoenix, a new Greek fish restaurant, Avra Estiatorio (sister restaurant to the same name on 48th street). This gorgeous sizable addition to NY eateries has a convenient location and terrific style. There is a well-designed bar for those who need to eat, drink and run alone! The room’s architecture and decor are stunning and at the same time gracious, light and airy.

There are well-spaced white napped tables with leather chairs for those lunching/dining together. Olives, chickpea spread and crisp sweet radishes are placed for pre-meal nibbles. Flat and country style chewy bread are there for delectation. We ordered a wonderful Greek white wine, a bit like a muscat but less sweet. I had the tuna sashimi in tangy virgin olive oil with red peppercorns. Charles and his foodie friend Hans started with the grilled octopus, sweet and tender. Then they had the black sea bass, fish of the day, which they swore was the freshest and best they had ever had. It was so fresh it literally leaped out of its icy bed at the far end of the room onto the grill and then to the table. The spinach was mythic, with a soupçon of either cinnamon or nutmeg. It was so delicious it was almost dessert.

To finish we had Greek sweets and cookies with strong thick Greek-style coffee. This was ambrosia, Mount Olympus quality. Service was friendly and extremely efficient.

Kaaren Hale

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