Party like a Greek.
Mon May 31 2010
In Greek, kerasma means “treat,” but at midtown taverna Molyvos (871 Seventh Ave between 55th and 56th Sts; 212-582-7500, molyvos.com) the word roughly translates to “happy hour” (Mon--Fri 3--6:30pm). Bar patrons snack on complimentary mezedes like spanakopita (spinach pie) and Cypriot meatballs known as keftedes, and can pair them with one of the 300 wines or 18 types of ouzo, an anise-flavored aperitif. General manager Kamal Kouiri recommends the Mitilini brand, raving, “There is not a better ouzo than the one produced in Lesvos Island. [They have] the best raw materials.” Throw back a few shots, and you’ll be exclaiming opa! in no time.
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If you’re not a fan of the fiery liquor straight, try it in the form of a specialty cocktail at spacious eatery Barbounia (250 Park Ave South at 20th St; 212-995-0242, barbounia.com), where the Greekjito ($14)—a combination of ouzo, lemon juice, and muddled mint and lime—puts the tired Cuban concoction to shame. A weekday happy hour (Mon--Fri 3--7pm) features $4 beers, $5 wines, $6 champagne cocktails and a $12.50 cocktail of the day (plus a two-foot pizza of the day for $17).
The Greeks are known for being great thinkers (Plato, Aristotle, etc.), but are they great comedians? Decide for yourself on Friday 4 at The Comedy Bazoukia presents the OPA Olympics (Lafayette Grill & Bar, 54 Franklin St between Broadway and Lafayette St; 212-732-5600, lafayettegrillandbar.net; 9pm; $20 plus two-item minimum). The evening of Hellenic-themed entertainment features the music of folk band the Magges and a roster of “stand-up philosophers,” including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Comedy Writing author Jim Mendrinos and Wall Streeter--turned-humorist Ellen Karis.
Make like a true Greek by welcoming friends (and strangers) into your home for food, music and—most important—lively conversation, all fueled by wine from Omega Wines and Spirits (29-15 23rd Ave between 29th and 31st Sts, Astoria, Queens; 718-726-0056, omegawinesandspirits.com). Though the liquor store carries an international selection, you’ll find Greek wines and ouzo aplenty. Owner Tony Gounaris recommends a bottle of Gaia Agiorgitiko ($16) for red lovers and Amethystos ($19) for white drinkers.
In 2007, a team of archaeologists discovered crushed grapes dating back 6,500 years in the prehistoric settlement of Dikili Tash, which indicates Greece is one of the world’s oldest wine-making countries.