Party like a Greek.
Mon May 31 2010
As an introduction to the country’s sweeter side, pop by Artopolis (23-18 31st St between 23rd St and 23rd Ave, Astoria; 718-728-8484, artopolis.net) for kourabiethes ($1 each or $13/lb), a buttery dessert topped with confectioners’ sugar. “It should be claimed the national cookie of Greece,” says co-owner Regina Katopodis. “It’s present at all celebrations of life.” Even if you settle on something different, like a Cretan diple (75 each or $10/lb), a vodka-infused flour pastry, you can’t go wrong. “All of our recipes are out of different homes from all over Greece,” says Katopodis. Exercise restraint by taking your treat to go—bring it to Athens Square Park (30th St at 30th Ave; nycgovparks.org), where you can chow down amidst bronze statues of Athena and the rest of the gang.
Astoria may have the highest concentration of expats here, but the East Village has what is widely considered one of the city’s most authentic—and delicious—Grecian restaurants, Pylos (128 E 7th St between Ave A and First Ave; 212-473-0220, pylosrestaurant.com). “Our food is rustic but elegant, and regional in inspiration,” says consulting chef Diane Kochilas. Try the pastitsio, a sort of lasagna ($17), or the artichoke heart moussaka ($11), layered with caramelized onions and three different cheeses.
Opa! is a way of expressing pleasure—akin to cheering “hooray!”