Restaurant Review: Meli in New York City is Something Else
by Markos Papadatos



Upon entering Meli Estiatorio in New York City (which is situated one block away from the legendary Empire State Building) one is left gazing at photographs of monuments such as the Caryatids of the Acropolis, as well as other landmarks that are enduring testaments to the classic Greek aesthetic sense. You can find that same aesthetic sense in their cuisine via their exquisite works of culinary art!

"Meli" translates into honey and it is the key ingredient in many of their dishes.

One of their finest selections for appetizers includes octopus which is grilled with roasted peppers, stuffed with seasonings and accompanied with onions. Their "scallops kataifi" are a true masterpiece since are wrapped in shredded phyllo (in the same style as the Greek pastry) and are accompanied with lemon, honey and balsamic reduction. Their meatballs or "keftedes" are grilled and are served with their yogurt apricot sauce (in winter – while in summer it becomes fig-infused tzatziki), which is a real treat. Equally impressive is their feta and almond skordalia which is served either as a dip or accompanying the gold and red baby beet salad.

These appetizers are accompanied best with a traditional Greek salad, which is known as the "horiatiki." It is comprised of fresh tomatoes, feta cheese, cucumbers, bell peppers, Kalamata olives, onions and red wine vinegar.

Fans of seafood ought to try their "grilled fish of the day" entrees, which are some of the most popular dishes selected by Meli’s patrons.

All photos courtesy of Bill Handakas, Meli Restaurant

All meals arrive at the patrons' tables fast and fresh and the staff is attentive and accommodating. Particularly impressive about Meli is at each visit there is always something different to try due to its elaborate menu listings; however, my personal favorite dish is their "kouneli stifado," which is the Greek version of rabbit stew. This dish alone is worth your trip to Meli.

Meli has a wide selection of wines and champagnes and their cocktail list is quite extensive.

Their home-made Greek desserts such as ekmek, loukoumades, baklava and galaktobureko can easily be summed up in three words: heavenly, savory and mesmerizing. These sweet delights are fit for the ancient Greek deities and they will certainly leave the patrons yearning for more.

At Meli, all the offerings are available to stay or to go. Meli is located on 1 East 35th Street in Manhattan, New York. It is open six days a week – for now – Sunday is in the plans, all year long. All major credits cards are accepted.

According to Barbara Goldsmith, a patron and big fan of the Greek cuisine, she stated, "Meli is so beautiful. I feel like it made me feel as if I took a trip to Greece. I ordered the scallops and they were just amazing. They melted in your mouth. I will definitely go back again and I recommend this restaurant wholeheartedly to anybody."


In summation, Meli is not only one of the best Greek eateries in Manhattan, it is one of the finest restaurants that New York City has to offer. Their chefs do a solid job on the presentation of the dishes and they deserve a round of applause for their creativity. Any patron who is lucky enough as myself will certainly satisfy their taste buds at Meli. It is ideal for private parties thanks to its Mezzanine Party Rooms.

The atmosphere in this top-notch restaurant is relaxing and it makes the patrons feel as if they are vacationing somewhere in Greece’s Aegean or Ionian seas.

To learn more about Meli in New York City, be sure to visit their official website http://www.melinyc.com/.


(Posting date 29 March 2013)

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