MERAKIA New York | With Love From Greece
Greek MountainThief Spithouse + Steak
Meraki (a) in Greek means to do something with your heart, with love, with your soul, with total devotion and undivided attention.
Andreas and Renee Typaldos, along with Managing Partner Taryn Spivack, and Executive Chef G. Scalco are synonymous to the word “Merakia”, which is reflected in everything they co-create. This magnificent, not-your-typical Greek restaurant located at 5 West 21st Street in the Flatiron District of New York City, makes you instantly fall in love with its warm interior, passionate yet cordial personnel, and creative traditional cuisine. Recently opened, this fabulous restaurant was buzzing on a Friday night and filled up quickly.
The interior is a perfect balance between urban industrial and elegant classic styles. As you enter Merakia, you get the sense of coming to a big sophisticated modern home. A host will warmly greet you with a smile making you feel at ease.
While you walk to your table, you go through several room atmospheres that you can choose from. It starts with the “almost outdoor” seating section in the front, opened in summer and closed for colder months with floor to ceiling glass doors. The following section is composed by rounded booth type seating arrangements to dine on one side, and a trendy bar counter to have your favorite cocktail on the other side. At the end of this room there is an open kitchen exposed to visitors, where Merakia’s Executive Chef entertains the guests by creating his delectable proposals. To keep his menu innovative and exciting, he travels around the world to find inspiration for his new menu proposals. Finally, you transition into a more traditional and tranquil back room, which also has a fireplace making the ambiance even more romantic and charming.
This beautifully designed restaurant celebrates the Greek MountainThief’s style of cooking and offers a choice of extraordinary signature cocktails, a variety of beers and an extended wine list that perfectly pairs with their menu.
The menu offers a large selection of smaller and larger dishes starting with dips, ranging from traditional to unexpected options, with ingredients like peppers, garlic, onion, feta with jalapenos and Merakia’s specialty, Chicken Aliada made with yogurt, walnuts and smoked paprika.
Our dining experience started with horiatiki, a zesty salad of vine-ripened tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, red onions and olives topped with feta cheese. The fresh and light taste of this traditional Greek Salad was an excellent starter, followed by Chef G. Scalco’s divine pan-seared Angus Meatballs on a bed of ouzo infused tzatziki, which is based on a 200-year old family recipe. The soft texture of the meatballs along the tzatziki melts in your mouth.
One of my favorites, a must-have, are the herb crusted grilled lamb ribs. Served with pita slices and tzatziki on the side, they are a perfect hearty and flavorful appetizer.
The locally and organically sourced grass fed Lamb Chops, Lamb Rump or Lamb Shank with spit-roasted potatoes, which are part of the entrée options, is a must. If you are a meat fan but lamb is not your thing, no problem, Merakia’s Executive Chef aims to please you with a variety of succulent steak choices, from Hanger Steak to Porterhouse, T-bone and more. The Hanger Steak is served sliced in bite size portions. The meat was tender and juicy and a perfect combination with the spit-roasted potatoes.
On the seafood side we tasted the head-on grilled shrimp on arugula salad with red onion, tomato and a lemon mustard dressing prepared in the Mediterranean way, in its shell, which will delight seafood lovers. Other promising seafood choices on the menu are whole Grilled Branzino, Alaskan Wild Salmon and black tiger king prawns.
In addition to the uniqueness and authenticity of the flavors, all dishes were beautifully presented with a combination of plates and cutting boards, further enhancing the already magnificent ambiance.
The delectable deserts were a perfect ending to our wonderful dining experience at this guaranteed-to-please upscale restaurant.