Korali Estiatorio Offers a Taste of the Greek Isles

XO Rating

9 Decor
8 Food
8 Service
9 Experience

Location: 1662 Third Avenue, New York, NY

Cuisine: Greek

Best Dish: The lamb shank was absolutely delicious.  The meat was fork tender and well seasoned

Overall: A superb bistro with excellent service and great food.

The space adds to the authenticity of the concept with design by Yianni Skordas of Skordas Design Studio (Avra Estiatorio and Anassa Taverna) to evoke the breezy, white-covered Greek Island of Mykonos with white brick walls and bamboo design work on the airy high ceilings, complemented by Greek stone archways.

We took our taste buds on a tour of Greece with one visit to the beautiful and modern Korali Estiatorio. The decor is reminiscent of the Greek Islands with white dominating each room from the walls to the table tops and chairs. The venue features a lively bar in the front, a picturesque second floor overlooking the main level and a private dining space in the rear. We settled into an intimate cozy corner and enjoyed a glass wine while looking over the menu of Grecian specialties. The menu, prepared by executive chef Peter Tsaglis, features traditional Mediterranean dishes using fresh seasonal ingredients prepared in new interesting ways.

We started dinner with the Kalamari. We are no strangers to battered deep fried squid rings but this was unique. This version of the popular bar food is baked and stuffed with feta and herbs on a bed of sun-dried tomatoes and ouzo sauce. The squid was soft and similar in texture to pasta shells which made an ideal vehicle for the tasty melty cheese filling. This was one of the most creative squid dishes we’ve had in some time.

We followed the squid with Garidomakaronada, a dish of hilopites pasta, spinach, feta and jumbo shrimp. Hilopites pasta is a traditional pasta cut into little bite sized squares. The lightly dressed pasta had fresh sweetness that worked well with the salty feta and savory shrimp.

If you are watching your carbs, the Lavraki with a vegetable side is a delicious and satisfying option. The Lavraki is a European sea bass. At Korali, the chef prepares the fish whole filleted and topped with lemon and capers. We enjoyed the tender white fish with a side of sauteed spinach.

Moussaka is greek comfort food at its best. Ground lamb is seasoned and layered with eggplant and potatoes in a small dish then topped with a rich yogurt bechamel. This delicious casserole is robust and filling, offering salty, sweet, bitter and sour flavors in each spoon full. The bechamel top layer was the source of much of the salty flavor so feel free to eat around it and devour the creamy meaty center.

Our last dish of the evening was a succulent lamb shank served with orzo, fresh tomatoes, and feta. The braised shank was prepared well, the meat was juicy and fall off the bone tender.

Korali is a gracious friendly eatery offering comfortable surroundings and delicious food served by a hospitable staff. Greek cuisine is more than gyro and yogurt, it is a rich assortment of delightful dishes. Treat your taste buds to something fab and visit Korali for a great meal with a side of fun.

Korali Estiatorio is located at 1662 3rd Ave. and East 93rd Street. KoraliNYC.com 646-964-5470. Hours of Operation are Monday and Tuesday dinner only from 5 p.m.-11 p.m., Wednesday, Thursday and Friday lunch and dinner noon-11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday brunch and dinner noon-11 p.m. Available for private events, takeout and delivery and pre-ordered whole meats.