We are in love – with a Greek restaurant that is. Located in Midtown is a venue that will rock any foodie’s heart to a sweet melody like the ocean found surrounding the islands of Greece. Loi Estiatorio (132 West 58th Street, between 6th and 7th Ave) is not just a place for excellent food. It is also an establishment made on the foundation of love for cooking and serving.
From the moment you walk in the tranquil environment has you escaping the busy streets of Manhattan and entering a relaxing room full of joy and passion for food. Chef Maria Loi has made an innovative place in the city that is full of beautiful flavors. Her unique approach to Greek cuisine is truly an ode to the wonder of Greece.
Traditional Greek dishes are served with a creative twist. From start to finish there is simply no better way to have a lunch or dinner. A welcoming staff greets you at the door and leads you on a blissful Mediterranean journey. No such thing as a wrong turn on this trip since every dish stands out with amazement.
Signature dishes include Htapodaki Stin Schara (Grilled Octopus over Fava Puree), Htenia (Scallops with House-made Lamb Bacon), Lavraki (Grilled Branzino with Seasonal Greens), Arnaki Yiouvetsi (Braised Lamb Shank with Loi Orzo) and Yiaourti Me Meli (Chef Loi’s Housemade Greek Yogurt with Cretan Honey and Walnuts).
Grilled Octopus, House Made Loukaniko Sausage, Braised Bone-In Beef Short Ribs, and Yiaourti Me Meli, Loi’s homemade Greek yogurt.
There is a refreshing Marouli Salad with fresh romaine, scallions, dill and red wine vinaigrette. The Octopus is light and full of taste with red wine, onions, bell peppers, capers and fava puree. The Spanakopita is perfectly seasoned with spinach, dill, mint, feta and phyllo.
Other standout dishes include the Branzino, which melts in your mouth like warm butter. It is presented with seasonal greens, and light olive oil. Scallops are perfection with incredible lamb bacon on the side. The Seafood Orzo is splendid and zings with flavor. The perfectly cooked, plump Lamb Chops will blow you away and are served with Red Bliss potatoes, arugula, and Loi’s own Greek yogurt.
For dessert all options will bring applause to a beautiful Baklava, as well as a Yogurt of Loi’s own homemade specialty topped off with Cretan honey and walnuts.
The poetry of the restaurant is felt from top to bottom and was written in a lovely sonnet by this master chef. The background and expertise of Maria Loi has made her a food superstar. She has done it all and it is reflected in the glorious food. The chef has starred on a popular television show in Greece, created a popular pasta line for Whole Foods, cooked for President Obama, and has written more than 36 cookbooks and150 magazine editions. There is no stopping her star from rising even further. There is a reason why the Chef’s Club of Greece, a worldwide culinary organization has recognized her as an official Ambassador of Greek Gastronomy just this June of 2016, where she was unanimously re-elected for a second term as the official Ambassador.
Visiting this amazing restaurant is for any foodie a golden moment not to be missed.
Loi Estiatorio is open for lunch (Monday – Friday, 12:00pm – 3:00pm) and dinner (Monday – Saturday, 5:00pm – 11:00pm). Also offers an incredibly priced prix fixe lunch full of lovely options, as well as a full wine list and drinks offers.
Call (212) 713-0015 for reservations of visit http://www.loiestiatorio.com.
Countdown to Christmas Day Our Holiday Gift Guide: A Portable Campfire
17 days to go! Every year people panic to find the perfect gift. We at T2C have been collecting idea’s all year long to bring you the perfect gift guide at all price levels. When you’re at the end of your rope trying to find the perfect Christmas present this year, come to this guide for some great suggestions.
Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. For anyone who loves to sit back and relax near the campfire but doesn’t have the space or wherewithal to build one, gift them this nifty little thing for Christmas. A Portable Campfire $35.99. This candle-like “campfire” has 3 to 5 hours of burn time and is sleek enough to bring the campfire wherever — be it the beach, the backyard, terrace or anywhere else!
Do I feel a smores treat coming on?
Happy Chanukah Day 3: Food For Thought
A Chanukah menu includes potato pancakes, fried, of course, in lots of oil. Sweet cream cheese rugelach. Strawberry-jam-filled doughnuts (sufganiyot), covered in powdered sugar. Fried apple fritters. Cheese-filled doughnuts fried in oil and dipped in honey and Cheese blintzes. Chanukah food traditions have their origins in the first years that the holiday was celebrated, and are meant to remembrances of certain miracles associated with the reason for Chanukah.
The first is the miracle of oil. One day’s supply of oil lasted for eight days. Mystically, both the menorah and the oil used to light it are associated with Chochmah, and the war between the Greeks and the Jews.
The word shemen, Hebrew for oil, contains the same letters as shemoneh, eight, the number of days that the miracle of the oil lasted.
The dairy is to honor a young woman named Yehudis. During the war against the Greeks, she fed a Greek General salty cheeses so that he would become extremely thirsty and brought him wine to drink. He fell asleep, she killed him. The Greek army fell into disarray and fled. Thus the dairy in the meals.
Gluten Free Latkes
Be sure to use high-heat oil, which will help keep things from burning. Pay attention to the temperature of the oil—keep it between 325° and 350° F—
Makes 24 latkes
Frying time: 6 to 8 minutes
- 3 large russet potatoes
- 1 large yellow onion
- ½ cup superfine brown rice flour
- 3 extra-large eggs
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 32 ounces safflower or other high-heat vegetable oil
- Preheat the oven to 170° F or your preferred keep-warm setting. Line a baking sheet with layers of paper towels.
- Peel the potatoes. Using a grater attachment, grate all the potatoes and onion together. Alternate, if grating by hand, coarsely grate half of the mixture and finely grate the other half, then combine the two mixtures in a large bowl.
- Line a colander with a clean dish towel. Place the potato mixture in the lined colander. Squeeze to get the liquid out. It will be messy, but keep going or the latkes will be greasy and not as light.
- Place the potato mixture in the bowl and add the flour, eggs, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
- Fill a skillet with ¼ inch of oil. Heat the oil until a tiny bit of the mixture sizzles when dropped in. Maintain an oil level that is ¼ inch deep with a temperature of 325° to 350° F at all times.
- Scoop ¼ cup of batter for each pancake, flatten to 4 inches in diameter, and fry over medium heat until nicely browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more.
- Place the finished latkes on the paper towel–lined baking sheet. Place the sheet in the oven to keep warm while finishing up the other latkes.
- Serve the latkes warm, topped with applesauce and/or sour cream.
Head To The The Algonquin Hotel For Some Holiday Cheer
As we head into the holiday season, The Algonquin Hotel’s December event lineup is open to both hotel guests and New York City locals. The hotel will spread holiday cheer with a variety of festive performances, cocktails, and experiences including:
- Cocoa and Carols Happy Hour: Daily, 5-8PM, Every evening this December, all are invited to enjoy Specialty Cocoa while Christmas carols chime at the Blue Bar. Drinks will include Mexican Hot Chocolate spiked with mezcal
- KT Sullivan Cabaret: December 5th, 12th and 19th, Sullivan will perform her iconic Christmas Cabaret. As noted by The New York Times, Sullivan is a thrilling Off-Broadway performer with over eight published albums
- Rocco Dellaneve’s Rat Pack Christmas: December 7th, 14th and 21st, Rocco Dellaneve will perform iconic songs from the Rat Pack Christmas album with special inclusions of Santa with Sinatra, Rocco of the Snow, Rudolph and the Rat pack
- The Serafina’s and Broadway Vocalists: December 8th, 15th and 22nd, enjoy the high kicking – precision line dancing Christmas tradition around The Algonquin tree. The Serafina’s will be available for pictures and autographs from 6pm to 7pm, followed by special Broadway vocalists
A portion of proceeds from all events will be donated to Toys for Tots.
Beyond the December events, The Algonquin Hotel is located in a prime position nestled in the heart of Times Square and Fifth Avenue, making it the perfect launchpad for a New York City holiday experience. The hotel is a historical jewel that emphasizes the importance of making unique, storied experiences. Since its opening in 1902, The Algonquin Hotel is famous for its timeless style and desire to honor the literary and cultural elite. The distinguished Round Table Restaurant and Blue Bar offer tasteful dining inclusions and curated cocktails that are sure to excite everyone.
Photo credit: The Algonquin Hotel, Autograph Collection
Celebrate Hanukkah With Manhattan’s Favorites
The Festival of Lights, starts today Thursday, December 7th and goes through Friday, December 15th. From classic Jewish foods to fan-favorite chocolates, there are many options to celebrate Hanukkah in New York City.
New York’s iconic Li-Lac Chocolates, celebrating its 100th Anniversary has been enjoyed by generations of locals and tourists alike. Manhattan’s oldest chocolate house, Li-Lac, has remained true to its tradition maintaining the same single-minded focus on product quality. Its confections are handmade daily in its Brooklyn Factory using many of the original techniques and equipment from 1923.
Li-Lac Chocolates makes for the perfect Hanukkah gift for friends and family. They have a broad selection of specialty molds and gifts, now offering more than 120 items making it one of the largest selections of gourmet chocolates in the world.
All of its chocolates are certified Kosher and gluten-free.
A few gift options for Hanukkah include:
- Dreidel Filled with Gelt
- 20 pc. Chanukah Chocolate Gift Box
- Chest of Gelt
- Menorah Pop
The full list of Hannukah chocolates may be viewed here.
To learn more about Li-Lac Chocolates rich history, you may view a comprehensive press release here.
Store locations: Industry City/Brooklyn, Greenwich Village, Bleeker Street, Chelsea Market, Hudson Yards and Grand Central Market.
Ships: via FedEx in the United States and Canada.
The popular Upper East Side Jewish Delicatessen PJ Bernstein will be rolling out a special Hanukkah menu, available for catering, delivery, takeout as well as dining in.
One of the last remaining of its kind, PJ Bernstein has been a staple in its neighborhood since opening its doors on the northeast corner of 70th St. and 3rd Ave. Serving the classics since 1965, it continues to be a hotspot for locals and celebrities, attracting the likes of Mayor Ed Koch, Liza Minelli, 2 James Bonds in Sean Connery and Daniel Craig, and Cuba Gooding Jr., to name a few.
Highlights of their Hanukkah menu include the following, but are not limited to:
- A Special Prix Fixe Menu with a Mixed Green Salad, Matzoh Ball Soup, Brisket with Mini Latkes, Kasha Varnishka, Gravy, Apple Sauce, and a Mini Danish.
- Famous Potato Latkes, a holiday favorite
- Baked Knishes
- Smoked Sturgeon
- White Fish Salad
- Roasted Chicken
- Baked Sweet Potato
- Egg Barley
- Chocolate Rugelach
- Challah Bread
Sagaponack Serves Up a Night to Remember in Flatiron District
The newly redeveloped Asian and Mediterranean-inspired seafood hot spot Sagaponack is back at the Flatiron District. Inspired by the namesake town in the Hamptons, this culinary gem is a celebration of seafood paired with an array of expertly crafted cocktails (including non-alcoholic) that elevate every dining moment.
In October 2020, Sagaponack welcomed a fresh perspective with the addition of Kyung-il Lee, a seasoned managing partner renowned for his successful stint overseeing operations at the Michelin-Starred JeJu Noodle Bar. His arrival became a major shift for the brand, aiming not only to reopen its doors but to infuse it with renewed vision.
Which is why it was important to onboard a top-tier team. One of his strategic moves was bringing on the expertise of Executive Chef Phil Choy, an alumnus of the esteemed Johnson & Wales College of Culinary Arts. The chef’s trajectory took him to the heart of New York City, where he honed his skills in the Michelin-starred kitchen of Dovetail, working under the tutelage of Chef John Fraser. Following that, Choy’s talent was further recognized as he ascended to the role of sous chef at Boulud Sud, Daniel Boulud’s celebrated Lincoln Square establishment.
Together, Lee and Choy have since brought new life into Sagaponack’s culinary offering, from a tantalizing array of fresh oysters, a Sagaponack specialty, to the latest editions of Surf & Turf (Dry Aged Ribeye & Whole Lobster) added last month. This consists of a 40 oz dry aged ribeye cold smoked and seasoned with 5 spice rub. It’s served with a Cantonese-inspired Lobster sauce made with ginger, espelette, lemon; with a whole lobster that’s cooked in their court bouillon. Of the oysters, the Dressed Trio of cucumber, chili, and caviar, is an absolute must-try and a highlight to include in your expedition; an exquisite burst of flavors that dance harmoniously on your palate.
A standout was the Fluke Tartare, which was equally visually striking as delicious for the taste buds. Nutty and savory, this dish boasts a delicate balance of flavors, featuring coconut, Marcona almonds, and tobiko perched atop the fluke tartare. Its allure includes a tableside drizzle of a meticulously crafted sauce—a blend of cucumber, cilantro oil, chili oil, and lime—creating a sensory spectacle where smell meets taste – an intentional journey curated by the new team with all the sagavibes, no pun intended.
Meanwhile, the Cinnamon Fizz is the best alternative for a refreshing mocktail for all you non-alcoholic drinkers have been waiting for. Made of ginger lemon, cinnamon, and soda, the drink puts together a refreshing burst of flavors that works well with any dish on the menu. But for those who enjoy a craft cocktail and feeling adventurous, you could go for a Bateau Banane, a concoction of banana mezcal and curacao, or The Seaside Sunset, a blend of vodka, Chambord, lime, lychee, and orange in each sip – all made by mixologist Alex Parker. Did I mention they have happy hour on the daily, except for Sundays?
If you’re looking for comforting food, the Fried Artichokes, including pecorino, za’atar, mint, yogurt, is your go-to, alongside the Butternut Squash Soup served with ginger coconut cream, pumpkin seeds, and Aleppo, and certainly the star of the season. The new Lobster Mac and Cheese includes five kinds of cheese, which similarly they use for grilled cheese served during their events exclusively; after all, the restaurant does consider itself an event space, and rightfully so. Other highlights include the Asian-inspired twist on calamari, which adds an exciting dimension to the starters, seasoned with guindilla, parsley, and complemented by a zesty Calabrian chili aioli. If you’re out with a group, you can share a Seafood Paella featuring a multitude of seafood, from lobster stock, to chorizo and mussels, shrimp, and scallions.
All in all, Sagaponack blends both land and sea into a perfect pairing. The desert menu exceeds all expectations, with the Thai Milk Cake, as an impeccable choice to conclude your dining experience. The cake is composed of cinnamon, pecan, and mango perfection. The potent Crème Brûlée includes diced strawberries on top of its hard caramel layer; which was potentially made by Lee himself who’s been learning how to bake during his time managing the kitchen too.
Kyung-il Lee tells us, “Working in the kitchen gave me insights from the chef’s and kitchen’s perspective. Embracing various viewpoints in hospitality, understanding kitchen operations enhances my knowledge of processes and the people involved. Being hospitable extends to employees, and working with the kitchen staff helps me serve them better as an owner.”
This reflects the sentiment on the site saying, “our goal for the restaurant was simple – bring in a talented chef with a passion for food. Someone who could whip up top-notch dishes while making it approachable.”
LOCATION: 4 W 22ndSt., New York, NY 10010
HOURS: Monday–Wednesday: 11:30 am -3 pm; 5 pm -10 pm Thursday: 11:30 am -3 pm; 5 pm -10:30 pm; Friday & Saturday: 11:30 am -3 pm; 5 pm -11 pm; Sunday: Closed
Reporting by Alison Andrea Lopez
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