Category Archives: new york

Mythos: authentic hellenic cuisine – Octopus & Squid in New York (Part 4)

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

It’s been FAR TOO LONG since I’ve visited my own blog. Attempting to ease back in after my 3 readers demanded a new post. This dates all the way back to November, but since I want to finish this eating series, well……. I am (plus I already have the pictures ready to go.)

On my way to the La Guardia airport, my dad took me to lunch in Flushing for some self-proclaimed ‘authentic’ hellenic cuisine. Hellenic (it’s all Greek to me) food is probably one of my top 2 favorite cuisines (tough match with Japanese) and Mythos had fresh and well-prepared food.

We started with a variety of dips with pita and cucumbers:

eggplant, red pepper, yogurt, fish roe

eggplant, red pepper, yogurt, fish roe

We also shared grilled calamari and octopus – I definitely dominated the octopus portion:

simply grilled with fresh lemon

simply grilled with fresh lemon

And there you have it. Let’s see if I can make this a habit….

Mythos Authentic Greek Cuisine (names vary per review site)

19629 Northern Blvd
Flushing, NY 11358
(718) 357-6596

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Bounty from the Sea

I’m heading out of town for the next week (Florida for pleasure and New York for work). Octosquid must live on during the interim, so please give a warm welcome to the guest bloggers that appear in the coming days. First up, we have Octosquid’s mom!

If you love seafood (and who doesn’t?), and you live near Hewlett, NY, then it’s definitely worth a trip to the Hewlett Fish Market. Here you can find a vast array of both fresh fish and seafood, as well as a plethora of delectable prepared salads, soups, main dishes, and vegetables.
Recently, I purchased some of my favorite “ready-mades” to have for lunch and/or snacking.
The marinated mussels are rich and flavorful – swimming in olive oil, loads of diced garlic, chopped scallions, and a touch of red pepper.

Savory specialty from the sea

Savory specialty from the sea


The calamari salad is a particular favorite. Not only is it chock full of firm calamari rings, but there is always a multitude of yummy tentacles as well. The fish is dressed in a light garlicky vinaigrette, and combined with crunchy celery, sweet red pepper, and black olives.
What more could you want?

What more could you want?


Picking out the best parts


While at the market, I decided to buy some fresh fish for dinner. After vacillating about the many tempting choices, I decided to go with the tried-and-true tilapia (St. Peter’s). At home I concocted a zesty marinade of olive oil, orange juice, ginger, tabasco sauce, salt and pepper. The fish rested and soaked up the marinade for about an hour.

Waiting to be fired


The fish was then grilled, and quickly devoured.

I may not be pretty, but I am delicious!


Hewlett Fish Market has been a mainstay in our family for years – I think it’s clear why!

Beyoglu Lunch: Upper East Side Lunch – Octopus & Squid in New York (Part 3)

Part 1
Part 2

captivated

captivated


Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I had a special lunch planned with friends. We met in big, ‘ole New York City, and I had no idea that octopus would be in my future. It wasn’t until I was stared down by the menu item above that my meal fate was sealed.

We went to Beyoglu on Third Avenue and 81st Street; a short walk from their abodes. The waiters are friendly and the atmosphere is casual and laid back. The restaurant achieves it’s goal of transporting the diner into a lively, European meeting place. The decor is adorable, with tiled tabletops and an inviting bar at the entrance. There is some confusion about the type of food that is served at Beyoglu, but not of the quality. Whether you call it Turkish or Greek, the Mediterranean cuisine is top notch.

After sitting together and gabbing for a bit (as girls do), we noticed beautifully large rounds of bread delivered to each table. We instantly decided to share dips to put the bread to good use:

starting off right

starting off right


Just look at that hunk of bread! It was soft and pillowy in the middle, with charred edges and sesame seeds on top. It was the absolute perfect vehicle for the fantastic dips. The hummus was made of chick peas & tahini seasoned w/ cumin & garlic. The portion was large and made for a cozy snack. I can’t seem to find the spinach dip on the online menu, but I remember it the taste well enough. It was chopped spinach topped with homemade yogurt and spices. There was garlic in there, maybe some shallots? We didn’t leave a bite of either one.

While the girls munched on gorgeous, fresh looking salads:

salad one

salad one


salad two

salad two

I opted for a protein-rich salad for myself:

my kinda salad

my kinda salad


Listed as an appetizer on the menu, my main course at lunch was – Ahtapot Salatasi: char-grilled octopus marinated in olive oil & balsamic vinegar. The octopus didn’t exactly show any signs of ‘char’ or ‘grill’ but I have no complaints about the flavor and texture of my 8-legged friend. It was softer than the octopus at the Greek Corner, but that’s just because of the lack of heavy grilling. With a sprinkling of lemon, the small salad was an excellent lunch for me!

Thanks friends, for picking an awesome place 🙂

Beyoglu on Urbanspoon

Beyoglu
1431 Third Ave.
at 81st St.
New York, NY 10028
212-650-0850

Holiday Gift Idea Confirmed by New York Magazine

ny times macaron pic

Last week I blogged about a wonderful Thanksgiving gift that my sister presented to me. This week, she sent me a New York Magazine article outlining just how great of a gift macarons can be. (you don’t have to convince me of that!)

Check out the article below, and if you want to give your friends and family something special, go with French pastries. You will be loved.

NY Mag Article link

Mother Kelly’s in Cedarhurst – Octopus & Squid in New York (Part 2)

Octopus & Squid in New York (Part 1)


A family owned business with a loyal following, Mother Kelly’s is a five towns restaurant that is never empty. With a huge menu, mainly focused on home-cooked Italian food, there is a dish for anyone who visits. Whenever I travel home, a visit to Mother Kelly’s is usually in the itinerary. The consistently great food makes it a go-to place for everyone who lives within a 5 mile radius.
Time to look at the food, but before we get into the main courses, I would be brain dead if I didn’t mention the complimentary garlic rolls and bean salad every patron receives:

complimentary starters

complimentary starters


The rolls are spiral shaped and filled with garlicky butter and herbs. I pick around the basket for the crispy pieces (like my mom), while my sister and Lauren go for the softer pieces. Regardless of the type you prefer, these rolls are insanely good. It is a near to impossible to refrain from downing the bread basket before the real food comes along. If you have zero will power and are full of garlic bread fear, it’s a good idea to stick with the bean salad. Varying types and colors of beans covered with a vinegar-y dressing make my palate scream in anticipation for a hot meal.

After a few plates of the bean salad and around 10 minutes of deliberation, Lauren and I decided to split a meal. The portions could feed 2-3 people as it is, so I was not worried about going hungry. Here’s what was delivered:

makes me melt

makes me melt


Calamari and shrimp in a spicy tomato sauce over spinach (instead of pasta) – there is nothing bad to say about this enormous plate of seafood. Some adjectives that come to mind: homey, comforting, filling, healthy. This dish doesn’t force you to think too hard and that is appreciated – I just tucked into the plate of goodness and finally felt like I was home.

Per usual, I saved the best bites for last – in this case, the calamari tentacle-y pieces:

to me, this is art

to me, this is art

And my sister decided to test out her camera skills with my last beautiful specimen:

squiddie

squiddie

My family ordered envious dishes and I made sure to taste each one:

Mom's shrimpies

Mom's shrimpies


Shrimp marinara over spinach
Quote from mother: “it was an explosion of flavors in my mouth – the shrimp were plump, firm, salty, with just the right amount of fishiness; the marinara sauce was sweet with a touch of basil; the sauteed spinach was delightfully garlicky.” I think she liked it!
steroid clucker

steroid clucker


My sister (lovingly known as Poop) had the chicken francaise – the white meat chicken (or many chickens) had a wonderful meaty texture I don’t often enjoy.
I'm a beautiful chick

I'm a beautiful chick


My stepfather, Ricardo, ordered another chicken dish, but this one was stunningly glazed with a balsamic sauce. I loved this sweet masterpiece – a real knockout.

As if that wasn’t enough food, the Mother Kelly includes a side of spaghetti:

don't ignore me!

don't ignore me!

If you can possibly manage it (and I never can), the desserts look like they are worth a food coma:

this pic does NOT do me justice

this pic does NOT do me justice

Forget the 5 mile radius, if you can get your butt in a seat at Mother Kelley’s……..GO!

Mother Kelly’s
490 Chestnut Street
Cedarhurst, New York 11516
(516) 295-5421

Greek Corner in Carle Place- Octopus & Squid in New York (Part 1)

I am a lucky girl! On my most recent trip to New York, 4 of my 12 meals consisted of octopus, squid, or BOTH! To keep from droning on and on in a super long post (covering all 4 restaurants), I’ll have to break up the OctoSquid-licious-ness.

My first New York meal was spot on. I went to the Greek Corner in Carle Place. The decor was bright and reminiscent of a Disney flick (or even Disney World):

wall mural

wall mural


You can see how the painted wall extends to the ceiling depicting a pale blue sky, full of white cotton candy clouds. It was outlandish, but it also made me feel relaxed (it must have been the calming blue tones). The interior decorator also made a point to display the menu for people with vision problems:
look up and order

look up and order


And while that publicly jarring menu was appealing, I saw some show-stealers on the lunch menu:
#1

#1


But, I settled on an Aegean Salad with grilled octopus:
superstar lunch

superstar lunch


I could eat this every single day for lunch and most nights for dinner. The grilled tentacles retained an excellent char and crispy-ness, while the hunky pieces of meat were soft and tender. The salad was an average greek salad which came complete with crumbled feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers (can’t remember if there were olives). Everything was fresh and everything was eaten. The diners at my table were also lucky that day in that they heard me rant and rave about the octopus topped salad throughout lunch and for many hours afterward.
Of course, I leave the best bites for last:
delicious-ness dragged on

delicious-ness dragged on

The guys (waiters, cooks, owners) were not used to having the restaurant photographed, so after some weird glances in my direction I explained my baby blog. Once they heard the word internet, the posing began:
smile

owner on the left; green haired guy on the right

owner on the left; green haired guy on the right

All in all, a fantastic way to start off the holiday weekend in NY.

More to come….

J’ Chanceux Macaron

Look at this beauty of a gift my sister got for me:

box full of love


perfect pastry post meal

She showed up at Thanksgiving dinner with a neat, little box of tasty macarons. For those of you who have not been introduced to the hamburger-shaped French pastries, they are “a traditional French pastry, made of egg whites, almond powder, icing sugar and sugar”. (wiki)

As told by Darby,” a new bakery opened with the cutest little lady owner – and she makes macarons’. That bakery is called J’ Chanceux Macaron and has only been opened for a few weeks.

info, held up by Darby

We did a taste testing in her apartment the next day. We got through them all, but since we were stuffed, never declared a winner. Looking back, the flavor that left a lasting impression on me was the coffee. It was sweet, but had a tinge of bitterness that added another dimension to the dessert.

Macarons are one of my all-time favorite treats – small enough to taste a few, crunchy with a melt-in-your-mouth outer layer, and a touch of cream.

If you live in New York City, go try out J’ Chanceux and give the little lady a chance.