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MP Taverna: Not Your Average Astoria Greek Restaurant

New York Max Falkowitz 6 comments

In interviews, Michael Psilakis has made clear that MP Taverna, his casual restaurant brand now in Astoria, features a more visceral, less cerebral approach to Greek food. That doesn't mean the menu is dumbed down or made less "ethnic." It means you're happy that the kitchen is generous with that pita, because those stray licks of olive oil on the plate won't finish themselves. More

Michael Psilakis on Cooking for Family, Serving Greek in Astoria

New York Jacqueline Raposo 8 comments

Chef Michael Psilakis is no stranger to restaurant openings and intense food, but his newly opened MP Taverna comes with the added challenge of it's location being in the heart of Astoria. We chatted with Psilakis on what Greek food means to him now, what it meant when he first started cooking and where he still wants the conversation on Greek cuisine to go. More

First Look: MP Taverna, a New Spin on Greek Food from Michael Psilakis in Astoria

New York Max Falkowitz 11 comments

"We're not trying to be a typical Greek taverna," Michael Psilakis says, which is why his newly opened MP Taverna is so unlike its Astoria neighbors. "I still think it's Greek, but my mother didn't cook anything like this." On the menu: octopus with yogurt and chickpeas, mussels with feta and Greek sausage, and more. More

Michael Psilakis' Guide to Greek Food and Ingredients in New York City

New York Allegra Ben-Amotz 5 comments

You could call Michael Psilakis one of New York's ambassadors of Greek cuisine. As the son of a first generation traditional Greek family on Long Island, Psilakis learned to roast whole lambs on a spit at a young age, and these days is busy maintaining his restaurants in the city and surrounding area. After the jump: his guide to the best Greek shopping and eating in the city. More

Fish Tag: Surprising Seafood Renditions on the Upper West Side

New York The Serious Eats Team 7 comments

Michael Psilakis's Fish Tag is a fish restaurant that's an awful lot more than a fish restaurant. In what sense? Well, though just about every dish on the menu includes seafood, an awful lot of dishes include something else, too: in your tour through this ocean, you'll find headcheese and chorizo, spicy lamb and guanciale. Ordering at Fish Tag can be an overwhelming experience—either exciting or vexing, depending on your mood, but overwhelming either way. Still, many of the unexpected elements work in Fish Tag's favor. More

Kids Welcome: Kefi, Upper West Side

New York Aya Tanaka 3 comments

Thanks to Chef Michael Psilakis' focus on the clean tastes of fresh ingredients, Kefi's solid menu catches the diner's eye at every turn, and pleases not only food-loving parents but also their little ones. More

Cook the Book: Grilled Sardines with Chopped Salad and Skordalia Soup

Serious Eats Caroline Russock 1 comment

[Photograph: Caroline Russock] After a week of recreating recipes from How to Roast a Lamb by Michael Psilakis, it occurred to me that I haven't had such consistently healthy meals in a long time. During normal weeks I'll go through... More

Cook the Book: Lamb Burger

Serious Eats Caroline Russock Post a comment

[Photograph: Caroline Russock] Michael Psilakis' Lamb Burger might not be a traditional burger, but it is one awesome sandwich. The burger consists of a 70/30 mix of ground lamb and pork seasoned with charred onions, fresh parsley, and dill, Dijon... More

Octopus with Chickpea Salad

Serious Eats Caroline Russock Post a comment

The following recipe is from the November 11 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here! One of the best things about the recipes in How to Roast a Lamb by Michael... More

Cook the Book: Pork Soffrito with Spicy Peppers and Cabbage

Serious Eats Caroline Russock 4 comments

"The final dish is a happy meeting of opposites: hot and cold, sweet and sour, cooked and raw." This Pork Soffrito with Spicy Peppers and Cabbage is a one-plate meal that combines ingredients I never would have thought to add... More

Cook the Book: Sweet and Sour Eggplant and Onion Stew

Serious Eats Caroline Russock 1 comment

Middle Eastern flavors have been bouncing around the Mediterranean for centuries and worked their way into Greek cuisine long ago. Cinnamon found its way into Greek cooking through the Turks, who brought it with them during their occupancy. Greece declared... More

Cook the Book: Greek Salad

Serious Eats Caroline Russock 5 comments

This is actually the Greek Cobb Salad from Michael Psilakis' restaurant Kefi. [Photograph: Robyn Lee] When I deiced to tackle How to Roast a Lamb by Michael Psilakis I made the mistake of thinking I had to make a special... More

Cook the Book: 'How to Roast a Lamb'

Caroline Russock Closed

Sometimes it seems like no cuisine is as underappreciated as Greek cuisine. It's a food culture with a long and glorious history of fresh Mediterranean ingredients, but why has it been relegated to the ranks of soggy spanakopita and wilted Greek salads, heavy with greying black olives and stinky feta? Psilakis started in the front of the house, waiting tables in a T.G.I. Friday's. This cuisine is crying out for a champion and Michael Psilakis is just the man for the job. Raised in a food-focused first generation Greek-American family in Long Island, New York, Psilakis was a late bloomer in the restaurant world. Unlike most chefs, Psilakis started in the front of the house, waiting tables in a T.G.I.... More

Gus and Gabriel Gastropub: The Greek Coffee Shop (Diner) of Our Dreams?

New York Ed Levine 15 comments

Imagine your local Greek coffee shop or diner being taken over by a hard-working fancypants celebrity chef, who happens to be Greek-American. Sounds promising, doesn't it? See what chef Michael Psilakis (of Anthos, Kefi, and Mia Dona) has done at the new Gus and Gabriel Gastropub on the Upper West side. More

Kefi at Lunch: An Oasis of Relative Calm and Inexpensive Greekish Deliciousness

New York Ed Levine 4 comments

A few weeks ago my wife met some friends for lunch at Kefi, and she reported that the restaurant at midday was an oasis of relative calm and serenity. Even more important, she raved about the food. More

In Videos: Michael Psilakis on 'Nightline'

New York The Serious Eats Team 1 comment

Michael Psilakis, executive chef at at Greek restaurants Anthos (36 West 52nd Street, New York NY 10019) and Kefi (222 West 79th Street, New York NY 10024) and at Italian joint Mia Dona, (206 East 58th Street, New York... More

Mia Dona: Breathtakingly Reasonable, Earthy Food

New York Ed Levine Post a comment

I've been meaning to write about Mia Dona for weeks now, and now that Frank Bruni has weighed in with a carefully considered review of Mike Psilakis' and Donatella Arpeia's newest restaurant, I feel remiss in not commenting before this.... More

Mia Dona's Prices Are Shockingly Moderate

New York Ed Levine 1 comment

When's the last time you were shocked by how reasonable the prices are at a fancy-pants restaurant? Mia Dona, Michael Psilakis and Donatella Arpeia's newly opened, more-Italian-than-not restaurant on East 58th Street, has prices so low that I could have... More

One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

Raphael 1 comment

Grub Street helpfully reports that Next Iron Chef winner Michael Symon and New York City chef Michael Psilakis are not the same person.... More

A Tale of Two Restaurants

New York Ed Levine Post a comment

Sometimes food writers get invited to preview meals at restaurants that are about to open. These are called Friends and Family Meals, and they are often fascinating and frustrating experiences. Six weeks ago I was invited to one such... More

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