The Manhattan Greek, Eleni's Divine Restaurant is easy to spot the on the Northwest corner of East 19th and 3rd Avenue with its bold white appearance and navy blue accents. Even the fake candles on the table settings have blue flames! The restaurant host offered the choose of inside or outdoor dining. I decided to sit indoors to take advantage of the AC on that late June summer day. The host promptly guided me to a window table and serviced a complementary basket of pita bread and hummus.
FYI I walked into the well kept but littered with blue teddy bears, restaurant around 4pm. I wanted to enjoy my meal before the dinner rush. Also most, if not all New York City restaurants have a 90 minute dining cap. However, if you dine outside the busy hours, usually the restaurant staff doesn't mind if you linger a bit longer then the hour and half cut off.
The restaurant has 4 eloquently laid out menus; Main Menu, Dessert, Drinks and a 3 Course Pre Fixe Lunch Menu for $29.95 +tax. There's plenty of authentic Greek dishes to choose from, starting with the 19 different appetizers on the Main Menu. The 5 salads and 5 pasta listed seemed equally worthy of their placements. The entrees where cleverly segregated; "From the Sea" and "From the Land". The dessert menu is paired nicely with a dessert wine list.
Speaking of wine list, all the wines (by the glass) on the drinks menu are from Greece. I'm not a wine fan. It all kinda tastes like cat piss to me but for some reason I decided give Greek wine a try. I was pleasantly surprised when I liked the Greek white wine; Hatzigiannnis Santorini Assrtiko 2019 that my waiter suggested I try with my meal. If wine is not your think, they also have mixed drinks, beer with 2 Greek beers listed and non-alcoholic beverages.
I spend majority of my life vegan with the occasional shift to vegetarian and/or pescatarian (especially when I can get seafood someday fresh). At the time of writing this blog, I am eating critters from the sea. With that said, living in a country and traveling in a world that is mostly full of meat eater, I've learned to look at restaurant menus and ask the right questions to maintain my dietary integrity. And I would confidently be able to order a 100% vegan meal off the menus offered at Eleni's, even thou there's not one item dedicated to that cuisine.
Still practicing a high plant based diet, I started my meal off with a side order of Brussel sprouts and the Octopodi Sharas. The mediterranean grilled octopus was perfectly dressed with; onions, capers, fava puree, lemon and herbs. Seriously every bite melted in my mouth and jam packed with taste. The Brussels were freshly oven roasted, still a little crispy and just a tad bitter. Yum the way I like my sprouts.
On round two, I went for the Seafood Orzo; (Greek Paella). My server delivered a steaming hot plate with wafting aromas of sautéed mussels, shrimp and scallops over orzo, finished with organic tomato sauce. Every bite had the right amount of flavor from each individual ingredient. And I was delighted that I could still identify what mouth full of sea food I was devouring. So, delicious! I would definitely recommend this dish!
I topped off my lovely Greek meal with the Greek Yogurt; Traditional rich plain Greek yogurt, featuring chopped walnuts and almonds, raw wild Greek honey and a cherry on top. Ugh! So rich! So creamy! Soooo good! I really wish I could start every day, with this Greek yogurt.
PS I woke up the next day after my Eleni's dining experience craving the Greek yogurt so bad that I gladly walked the 20 minutes from my midtown hotel to get some more.
WANT TO TRY THIS RESTAURANT OUT FOR YOURSELF?
Eleni's Divine Greek Cuisine
226 3rd Ave New York, NY 10003
*located on the corner or East 19th St and 3rd Ave
Open 7 days a week
Sunday - Thursday 11:30am - 10pm
Friday & Saturday 11:30am - 11pm
Website: Click HERE
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