Restaurant Loi Transportes The Sunny Cuisine of The Aegean to The Upper West Side In Style

Restaurant Loi

208 West 70th Street

212-­‐875-­‐8600,

www.restaurantloi.com

Chef Loi’s Blog

October 2011 opening,

Loi interior

The scent of Spanakopita straight from the oven, freshly wrapped grape leaves and the sweet aroma of Baklava wafts its way onto West 70th Street, as one of Greece’s top chefs, Maria Loi, works her magic in the kitchen at her new restaurant . . . Loi.

Formally Compass, the well reviewed venue with a bevy of revolving chefs and menus, Loi has garnered attention from some of the city’s most well respected foodies and critics alike.Chef Loi aims to offer guests a blend of her warm personal charm combined with her modern approach to authentic Greek cuisine in a casually elegant setting starting with a trendy bar with twinkling votive candles, followed by two glass-enclosed private rooms, leading to the square bi-level main dining room,with its comfortable seating and earthy beige color scheme. The space has subtle lighting and is sectioned with high pillars of beige and purple. Terracotta floors, striped fabric armchairs and walls hung with pictures of sea-scenes complete the picture. Maître d’ John  oversees the operation with obvious professionalism.

At a chef owned and run restaurant (well co-owned in this case with managing partner Don Evans),food is an extension of the cook’s persona, and should be the focus. And so it clearly is at Loi. While perusing the menu, you are served gratis stuffed grape leaves with a zesty yogurt sauce and assorted bread to dip in fragrant olive oil. The breads are addictive (especially the homemade flat bread and a thick, grainy wedge with a hint of sweetness). The Dolmades (grape leaves) are the best we have ever tasted . . . and that includes experiencing them in numerous trips to Greece.

Other small plates that deserve signature acclaim, include Maria’s ahini sea urchin appetizer. Beautifully presented on a series of large porcelain spoon, in a heady lemon-oil sauce, they are divine. More earthy and described as baked meat “patties,”  keftedaika meatballs,In Caramelized Tomato Sauce With Feta Mousse Sauce were honest and delicious.

In the entrée department chef Loi’s “traditional” moussaka, delicately prepared with Eggplant, With Minced Meat, Topped With Bechamel Sauce, and Slow Cooked is a must. It was light and very much like the contemporary Greek food one would have experienced at  trendy, restaurants in Athens.Indeed, much of the food is updated to today’s taste, and  fortunately, flavor is never sacrificed. We also enjoyed Braised Lamb Shank With Anthotiro & Kalabokisio (Corn Puree), which tasted rather like a refined version of grits. Roasted, marinated beets were very good and although we didn’t get a chance to sample the Fresh Fish, Baked in Sea Salt “For Two” Accompanied With Charred Grilled Seasonal Vegetables, the people at the next table ordered it and  appeared delighted.

The formidable wine list of Compass has been replaced with a shorter, mostly Greek version offering well priced bottles, many in the $40 to $60 range. Our waiter suggested a chardonnay from chef Loi’s personal selection: a 2009 Karapidis, from organic grapes and aged 6 months in oak ($75). It was delicate, with subtle fruit and great balance. Probably the best buy on the list. Brothers Lazaros and Pantelis Karipidis began their wine venture as a hobby in 1985. Their decidedly cosmopolitan wines and upmarket image have made them leaders in the industry.

Don’t miss the desserts. Besides the obligatory Baklava, go for the unusual Ekmck KatJifi. Ek-mek Ka-tai-Ifi: Shredded Phyllo Soaked in Honey Topped with Custard, Toasted Nuts and Light Crème. Reminiscent of a Greek tiramisu, we loved it..Finish with wonderful Greek coffee and an ouzo and you have the ideal dinner.

loi DOLMADAKIA Stuffed grape leaves

The Giveaway Stuffed Grape Leaves (Above) Set The Stage

 

Other Appetizer Teasers (Below)

loi SPANAKOTARAMOKEFTEDES

loi KOTOPITAKIA ME LIASTI NTOMATA

Until recently, Maria hosted her very own cooking show, which ran for years, on Greece’s most successful morning program, and the country’s leading TV network, Mega Channel. She is also the author of several cookbooks, including the highly coveted “Ancient Dining,” the official cookbook of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. She visits each table, during the evening and stopped at ours briefly.

Small wonder Loi has quickly become a neighborhood favorite and is a destination worth seeking, out, for those seeking elevated, Greek cuisine with a personal touch. Our visit preceded Easter and there was a lamb on a spit, cooking in front of the restaurant. It was a Saturday evening and business was booming. The fragrant lamb must have been a metaphor for the sweet smell of success.

Interestingly, of all Manhattan’s luxury Greek restaurants, Loi offers attractive value. There is even a pre fixe dinner (5 to 6:30 PM) for $40. Reserve well in advance. It’s standing room only.

 

Copyright 2012 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.

Disclosure


loi chef loi-left

 

Maria Loi’s BIO

Additionally, she developed a line of dinnerware, flatware and small kitchen appliances and has been a spokesperson for Kraft, Unilever, Tupperware and Electrolux products in Greece.

As the International Ambassador of the Chef’s Club of Greece, North American Chapter, Maria is a proponent of the healthy Greek breakfast which includes foods rich in protein and calcium and which she believes will help combat the dramatic increase in obesity and diabetes in America. Maria is also involved in a number of philanthropic causes in Greece, specifically, Elpida, a foundation dedicated to helping children with cancer, of which she is a co-­‐ founder.


Sample Dinner Menu (Subject To Change)

Appetizers

TYRI FOURNISTO 12
Baked Greek Cheese With
Tomatoes, Peppers & Fresh Herbs
GIGANTESMESPANAKI 12
Oven Baked Gigante Beans With
Spinach and Tomato Served with
Feta Cheese Topped with
Cipollini Onions

OREKTlKA
ANINI 12
Sea Urchins Accompanied With Olive Oil &
Crispy Pita Chips
HTAPODAKISTINSHARA 19
Grilled Octopus Served With Onion, Olive Oil,
Capers, Chick Peas, Almonds, Fresh Herbs &
Lemon Juice

GLYKADAKL416
Crispy Sweet Breads With Herbs &
Stone Ground Mustard With Lemon Sauce
KEFFEDAKL4 13
Baked Meat Patties In Caramelized Tomato
Sauce With Feta Mousse Sauce
PITESTISEMERAS 12
Home-Made Phyllo Pies Of The Day
PAPOUTSAKIA 13
Baked Baby Eggplant Stuffed With Tomatoes
Mustard & Caramelized Onions, Topped With
Smoked Feta Mousse
TYROKEDTEDES 15
Cheese Croquettes With Baked Goat &
ManouriCheese On Top 0fFig & Apricot
Compote

MYDIASEKROKO 16
Steamed Mussels With Leeks In Krokos Kozani
(saffron) Sauce
KALAMARI SCHARAS 14
Fresh Calamari julienned, Pan Grilled With
Parsley & Pistachio Sauce
GARIDESKATAIFI 17
Grilled Shrimp Wrapped In Shredded Phyllo (Kataifi)
Topped With Pomegranate Sauce
KA VOUROKEFTES 16
Crabcakc, With Santorini Fava Puree, Preserved
Lemon & Ladolemono (Olive Oil & Lemon Juice)
SARDELES PLAKI 14
Fresh Sardines Baked & Topped With Caramelized
Onion Tomato Sauce

SALATES

HORIATIKI LOI 14
Organic Vine Ripe Tomatoes, Cucumbers,
Peppers,Onions, Kalamata Olives, Feta
Cheese With Maria Loi Greek Herb Vinaigrette
MAROUL/ 12
Romaine Lettuce Hearts, Scallions
Dill, Olive Oil & Vinegar

ROKA 15
Baby Arugula, Hazelnut, Smoked
Metzovone Cheese With Fig Balsamic
Vinaigrette
ASTAKOSALATA 19
Lobster Meat, Bibb Lettuce, Green
Beans, Baby Potatoes, Tomatoes & Egg
With Tarragon Vinaigrette

KOTOSOUPAAVGOLEMONO 9
The Famous Greek Chicken Egg Lemon
Soup

SOUPES
PSAROSOUPA 12
Fish Soup with Fresh Fish of the Day, Celery,
Carrots, Onions, Olive Oil & Lemon Juice


Entrees

KYRIAPIATA

PSARISEKROUSTAAIATIOU 58
Fresh Fish, Baked in Sea Salt
“For Two” Accompanied With Charred
Grilled Seasonal Vegetables
LAVRAKI 29
Grilled Bronzino (Seabass) Served With
Charred Grilled Seasonal Vegetables
SOLOMOSMEMARATHO 27
Grilled Wild Salmon With Fennel, Leeks
Citrus Oil Lemon Sauce
ROPHOS PLAKI 28
Filet Of Grouper With Fingerling Potatoes,
Couscous, Onions, Tomatoes & Fish Broth
YIOUVETSI THALASSINON 34 .
Seafood Orzo With Shrimp, Scallops,
Clams, & Mussels In Red Wine Tomato
Sauce
HTENIA 34
Seared Diver Scallops With Asparagus
Served On Dill Trahana, Traditional
Peasant Pasta
GARIDES MICROLIMANO 34
Baked Prawns Head-On With Caramelized
Tomatoes, Peppers & Feta Cheese
ASTAKOMAKARONADA 36
Macaroni Pasta With Lobster Chunks
In A Red Wine Tomato Sauce

MOUSSAKA 23
Maria’s Traditional “Moussaka”, Eggplant
With Minced Meat, Topped With Bechamel Sauce,
Slow Cooked
PASTITSIO 22
Macaroni & Minced Meat Casserole With
Cheese Bechamel Sauce
KOKORASKRASATOS 27
Braised Rooster In Wine Sauce With
Hylopites (Home-Made Pasta)
ARNI28
Braised Lamb Shank With Anthotiro
& Kalabokisio (Corn Puree)
PAIDAKIA 42
Grilled Rack Of Lamb & Loin With
Broken Red Bliss-Lemon Potatoes
BRIZOLA 42
Creek-Stone 18 QZ. Rib-Eye Steak Served
With Baked Greek Fries
FILETO 35
Creek-Stone 8 oz. Filet Mignon With
Caramelized Onions On Mavrodaphne
(Sweet Red Wine) Sauce
KOTOPOULO LEMONATO 26
Bo-Bo Farm Free-Range Roasted Lemon
Chicken With Horta

PA7ZARIA
Roasted Marinated Beets
SPARAGIA
Steamed Asparagus
LEMONATES PATATES
Roasted T ~mon Potatoes

SINODEFTIKA 8
HORTA
Wild Steamed Greens
SPANAKORIZO
Spinach & Rice
PSITA LAHANIKA
Se.::tson::t 1 C:rille.n V f>.2″f>.t::t hles

KOUNOUPIDI
Rainbow Cauliflower
PATATES PSITES
Baked Greek Fries
CRETAN POTATOES
Rroke.n red bliss noraroes & herbs


PRE-THEATRE MENU
AV AJLABLE 5.00-6.30PM
OREKTIKA
Marouli
Romaine Hearts of Lettuce, Scallions, Dill, Olive Oil & Vineg-ar
Horiuiki Loi
Organic Vine Ripe Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Peppers,Onions, Kalamata Olives,
Feta Cheese With Maria Loi Greek Herb Vinaigrette
Kalamari
Fresh Calamari Julienned, Pan Grilled With Parsley & Pistachio Sauce
Spanakopita
Fresh Spinach, Herbs And Feta Cheese in Home-Made Phyllo Layers
KYRIAPIATA
Lavraki
Grilled Bronzino (seabass) Served With Charred Seasonal Grilled Vegetables
Kotopoulo Lemonato
Bo-Bo Farms Free-Range Roasted Lemon Chicken With Horta
Zymarika Tylihta
Fresh Spinach, Herbs And Feta Cheese Wrapped In Phyllo Pasta
And Baked In Tomato Cheese Sauce
Moussaka
Maria’s Traditional “Moussaka”, Eggplant With Minced Meat And Bechemal
Sauce, Slow Cooked
GLYKA
Ekmek Kataifi
Shredded Phyllo Soaked in Honey Topped With Custard, Toasted Nuts and
Light Creme
Sokoiatopita
Maria’s Special Rich Greek Chocolate Flourless Cake
Karidopita
TraditionalW-alnutSpongeCake With Cinnamon Syrup
$40


Desserts and Cocktails

GLYKA
Baklawt-Bak-Ia-va
Layers of Phyllo with Almonds, Walnuts,
Pistacio Nuts, Light Drizzle of Spiced
Honey Syrup
Galaktoboureco- Ga-Iak-to-b6ureco
Semolina VanilIa Bean Custard Between
Layers of Phyllo Topped With A Light
Spiced Honey
Ksridopus- Kari-d6p-ita
Traditional Walnut Sponge Cake with
Cinnamon Syrup
Ekmck KatJifi. Ek-mek Ka-tai-Ifi
Shredded Phyllo Soaked in Honey
Topped with Custard, Toasted Nuts
and Light Creme.
Tyrogliko – Ti-roglik6
Greek Cheese Cake with Crushed Mixed
Nuts with Honey Crust
Sokolatopita-Sok-ola-t6pita
Maria’s Special Rich Chocolate Flourless
Cake
Heliniki Krems- He-Iin-Iki Kre-ms
Greek Parfait V anilIa Bean Mousse over
Coffee Liquor Cake
Yaourti Me Meli- Yia-6urti Me Meli
Yogurt with Attiki Honey and Toasted
Mixed Nuts. Or with GreekSpoon Desserts
Fruta-
Seasonal Fresh Fruit Selected By Maria Loi
Fruit -$10
All Other Desserts -$8

NAFPAKTOS PUNCH
Hendrick’s Gin, Cucumber & Melon, Lime
juice,
Chile Syrup & Splash of Tonic
A TASTE OF GREECE
Ouzo, Watermelon, Mint, St Germaine,
Simple Syrup
UPPER WEST SIDE
Ketel One Citron, Mint, Orange Liquor,
St Germaine, Lemon juice
MASTIHA’S TEARS
Mastiha, Orange, Mint, House-Made
Grenadine, .
Lemon, Champagne
FIRE OF PATRAS
Knob Creek, Canton Ginger Liquor,
Sweet Vermouth, Ginger,
Lemon, Honey Syrup
DARK & STORMY
Dark-Rum. Ginger Beer & Lime juice
$14

________________________________________________________________

loi privatedining-left

Private Dining Room (Above)

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