2014-07-23 / Restaurant of the Week

Greek Family Kitchen

Greek Family Kitchen is your kitchen too. Opened in February, on Union Turnpike, Greek Family Kitchen re-creates an authentic Greek dining experience, even down to the “kitchen” tools that adorn the walls, including copper pots and utensils. The corner location is so convenient, just off both the Grand Central Parkway, and Clearview Expressway with easy street parking and some outdoor tables from where you can watch the setting sun.

Kosta Kantlis has had many years of restaurant success. In his newest venture, he and his lovely wife Maria created three lovely dining rooms, two of which are light and spacious enough to host private parties of up to 75 people. Blond wood tables, breezy curtains and cool art objects on the walls lend a sophisticated, yet comfortable tone and the service is always fast and friendly. In fact Kosta greets every customer to his Greek Family Kitchen like members of his own family, with his faithful clientele offering warm hugs and well wishes.

Everything in Greek Family Kitchen is made from fresh ingredients, never frozen or canned. They even make their own homemade yogurt which is incorporated into many of their dishes such as the cool, creamy tzatziki sauce, and light as a feather cheesecake. He is busy perfecting his own cheese recipe too. Soon, beer and wine will be available.

We started with grilled calamari that was so tender and perfectly charred, requiring nothing more than a squeeze of lemon. The fried calamari at the table next to ours looked good too. The chargrilled octopus was so perfectly cooked and impossibly tender, we soaked it up along with garlic pita bread brought to the table. Lamb sliders are another popular starter, with two to an order for sharing. These tender, well-seasoned lamb burgers rest on mini pita rounds, served with a ramekin of spicy remoulade sauce that enhances the flavors of the meat.

On the cold side, you ought to try an assortment of Greek Family Kitchen’s homemade dips including melitzanosalata (eggplant), hummus made from chick peas, and creamy, spicy feta cheese called tyrokafteri which we found addictive, spread onto warm triangles of pita. Cool off with a refreshing salad called horiatiki, composed of fresh tomatoes, feta cheese, red onion, and zesty vinaigrette. The Classic Greek salad is also available, and can be topped with grilled chicken, salmon, or falafel to make a complete meal in itself. Our friendly waitress Nafsika cleared everything away swiftly to make room for our entrees.

The whole family can have what they want as entrées at Greek Family Kitchen cover fresh fish and seafood, meat, burgers, traditional Greek fare such as house made mousaka, pastitsio, and spanakopita (spinach pie). The chargrill renders excellent pork or chicken kebabs laced with peppers and onions ($17.95), grilled chicken breast, and Greek style hamburger called beeftekia. Tuck into a juicy skirt steak or even steak frites accompanied by Greek style fries with oregano and garlic and a reduced shallot and balsamic sauce to complement the tender steak. All of these entrées are very generously portioned and come with rice and fresh vegetables, soup or a salad, making them a complete meal and a good price.

Whole branzino is grilled to perfection, basted in olive oil and lemon and filleted if you like, or try the Alaskan salmon fillet with all the sides mentioned. Our swordfish kebab was outstanding for its freshness and flavor, laced with vegetables on a metal skewer and served with rice and fresh broccoli.

At lunchtime or dinnertime, Greek Family Kitchen’s burgers are delicious, made from fresh beef that’s not frozen, and cooked to order with your favorite toppings, then served on a flaky brioche bun with fries and soup or salad, if you like. There are chicken burgers, turkey burgers and even a veggie burger for a meatless option. The “GFK Wraps” require two hands to eat, filled with Greek sausage, chicken, grilled vegetables and more.

Save room for dessert because the house made cheesecake is their trademark, made with their own yogurt and cheeses, topped with strawberries. The baklava and galaktobourekia are Greek pastries oozing with honey and phyllo.

Plan your next family or business event at Greek Family Kitchen where all the menus and details will be expertly arranged so you can just enjoy yourself. Off-premises catering is also available to your home, office, or venue. Greek Family Kitchen is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, Monday - Wednesday 10:30am until 9:00pm, Thursday 10:30am until 10:00pm and Friday and Saturday 10:30am until 11:00pm. Saturday and Sunday brunch is coming soon. The food is fresh, homemade and delicious, the service is friendly; and the prices are reasonable, so why not bring your family to Greek Family Kitchen!

212-02 Union Tpke.  Hollis Hills


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