2015-09-23 / Restaurant of the Week

KALAMAKI

Kalamaki opened just over a year ago and has established itself as a favorite spot for authentic Greek street food, prepared on the spot from locally sourced, organic ingredients. Kalamaki means “meat on a skewer” in Greek and you’ll find plenty of fine, grilled meats and seafood here. Located just off Francis Lewis Blvd. in Bayside, Kalamaki raises casual dining to an art with its lovely interior, decorated with sleek wood floors, stacked stone walls, sturdy wood tables for casual dining and a lovely outdoor terrace in the back of the restaurant. There’s still time to enjoy it while the weather is so pleasant and indeed, families frequently gather outdoors to enjoy a pleasant meal together.

Kalamaki’s charming owner, Aris Konstantinidis, has an impressive background in the restaurant business and runs a tight ship, ensuring that everyone has an enjoyable meal. Virtually everything is made from scratch each day by chefs Niko and Jimmy, and you’ll enjoy friendly, attentive service thanks to Maro and Spiros.

We settled into the sage green outdoor seating and enjoyed glasses of wine while Maro put in our order. We started with a selection of Kalamaki’s house made dips that include light and creamy tirokafteri, (Greek cheese and pepper spread), taramosalata, caviar dip and the super fresh eggplant dip called melitzanosalata. Accompanied by warm triangles of pita, we could have made a meal of these ‘meze’ alone but don’t stop there because the yellow and green squash balls called “kolokithokeftes” are not to be missed. These delicate morsels filled with summer squash, zesty spices and a touch of feta are addictive. They’re lighter than air and perfect, served with house made tzatziki yogurt sauce ($7.50). Grilled octopus came next, supremely tender so you could cut it with a fork, and oh so delicious! Loukaniko are handmade, country style Greek sausages that are mildly seasoned and grilled to crisp perfection and great for sharing ($8.25). Get crunchy with “Lahano” salad, composed of shredded white and red cabbage with lemon and olive oil dressing. The “Dakos” salad which is a wonderful blend of traditional whole wheat rusks from Crete tossed with chopped tomatoes, feta cheese and capers, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and herbs ($8.95). Mamma’s recipe spanakopita and tiropita are flaky pies filled with spinach or cheese and are so good that you might want to take some home with you for the next day.

From the grill come “kalamaki” skewers that can be ordered individually, at just $2.25 each, or as a sampling, made to your order. There are pork skewers, chicken skewers, and beef skewers, so order as many as you like to please everyone at the table. Now, Kalamaki is proud to introduce incredibly fresh fish and seafood skewers laced with plump shrimp, gorgeous salmon, tuna, swordfish and fresh vegetables. The accompanying seasoned rice makes for a light and healthy dinner. “Paidakia” are tender, baby lamb chops that melt in your mouth, served with pita, tzatziki, and spicy tirokafteri cheese. Kalamaki does an incredible job of rotisserie chicken too, marinated in a perfect blend of garlic, herbs, and spices that seal in the succulent juices. Order this outrageously good chicken in whole or half portions and choose sides such as lemon potatoes, French fries, rice, or salad. The Family style Mixed grill platter offers you a choice of kalamaki skewers, rotisserie chicken, beef and lamb gyro, pita and tzatziki for a satisfying family dinner, to dine in or to order for delivery at home.

Turn your souvlaki into a great sandwich, or try the unique “Giaourtlou Politico” which starts with warm, fluffy pita bread spread with freshly made, strained Greek style yogurt, aromatic tomato sauce topped with ground beef and lamb with mild spices for a delicious, hearty meal ($15.50)

Kalamaki desserts are light and healthy made with fresh yogurt topped with pineapple, coconut, and hazelnuts, apple, cinnamon, walnuts, and brown sugar, peanut butter and jelly, and my personal favorite: mandarin orange and roasted almonds, sprinkled with coconut.

Kalamaki is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, and offers free delivery to your home or office. There’s expert catering too, so leave the party to them. Give a gift certificate to your friends and family and spread the love. Enjoy the Indian summer out back on the patio and dine like a god or goddesss on authentic, fresh Greek street food at Kalamaki. Yasoo!

29-06 172nd Street, Bayside
(just off Francis Lewis Blvd.)
718.939.1616

www.kalamakigr.com

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