From the blue and white décor in the serene dining room, to the crackling filo pastry that envelopes specialties such as Spanokopita and Baklava, Something Greek evokes the relaxing mood of a sun-washed isle in the Aegean.
The two-year-old eatery, nestled in a cozy storefront on Third Avenue, with a backyard where diners can bask in the summer sun and spring breeze, offers up a mouthwatering menu of Greek favorites, just the way Mamma always made them, or wished she could.
Thats because mom does make them in this case, Pauline Mitilineos, who opened up the restaurant with her children and a family friend, and who presides over the kitchen, where she personally cooks up such specialties as Moussaka and Pastitsio, Shrimp Santorini and Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes (Yemista)specialties of the eatery along with Gyros and Souvlaki so tender and flavorful that its hard to stop eating, even after you are full.
And, its easy to get full, thanks to the copious portions dished out by Pauline and her hard-working staff. A slice of Spanokopita ($5.50) spinach and feta cheese pie wrapped in flaky phyllo homemade with olive oil, no butter, is found among the appetizers, but also gets star treatment in a platter with salad and rice or fries.
The homemade spreads and dips, served with toasted pita to scoop them up are creamy and luscious. The Hummus ($4.75) chickpeas puréed with garlic, herbs and extra virgin olive oil was light and subtly tart. The Tzatziki ($4.25)an enticing blend of shredded cucumber and thick Greek yogurt spiked with garlic and dill had a remarkably rich flavor, the more so when you realize it has been made with non-fat yogurt. The Taramasalata ($4.75) a creamy spread based on fish roe, caviar was lightly tangy and only barely tasted of the sea.
Any or all of the appetizers would be a good selection. If you cant decide which one you want, order a plate with all three for $10.50.
For a main dish, we enjoyed the Mixed Grill ($12.95), which we ordered with chicken gyro and two different pork preparations. The filled-to-the-brim plate came with a substantial Greek salad lettuce leaves, chunks of cucumbers and tomatoes, as well as Greek olives and feta — plus a portion of Rice and Orzo Pilaf, though we could have ordered Something Greeks Fresh Cut Fries if we preferred.
We also sampled some of Something Greeks vegetarian offerings. The okra in a light tomato sauce was tender and flavorful, and the Lemon Potatoes ($4.50) were absolutely stunning, meaty and tart, satisfying without being cloying
We tasted two different desserts. The Galactoboureko ($4.95) comprised custard in a filo jacket that was bathed in honey it was light and sweet, but not too sweet. The Baklava ($3 for one piece, $5 for two) was a concoction out of honey lovers heaven, the wonderfully crisp pastry sheets enclosing chopped nuts with a honeyed syrup.
The recipes are all authentic, stressed Mitilineos, who eschews butter in favor of olive oil for her pastries, and makes everything fresh daily. Our food is different from other Greek restaurants, she said. Because I am the one who cooks here.
Mitilineos has special plans in mind for Easter when, she said, she will bake up Koulourakis, Greek Easter cookies, as well as traditional Tsoureki, a sweet braided bread, that people can enjoy in the restaurant or bring home to their own celebrations.
Its touches like this that make it clear that the food served up at the restaurant are Something Greek indeed.
7616 Third Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11209
Monday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Wine and beer available