The restaurant's philosophy, the passionate acquisition of premium fish and seafood and the Greek DNA all offer the ingredients for an exceptional meal. Our late Saturday lunch, was very good, but not particularly memorable. Perhaps it is the 3-4 months we have spent traipsing around Greece, both islands and inland, or even our experience at other premium Greek restaurants in New York that remind us that a warmer greeting, a smaller and cozier setting, a continuing interest in your guests, makes for repeat customers.
The modestly priced prix fixe luncheon menu, with a few supplements, is both a bargain and an opportunity for lighter fare. Our waiter was promoting the regular menu as having more variety (quite true), the opportunity for sharing, and the chance to try some of the 10-12 more exotic fish species that were on glorious display on ice in a large showcase area of the restaurant. When we opted for the smaller menu he seemed to lose much interest in the table.
Our parties three appetizers, scallops, octopus, and a tomato salad, were all first rate. Our guests' loup de mer was a fine piece of premium sea bass, My wife and I both had shrimp saganaki. The tomato and feta sauce was light and ably prepared, but both of us found our shrimp overcooked. Dessert, some fresh fruit for our guest, and baklava for us, couldn't have been better. Since our guest wasn't able to have wine, we opted for two glasses of a nice, but unexceptional Assyritiko. I am sure more interesting bottles were on offer, and another time we will delve further.
It was a late lunch, and our guest suggested we have tap water. Refills were never offered, nor did anyone ask if we wanted coffee. By New York standards, it was a fairly modest tab in a fancy restaurant. While we were fully capable of spending two or three times as much, that wasn't our choice. When we do have a more robust celebration, I haven't concluded that this restaurant deserves the trade. We paid our bill and that was the last we saw of our waiter or the hostess.
The big open, almost industrial space, is a little austere. Only a few people were there for a weekend lunch. I am sure it is packed on weekday nights with the expense account crowd-and perhaps then has a different vibe.
Another minor point, while fine cooks come from every corner of the globe, looking across at the open kitchen-and a battery of about eight cooks on the line, I didn't see anyone who appeared to have an ounce of Greek heritage. The meal was fine, but not inspired. There are better choices in Manhattan and elsewhere, places where someone appreciates your business.
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