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“Greek food with great service and reasonable prices” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Kefi

Kefi
505 Columbus Avenue, Between 84 & 85 Street, New York City, NY 10024 (Manhattan)
212-873-0200
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Ranked #708 of 11,599 restaurants in New York City
Price range: $7 - $23
Cuisines: Greek, Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Large groups
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Delivery, Late Night, Dessert
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Manhattan
Cross street: Between West 84th and 85th Streets
Transit: B & C trains to West 86th Street, 1 train to Broadway & 86 Street
Description: Chef Michael Psilakis and partner Donatella Arpaia have moved their rustic Greek gem, Kefi, to a larger space at 505 Columbus Avenue. The new, 200-seat interior evokes the feeling of a palatial Greek hideaway broken up into several smaller dining rooms to keep Kefi’s intimate appeal. The menu of favorites straight from Psilakis’ childhood will remain the same with some new additions. Signature dishes like Baccala, crispy-fried cod with garlic potatoes and tomato, Grilled Octopus with bean salad, and Hilopita, baked pasta with rabbit ragout and béchamel are still on offer. Additions include Grilled Sardines with chopped “Greek Salad” and garlic sauce, Macaronia Spestofai, tubular pasta with Greek sausage, peppers, onions, tomato and feta and an entirely new section of Greek Sandwiches featuring house-made sausages and pork and lamb gyro.
Austin, Texas
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Greek food with great service and reasonable prices”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

I've been to Kefi four or five times. The food is consistently really good. It's more Greek-Greek food than Greek-American food, so don't go expecting your standard fare of gyros and what-not. It's much better than that. I explain to people that Michael Psilakis (the owner) is trying to do with Greek food what Mario Batali did with Italian food - try to be authentic to food from the actual country and make it accessible. One time I had a meal that was just good, but the other times the food has been excellent. The rabbit pasta is a real standout. The wines are all Greek, but the servers will help you pick one, and they have always been REALLY good. On that note, the service is really outstanding. Very friendly and helpful. This last time we went we brought our baby and the waiter was great. The prices are really reasonable for NYC and it's usually possible to get a table without a horrendous wait, but we tend to go on the earlier side. It's easy to book a table ahead on opentable.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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180 reviews from our community

86% Recommend
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Wayzata, Minnesota
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Greek dinner with 6 clients”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

A great Greek restaurant East of Central Park. I ate at Kefi with a coworker and six clients. It has a casual atmosphere and REALLY good food. The tables were a bit close together and the walls and floor are all a hard material so it is a little loud for that many people, especially clients.

  • Visited February 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Poughkeepsie, New York
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Fun place with reasonable prices, festive atmosphere, and adorable waiters”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

Thank goodness we arrived before the dinner rush on the Sat before Christmas! We had not thought to make a reservation and got the last non-reservation table in the place. Within 10 mins of our arrival, the bar filled with people, and there was soon a one-hour wait. The prices are incredibly reasonable, especially for this area.....so perhaps that was part of the draw.
The wine list is strictly Greek at Kefi, so do your wino homework before you arrive. We ordered a couple of different types of wine, based on the waiter's recommendations and my vague memory of what I had enjoyed in the Peloponnese region of Greece about 10 years ago. Both were delicious and great accompaniments to the appetizer spread that was soon covering our tiny table: grilled octopus and bean salad, interesting selection of spreads, warm feta cheese and capers, fresh warm pita bread, and mussels with gigante beans. The octopus was the best I have EVER tasted, even in Greece, and the other apps were so good, that we ate every last bite of them. We were pretty full at this point, so we decided to split a grilled swordfish entree. The fish was cooked perfectly, and we loved the seasoning and the cauliflower side.
No room for dessert unfortunately, but we'll be back......and this time, we won't order so many appetizers! Even if you don't like (or think you don't like) Greek food, you should go to Kefi just to be charmed by the cutest waiters in New York! You'll leave with a smile on your face and money left in your wallet.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Wonderful Greek and Mediterranean Food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013 via mobile

Kefi has outstanding Greek food. I ordered a Greek salad and a lamb shank with orzo. The lamb melted off the bone and was absolutely delicious. The orzo was also outstanding and extremely flavorful. I had eaten two hours earlier and was not very hungry but still finished my entire huge lamb and orzo portion because it tasted so good. My appetite simply would not go away because the meal was so tasty and rich with sauce and seasonings. The restaurant is also very spacious and has a large downstairs for big groups of people. I highly recommend this restaurant for fans of Greek cuisine and NYC food fanatics in general. The food is reasonably priced for the quality and location.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Liked The Decor!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

Couldn't have picked a crazier night (Friday after Thanksgiving)! Just getting to and from our table was a feat of agility and maneuvering. We were seated downstairs next to to the kitchen so the wait staff was flying back and forth spilling and slipping (one waiter dropped a tray, plates and food flying and almost hitting us).

The food was okay. I have had as good if not better Greek in my small inland city. The decor was simple white washed walls with rustic tapestries, wood beams and tile floors and the best part of our dining experience. We could have been in Greece except that the food probably would have been better.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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