Lunch at Panellinion

IMG_0046One of my lunch guest Linds is from Crete so I was a little nervous having chosen the restaurant.  Thing started off dody as we decided to eat at 1:30 and when we got to Panellinion it was empty.  Oh oh I thought this place isn’t what I was told it would be – we sat down anyway which is when Linda told me: Oh Greek people don’t eat lunch until 3 – you’ll see at 3 it will be full. True to her word by the time we were ready for a nap the place was bustling.IMG_0058Panellinion means pan = All and Ellinion = Greece of course lest you think I was smart enough to figure that out myself, don’t worry Linda told me, the one thing she didn’t have to tell me was how delicious and lucky we were to be eating there.   The menu was exhaustive with page after page of options – if I had to decided without help I may still very well be there!  All the usuals familiar Greek dishes were there Saganaki, Greek Salad…along with many new and exciting things, my favorite of the ones we tried was Apaki a crete pork dish that looks like it was cooked in the same manner Shawarma is only spiced differently – the description in the menu suggested a spice blend – I thought I detected cumin but it was only a subtle hint in a complex mix that seemed to straddle flavors from Greece to India and bring it all together the spices are mixed with vinegar. All I’ll say is this is not the last time  you will hear about this dish on this blog!  OMG so good. 

We also had a cherry tomato Salad that was called Santorini after the island which is desert like and any produce that comes from there is very special – in the case of the tomatoes I’d think it’s because fruits that are living in a stressed environment tend to hoard water and become more intense in flavor which was certainly true of this super sweet little tomatoes in a classic simple preparation.IMG_0049The meal began with a complimentary plate of grilled bread drenched in olive oil.  I could easily have stopped there with the salad and the bread.  Our friend ordered a typical grape leaf Dolma’s which I traditional do not like, this was the first time I have eaten a  grape leaf roll up that I actually enjoyed  – the tzatziki dip didn’t hurt! To round things out we order pork skewers and small deep fried ground meat patty’s both came with french fries.  We were not the only hungry customers in the restaurant at this point.IMG_0054To wash everything down we ordered a bottle of local, organic Sauvignon Blanc which cost 7 Euro 30 (about $10)IMG_0047My friends IMG_0045 There were many things I liked about this menu but the two that I liked the most was that they noted whenever a fish was previously frozen and proudly stated that all there meat was local anc charcol grilled. IMG_0056



About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note:
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4 Responses to Lunch at Panellinion

  1. cbcreates says:

    Yum. So. Is that balsamic with the olive oil in the tomato salad dressing? I see scallions, capers, and feta. Right?
    Did the dolmades get a pass over the grill? Some look delciously toasty in spots.

    Think we’ll be eating Greek tonight.

    • urbanfoodguy says:

      Bingo on the salad ingredients – the capers really made it. The Dolmades were heavenly and so light – they were grilled, but didn’t have a real charred flavor at all. The food here is amazing and best when it is simply made with fresh ingredients

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