DAILY BITES
Thalassa: Poseidon Approved

This time of year when spring is trying desperately to blossom, the thought on the minds of many is when they’ll be able to relax by the ocean, feel the sunshine, and enjoy a dinner of freshly prepared seafood. Greek cuisine relies heavily on the Mediterranean to create their healthy and simple cuisine. Recently, Thalassa in Tribeca, celebrated their ten year anniversary of serving diners contemporary and classic Greek seafood dishes in a glamorous nautical atmosphere. If Poseidon owned an authentic Greek seafood restaurant, Thalassa, meaning sea in Greek, would be it. With handsome leather chairs and banquettes, Greek urns, white billowing sails overhead, and a white marble and mosaic curved bar, Thalassa is fit for the gods of the sea.

BEHIND THE PLATE
The First of Its Kind: A Greek Steakhouse

A staple of Gramercy's dining scene, Parea Bistro, recently re-branded and now presents Parea Prime, a fusion of Greek cuisine and traditional steakhouse. The first of its kind, the restaurant features a sophisticated Mediterranean dining experience, as well as the conventions of an American steakhouse. General manager Jean Christophe Villard says, "I wanted to create a unique restaurant concept, to provide fine diners with meat and more exciting European items." And that he did.

The menu features hand-selected USDA Prime Dry Aged steaks and chops from Pat LaFrieda & Sons, each aged at least 28 days in the LaFrieda Himalayan Salt room. In addition to their meats, Parea Prime also offers a fine selection of classic Greek dishes like tender lamb riblets and hearty vegetable moussaka, as well as a raw bar. Joonbug had the opportunity to attend an exclusive tasting at the recently re-branded restaurant and we were happily scarfing down all they had to offer. From the meatballs and the flavorful spanakopita to the expertly selected wine, we enjoyed everything that came across our plate (and glass). The restaurant has an in-house sommelier to help you with any pairings, as well as an expert mixologist ready to serve you cocktails. Additionally, every Friday evening from 8-11pm, the restaurant features live Greek music as the perfect backdrop to your meal.

Parea Prime is located at 36 E. 20th St.

DELICIOUS DEBUTS
Thasos Greek Taverna

This is the age in which food is no longer something with which to merely fill our bellies, and many chefs and individuals throughout the world are now taking the time to reexamine, refine, and reinvent their native cuisines. Greek cuisine in the US has seen a major revolution over the past several years, garnering the respect of the culinary world and bidding farewell to the days of mystery meat gyros, greasy spanakópita, and leaden blocks of moussaká that many of us have unfortunately come to associate with Greek food. In its stead, today’s Greek chefs are bringing us bright flavors and preparations that highlight the quality and freshness of the ingredients used. The result is a cuisine that is zen-like and subtly nuanced, while at the same time offering bold flavors and exotic spices that are reflective of this Mediterranean nation’s vibrant history. Fort Lauderdale’s newest Greek restaurant, Thasos, is one such restaurant that is redefining our notion of Greek cuisine in South Florida by serving up a combination of authentic favorites, regional specialties, and exciting new creations that pay homage to Greek cooking traditions.

RESTAURANT 101
A Hidden Gem: Christos Steakhouse

As you walk down the stairs from the N train platform that runs above 31st Street in Astoria, you feel far removed from the hustle and bustle of the busy Manhattan streets. Everywhere you turn there are people running errands, returning from work, or meeting friends for coffee sitting at an outdoor section of a Greek café to better enjoy the summer weather. Off the beaten path, on a mainly residential section of 23rd Avenue is Christos Steakhouse. Ideal for special occasions, or whenever your inner carnivore needs a fix, Christos is the perfect blend of high-end steak house with a Mediterranean Greek flare not found in other steakhouses on the opposite of the East River.