Kellari Taverna, centrally located in mid-town Manhattan, is the perfect spot for an authentic Greek dining experience. Entering the very spacious dining area, surrounded by billowing white curtains, exposed wooden beams, and both bottles & barrels of wine, you feel as if have entered a wealthy Greek home and are being escorted to their rustic and romantic wine cellar to dine.
The waiter was able to suggest a carafe of one of their specialty Greek red wines to start the evening while decisions on the main course were being made. Chef Ioannis Benetos' specials for the evening included an incredible fried artichoke appetizer with greek cheese and pesto. Paired with one of their classic mezzes, the pikilia- house made pita and assorted Greek spreads, the meal was off to an excellent start.
Moving on to dinner, the star of the show at Kellari Taverna may well be their enormous seafood bar. With 12 types of freshly caught fish, lobster, and shrimp to view and choose from, any seafood lover will be hard pressed to make a decision. Our waiter offered a tour and guided suggestions of the per pound selections to be grilled whole and de-boned by the chef. For those diners not so into seafood- the kotopoulo, herb roasted chicken, is so tender and juicy it was falling right off the bone and the feta infused mashed potatoes it came with were unique and delicious.
To close out the meal, their house made, fig ice cream was the perfect amount of sweetness to compliment the mavrodaphne- Greek dessert wine. One would also be remiss to skip the baklava- the most traditional of all their desserts.
In short, everything at Kellari Taverna, from the service, to the atmostphere, and most importantly the cuisine, is outstanding- you simply must try it!