Forget about the ambiance. Syros is a plain Jane of a restaurant but the food would please the Greek gods. The tables are clothless and paper napkins are used. Some Greek-themed pictures that look like they came off of the walls of a travel agency and add a bit of a Mediterranean theme. Service was attentive and kudos to our waiter who did not rush us and took our entrée order after we finished our appetizers.
The menu has all of the Greek classic dishes such as gigantes (Greek giant white beans in a rich tomato-dill sauce,) char-grilled octopus, spanakopita (spinach pie), bronzini ,which is a house specialty and is displayed on ice near the kitchen, lamb chops and grilled kebabs. The dishes we tried were made with quality ingredients and perfectly cooked.
We started with refreshing horiatiki, a cucumber, Kalamata olives, onions, bright red tomatoes and feta salad, followed by tender-grilled calamari. A special appetizer of the evening, creamy eggplant topped with sautéed onions in a tomato sauce and feta cheese, was a standout. The portion was tremendous and shared by four people. Tender and juicy, charcoal-grilled bronzini with crackling skin, was served whole with ladolemono, a classic Greek vinaigrette, made with lemon juice and olive oil, along with a side of rice with spinach; a highly recommended dish. We also loved the tangy, charred, lemon potatoes, another side that we kept snatching off of a friend’s plate. Lamb chops also exceeded our expectations as the charcoal grill added flavor and the chops were cooked medium rare as requested.
Dessert was a walnut cake bathed in a sweet syrup. Homemade Greek pastries, baklava and Greek yogurt with walnuts, wild cherries and honey were also on the menu.
51 E. Palisade Avenue
Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
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