Kefi, New York

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Friday, August 6, 2010

Okay...we found it. Yes, Kara and I found it. The best restaurant in New York. It's hard to believe I just made a statement like that. But it's true. Kara gets all the credit for this one. Kefi, owned by its chef Michael Psilakis and Manhattan restauranteaur Donatella Arpaia, is located in the Upper West Side of the city. Kara found Kefi from having one of Michael's cookbooks. She'd become a fan quite a while ago and I'm glad she took us there.

Kara had reservations at 7:30 and we were seated immediately along the upper back wall at a booth/table. We were offered cocktails by John M, our waiter who we later had fetch the chef for us. We had some wine and enjoyed the feel of the rustic, modern restaurant. After looking over the lengthy menu, we both ordered the Kefi Salad that boasts lettuce, fennel, tomatoes, feta, cucumber and olives. Hello, yes it was fantastic with the olive oil dressing. Kara did add an order of taziki sauce to go along with the house bread and olive tapenade and it was great. The waitstaff tried to remove it with our salad plates and Kara nearly slapped the wrist of the guy to make sure he left it in case she wanted it later. Crack me up.

For dinner, Kara ordered the Sheep's Milk Dumplings with spicy lamb sausage and pine nuts. For a minute there, I wasn't sure she could speak. All I heard was moaning. That's not a typo, she swirled around her fork in her little dish and kept mumbling "oh, oh my gosh.....". It was an empty dish shortly after. For me, I went with John's recommendation, the Spanakoorzo that featured shrimp, orzo, feta and tomatoes. Divine, really divine. I didn't quite lick the bowl clean, but it was close.

Dessert anyone? I was totally full but Kara ventured on the menu and ordered up the Walnut Cake with walnut ice cream. My coffee was hot and strong enough and luckily Kara shared the dessert and it was good, I'll say. Kara was funny because after dessert she kept looking at the kitchen and then she boasted, "there HE is, oh my gosh....that's him, he's here,". I thought that's great, it's Rudy Giulaini or Bill Clinton. No, it was Michael Psilakis. I thought Kara might pee her pants until we got our waiter, John M, to tell him we wanted to visit with him. Meanwhile back at the ranch, he still didn't make it over but we did notice him visiting with a couple by the door of the kitchen. Kara quickly pointed out that he didn't know those people because he only shook their hands. Kara said if he knew them, he would have hugged them. That's true, I never thought of that. So we continued to wait and tried not to stare directly into the kitchen and then he finally made his way over to us. It was a thrill because Kara went on and on about her dinner and him. After a brief chat, I told him how much we loved Kefi and that it was finally great to meet a celebrity on this trip to New York. He grinned.

Our poor cab driver had to listen to our celebrity sighting all the way back to the Vanderbilt Y. Lots of laughs had and what a great trip it was. We've gotta go back, stay at the Y and go to Kefi again. I don't do repeats but this one would be worth it.

The picture is of us at Kefi!

Kefi, 505 Columbus Ave, New York 212-873-0200 A wonderful website,

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