222 W 79th St, New York, NY | Directions 1002440.783446 -73.979368
Neighborhoods: Midtown, Upper West Side
A Greek Island of Great Value – I don't think I have been at a restaurant in New York City where such great food comes at gentle prices as the ones at Kefi.
A group of friends and I decided to meet there and while I arrived first I indulged in a great ouzo suggested by the manager there. As a matter of fact all waiters are well informed about the food and the beverages and they can really be precise about wine reccomandations from the all-Greek list.
The dining room is well lit with beatiful draperies hanging from the ceiling. Tables are best in the back and we got a round one for the six of us where we could share lots of appetizers. Since all of them were priced under $8 we overordered. However, I would sure double up on the octopus and the fried calamari.
Main courses were very generous especially the lamb shank that literally fell off the bone. Fish is expertly grill, and we all loved the branzino.
Again, since the main courses were priced under $17, we overordered and that was a shame since desserts also sounded very appealing.
I will always keep Kefi in mind for a casual get together with my pals.
Good Greek Food, Need To Work On Customer Service and Relations – Tried out Kefi for a pre-theatre dinner, but our experience was marred by a lecture we received from the maitre' d. We initially expected a party of four, but ended up being three as our fourth was delayed and we didn't expect her to join us for dinner. We informed the maitre' d of the change and were seated as a party of three. Unexpectedly our fourth party did show up once we had finished our dinners and were deciding on our desserts.
The table that we were sitting at was a table for four, with one chair removed so we added a chair from an empty table so that she could join us.
The maitre' d came to the table, asked us if we were four or three and then proceeded to lecture us, essentially accusing us of "hustling" him and telling us that "a table for four is a table for four not a table for three" and that he had told waiting patrons that our table would be available and now we had ruined his timing. This was ridiculous seeing as we had just finished our entrees and he had no idea how long we would remain there finishing our drinks and eating dessert. In fact we were on a time crunch to get to a play and were out of there just as quickly as if our fourth had not joined us.
We would have waited to have our complete party seated, if we had believed that this person was coming. We explained this to him, however we decided to let it go and not get into an argument so as not to ruin our entire evening.
I understand that they are a small establishment and that they are quite busy, however to be accused of pulling a fast one to get seated was insulting and offensive.
This colored our entire evening and enjoyment of the food which was quite enjoyable. I personally will not be going back considering that there are many other choices for Greek food in the city. The management at Kefi needs to realize that before the alienate more patrons.
Remarkable Restaurant – Those who like to bash the culinary choices on the Upper West Side should pay a visit to Kefi. The place is so well run with waiters who take lots of pride and want their customers to learn more about Greek food and wine. They suggested that we shared few mezes and they were all terrific, especially the meatballs. The wine they reccomended costs only $25 per bottle and it was full and elegant. The little private table is ideal for friends to get together and talk and if you want to eat beyond the mezes, try the branzino and the lamb. They were both first rate and priced below $20
There was a wait when we arrived, but the bartender turned us on few Greek cocktails and we were quite happy to sit at the charming bar.
I can't wait to go back.
The Best Value in New York – Delicious food, professional service and charming ambiance comes at a very fair price at Kefi. I love Greek food and Kefi serves some of the freshest and most original this side of Athens. Do not miss the bargain priced wines from Santorini and order the octopus to start. The swordfish was outstanding and at $15 and even the lamb shank at the same price proves that the kitchen at Kefi is equally skilled with fish or meat preparations. Desserts were also very good especially the chocolate-halva cake. Too bad for the wait, but they tell me its quieter after 9 Pm
Service is so bad – Food and prices are worth going back for, just make sure you have hours to do it in as the service is abysmal. Dissapointing.
BEST RESTAURANT ON THE UPPER WEST SIDE – I have been a resident on the UWS for many years, but no restaurant has fullfilled my wishes as much as Kefi. It is a casual place and usually there is a wait at the bar for a table, but the food is really outstanding and the prices are so gentle that will allow me to go back many times during the month. The dining room is really charming with those cute Blue chairs that match the colored walls. The servers are really professionals and they know so much about the food and wines that are servings that it is hard not to take their suggestions. It is a cozy neighborhood restaurants that I wish that there more like that.
Olympic Restaurant – This is really the best Greek restaurant I have ever been to. I spent few Summers vacationing in Greece and I found most of the dishes and the wines at Kefi to be very authentic. I loved the stuffed Cuttlefish and the Sweetbreads. However, the most convincing dish was the grilled octopus. For a moment I felt like I was back in Santorini, especially given the fact that all appetizers were under $10 and all main courses around $15. The decor of the place in white and blue sure helped and the friendly manager eager to serve us the Santorini white wine augmented my perception. The place was vibrant and full when I arrived at 10 PM on Saturday, but prices for Ouzo are very reasonable at $6 per glass and I indulged while I was waiting for a table. I also love that Kefi serves few Greek dessert wines at $4 each. It sure gives you an excuse to order their fantastic sweet creations like the chocolate and halva mousse. I can't wait to try Chef Michael Psilakis new Mid-Town restaurant.
Overrated and overhyped – While the prices are unbeatable, the food is average and the ambience is loud, making it difficult to converse, not to mention the lengthy wait. My wife and I went to Kefi after reading the reviews. We arrived at 6:30 on Tuesday and waited for approximately 45 minutes for a table. After being seated, we tasted a number of appetizers with the greek salad being the best. However, the open spinach pie was too watery, the feta cheese with pita very bland and the meatballs too soft, one was not cooked. We were disappointed given what we read and our hope to find an authentic greek restaurant. But we understood the reason behind the hype and good reviews... the prices are so low.
Hellenic Triumph – I am so excited that Kefi opened in my neighborhood. The octopus is the best I have ever had and the branzino is delicious and priced at $15 might be the best bargain in New York. Kefi also surprised me with few twist on the classics, like an open spinach pie and light manti with a tasty chesse sauce. The all Greek wine list is still very broad, but the waiter are so well versed in explaining each bottle. I love the white and blue room and even the front bar is attractive to have a moderately priced ouzo while waiting for a table. Unfortunately, there is always a wait for a table since Kefi does not take reservations, but I managed to get a table quickly by dining after 9:30
I can't wait to go back until I taste the whole menu.
Better than Astoria – I was shocked to go to Kefi and find out that they have all the Greek classics, but at a fraction of the price that found elsewhere. I used to travel to Astoria to dine at the local authentic tavernas, but I guess I will not anymore. The octopus was so well cooked that I went back two nights later to retaste. I love the lamb shank and the orzo that comes with the dish. Even the moussaka striked me as better abd fresher than the ones found elsewhere. In addition, at Kefi they have a good size wine list, polished service and a great decor. Unfortunately, there is always a wait for a table since they do not take reservation, but after 9:30 the restaurant got much emptier. I wished they had a bigger place.
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