Monday, November 19, 2012

The Dinner Oxymoron: Large Boukiés

I tried a new restaurant a few weeks ago and it was such a great experience from start to finish. Boukiés took over the space of a diner in the East Village, and I think it's such a great addition to the area.

In Greek, Boukiés means "small plates," similar to tapas in Spanish. But these small plates were anything but. For the two of us, the server recommended 4 or 5 dishes, and we were stuffed before the 5th one even arrived to the table! Each one was so incredibly delicious and had such unique spcies and flavors. It was hard to resist finishes every last bite.

Garides Saganaki Saloniki
Thessaloniki-style shrimp saganaki with white wine, feta, and herbs

Gigantes Ypirotikoi Me Spanaki Kai Feta
 Braised Greek giant beans with spinach and feta

Manitaropitakia Nymfaio 
Northern Greek mushroom phyllo pies

Rola Melitzanas, Aromatika Kima 
Thessaloniki-style eggplant dolmas with spicy ground lamb filling

Revithia, Melitzanes V. Elladitika, Aromatiki Saltsa Domatas 
Clay-baked chickpeas and eggplant with cinnamon-piced tomato sauce

The space is very modern, yet really cozy.  There are big communal tables great for big groups.  And there are smaller tables with couches instead of chairs.  Talk about comfortable dining!

The service was fantastic.  The Greek servers were more than happy to walk us through the menu and wine list.  And the boukiés came out one at a time, allowing us to enjoy each one and have a nice, leisurely meal. 

Boukiés
29 East 2nd Street
@ 2nd Avenue
website

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Next Stop: Afghanistan

My "Around the World (without leaving the 5 boroughs)" food tour has shown me some pretty exotic cuisines: from Yemen to Phillipines, Colombia to South Africa...and a lot of countries in between. But one country that wasn't really on my radar was Afghanistan. That is, until this past weekend!

A friend suggested Afghan Kebab House on the Upper East Side for a group of us, and it was a great pick. It's BYOB, the service was relaxed, and the atmosphere was cozy. On top of that, the menu was really extensive, and had dishes for any palette...meat eaters and vegetarians alike.

I presumed that Afghani food would be similar to a lot of the Middle Eastern food I have had before.  But because of its proximity to India and Pakistan, there are definitely influences from those cuisines when it comes to the spices.  It was definitely a pleasant surprise, and everything we ordered was delicious.
Bolance Kachalou
Fried turnover filled with mashed potatoes and spices with a yogurt sauce  Fried mashed potato turnover

Side salad - pretty generic, but the dressing was really good
Side salad

Chicken breast kebabs served with rice and pita

Afghan Kebab House II
1345 Second Avenue
b/t 70th & 71st Streets
Menu Pages listing