Like other good Greek restaurants, Kellari displays its fresh fish on ice and sells it by the pound, simply grilled with olive oil and a squirt of fresh lemon juice. They serve housemade hummus, kalamata olives and fresh radishes as you peruse the menu.
But first we started with their pililia, a hearty housemade assortment of savory spreads ($15.95) — including tzatziki and taramosalata — and chips. And an order of octopodi – marinated sushi-grade charcoal-grilled tender octopus ($18.95) so plentiful it could have been my entire lunch. Wanting to save room for my fish, I took the spreads and octopus home for another lunch!
Lavraki (whole) grilled sea bass, deboned, with crisp skin and moist flesh with a side of wild steam greens.
The branzini (another word for Lavraki) was tender… but the greens gritty! I would have mentioned it to the waiter, but he disappeared after he served us. I left my greens on the plate, and savored each bite of the perfectly prepared grilled sea bass washing it down with a glass of Assyrtiko Santorini 2010 (#83 in the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2011)
19 W 44th St
New York, NY 10036