ANTHOS

(Cuisine EUROPEAN)

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Family restaurant where dishes are made with passion and experience. Good service and nice atmosphere.The architect of the menu at Anthos is Michael Psilakis, a talented, kinetic chef who is fast becoming the poster boy of Greek revival, the Mario Batali of “New Aegean” cuisine. Psilakis opened his first haute-Greek establishment, Onera, a few years ago, on the Upper West Side. Then came Dona, an elegant, three-star, “Pan-Mediterranean” operation run with his partner, the restaurateur Donatella Arpaia. Psilakis and Arpaia have since replaced Onera with a more classically Greek restaurant called Kefi, and Dona closed after the lease was bought out to make room for a hotel. Anthos, which occupies a boxy, innocuous space among the towers of midtown (there’s a standard bar up front, a large mirror in the back, and white walls decorated with paintings of random, un-Greek cherry blossoms), feels like a curious jumble of these previous restaurants. It’s more upscale than Kefi but less elaborately produced than Dona, with a shorter menu and a more straightforward culinary focus. The culinary focus at Anthos is Greece, of course, though whether Psilakis’s grandmother (he grew up in a Greek-American family on Long Island) would recognize anything on her plate is doubtful. Psilakis is a self-taught cook, unencumbered by traditions and orthodoxies. One of his signature dishes is crudi (mostly fish, but occasionally meat), served with a profusion of esoteric ingredients, in the small-plate style of Greek meze.

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