Papadakis - risotto with sea urchin and cockles

One of the many things I’ve so enjoyed about being in Greece is the quality of the seafood. (I should really use the plural because, as I’ve discovered, my nephew is as gastronomically adventurous as myself.) Besides fish, Athenians know how to cook all those other devilishly difficult sea creatures with a simplicity which brings out the full force of their distinctive flavors. So on this, our last night in Greece, I thought it only fitting that we splurge and have dinner at what is considered by many to be one of the best seafood restaurants in the city: Papadakis, in the upscale shopping district of Kolonaki. Sitting outdoors on a quiet, tree-lined block we leisurely munched our way through a seafood feast of lemon-dressed crab and baby lettuces, octopus simmered in red wine and honey, orzo pasta cooked with giant langoustines, and – kudos to the kid – shellfish risotto with sea urchin. A fitting end to the evening was delivered to the table following coffee and dessert: a decanter of homemade strawberry liqueur. Despite my best attempts on this trip to get a taste of alcohol to pass his lips, my nephew has assiduously stuck with Coca-Cola. Tonight, however, he couldn’t resist – and neither could I.

Papadakis - crab salad

Papadakis - octopus in wine

Papadakis - langoutsines and orzo

Papadakis - a digestif


stone street scandanavian

Who even knew there was a Stone Street down in the Financial District? I sure didn’t. In fact, the short thoroughfare connecting Pearl and William Streets is the oldest cobblestone paved street in New York City. It’s also home to a good dozen or so bars and restaurants that spill out onto the cobbles, creating an atmosphere similar to that of a European biergarten. Smorgas Chef, an unassuming Scandinavian restaurant, is one of them. Tucked into a table in the window with a friend in the from the UK I had the odd sensation that it was I visiting him – and not the other way around. Glasses of caraway and anise flavored aquavit warmed our cockles. Yet it was the food that possessed all the comfort of a raging fireplace and fuzzy slippers on a snowy night: Icelandic cod in a potato crust on a bed of forest mushrooms, Swedish meatballs and lingonberries with chive mashed potatoes, gravlaks croquettes of house-cured salmon and horseradish creme fraiche. Bundled up against the winter winds, I anticipate returning to Stone Street again and again.


Proudly powered by WordPress
Theme: Esquire by Matthew Buchanan.