My super-generous Mom treated Scoboco to a Greek feast last week at Kefi, Michael Psilakis's newly reopened Mediterranean peasant-food spot (it used to be the more modern, more expensive Onera) on the Upper West Side. Unfortunately, Psilakis wasn't so generous with his food, relying almost exclusively on four taste groups: "bland", "garlic", "slightly off", and "onion".
Our happy table for four—the decor is right up Mom's alley... very country inn, though Co thought it looked like a cruise ship—started with a couple of Mezes. The Selection of Spreads included the usual suspects: tzatziki (which tasted only of garlic), taramasalata (disconcertingly sour), melintzanosalata (a rich, almost creamy eggplant dip, and the best of the lot), and fave (yellow pea, and also not too bad). Our other starter was Crispy Sweetbreads and Artichokes, which wasn't at all crispy except for the unexpected and unwelcome onion rings (in fact, the artichokes were dishearteningly chewy), though the sweetbreads were tasty and lemony and Bo and Co dug right in, even after they learned they were chewing pancreas.
As far as entrees, Bo and Co split a hefty serving of Pasticho, which Co said tasted like pumpkin pie, so reliant was it on nutmeg; Mom said she loved her Braised Lamb Shank, a huge piece of meat atop some soupy orzo, but I thought it was tasteless and dry; and I ordered the Flat Pasta with Rabbit, which seemed to contain far more caramelized onions than either rabbit or pasta, and which was then topped with a handful or two of those still-unwelcome onion rings.
For dessert the Walnut Cake was good, though it definitely needed the side of walnut ice cream to moisten things up a bit, and we also had... ummmm... something else that, even though it's only been a week, I've completely forgotten. Was it cheesy? Vanilla-y? ???
Kefi is located on 79th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam. The small dining room was probably not even half full when we left at around 8:00 on a Friday night. They accept cash only.