Sunday, May 4, 2014

Loi Restaurant 70th Street near Broadway, Manhattan, New York City

This was truly a marvellous experience and much more than just a meal before a show (or an opera in our case). The tables and booths are well laid out to minimise noise. There were also private rooms. Two bearded waiters could have been models for the famous athletes on the Euphiletos urn at the museum. We were served by a wry witted contralto from Astoria. While she was making an enquiry about the readiness of the roast lamb we were approached by the owner Maria Loi who was delightful and forthcoming. “You must be in the fashion business you both look so elegant”. Quite a line … and she had a lot more, being the White House official ‘ambassador’ for Greek cuisine, and wearing the huge medal to prove it (and a presidential photo hung out front). The moussaka, lamb and beet salad were all delicious as was a dry Greek white recommended over the Retsina (“it tastes like gasoline” we were told). Yoghurt and honey were also very special. Next morning was Easter Sunday and they were roasting lambs on a dual spit on the sidewalk. We had been invited to come in for a champagne and some photos at 10am. One of the handsome waiters had become sidewalk cook while Maria seemed to be in three places at once as Greeks take Easter very seriously. Every passer-by was offered sweets and corn bread.

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