Recently I’ve been invited to a Greek benefit dinner at Molyvos, whose meal frames around the Greek Orthodox tradition of Lent. Knowing what Lent is, I am a skeptic. I’m an omnivore who loves her meat and dairy. Frankly, I don’t think I can go a day without any dairy since I need a splash of it in my morning cup of coffee. But I bit the bullet, agreed to come and have an open mind to try out Chef Jim Botsacos’ take on the Lenten tradition. (I’m keeping this post short since it’s mainly benefit-focused.)
Entering in the restaurant, I was welcomed with the rustic, warm interior adorned with nautical patterned plates. It feels worn with time and it feels cozy.
I met Chef Botsacos and spoke to him briefly on the take of Lent and food and basically, it boils down to the idea of mimicking textures and flavors to the point that one would feel satiated without the meat and dairy. He’s passionate about this point but as a dessert lovin’ gal who embraces dairy (I’m not a fan of vegan food, by the way), I’m going along with his statement and eat his food.
The raw bar was excellent; filled with fresh mussels, oysters, and cocktail shrimp. You can’t go wrong with raw shellfish unless, of course, you’re allergic.
The most amusing dish was the “octopus pie” (called octopodopita on the menu, pictured on the above right) that the wait staff told me when I was at the buffet table. Crisp, flaky crust filled with meaty chunks of octopus, rice and zucchini. It really made me forget I was eating a pescatarian/vegetarian dish.
The least liked portion of the meal was dessert, consisting of Karidopita Nistisimi (an olive walnut cake topped with blood orange), I forgot what’s the shot glass dessert is called but it’s a loose grape jelly that’s pretty tart and a Melomakarona (an orange honey walnut cookie), unfortunately. Without the eggs and cream, it lacked the lightness and creaminess I desire in my sweets. It was a good try though. If I had to pick the best of the three I tried on that plate, it was probably the walnut cake.
Generally speaking, Chef Botsacos has done a very good job on weaning me away from my meat. Dairy is a whole different topic.
My slideshow of the event and the rest of the food, right after the jump.
871 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10019 (map; website)
Mussel looks fantastic!!!
I’m craving for some seafood now…
Mmm, I knew there was something that I haven’t had in a while now. Greek food.
Love your photos!
Helen: HAHA! Get yourself some oysters or mussels on the half shell.
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