Long have I yearned for the shores of the Mediterranean; the ancient ruins of Greece; the pastures of the Cyprian countryside, where goat and sheep milk mix to form a cheese that grills but does not melt.
One day. For now, I take comfort knowing my hunger for the region’s cuisine can be satiated right here on Long Island.
The Greek Village has been transporting patrons to Greece via its vast array of authentic dishes since 1979. Founded by Milton Steliaros, an immigrant from the Greek island of Chios who jumped ship from the merchant marines in 1956, the Village offers tasty Greek entrees, appetizers, salads, homemade desserts and specialty creations a la Milton’s son, Aristides. You can also order a hamburger.
The staff is friendly, the portions are generous, its interior spacious, and prices are very reasonable. Take-out is also big.
Before I could say Plato, two Greek salads arrived with bowls of Gyro Soup and Egg Lemon Soup. Main dishes are served with a choice of soup, Greek or Caesar Salad. A companion and I ordered several.
The salads were light yet loaded. We doused them with Milton’s own salad dressing, bottles of which are available for sale. The gyro stew was chunky, with hunks of beef and various vegetables. While tag teaming between the thick lemony broth of the egg lemon, the appetizers arrived.
The Tyropita ($5.99), two large wedges of phyllo stuffed with four cheeses blended together to form a hot gooey cheese cake, was an Athenian beauty. She mixed well with the oceanic delight that is the Broiled Octopus ($11.99): more than a dozen charbroiled cuts of tender, thick white-meat tentacles on a bed of lettuce, tomato, olives and onions. Delicious. I was smitten.
After polishing off several tightly packed rice bullets of Dolmadakia ($6.99), I was greeted by more thalasina (seafood), some arni (lamb) and kotopoula (chicken).
The Aegean Crusted Salmon ($9.99) was coated with sun-dried tomatoes and crushed walnuts, served with a heap of rice and fresh string beans. Pure joy. I spooned a side of Mykonos Salmon Fillet ($9.99) sauce: a soothing mix of artichokes, capers, garlic, lemon and wine. Fantastic.
Spearing a few shanks of marinated lamb from an editor’s Lamb Souvlaki Platter ($9.99), Shish Kebab Style with Tomatoes, Peppers and Onions ($11.99), I thought of the Parthenon. The empty bowls and plates created a city of ruins amid the feast.
Milton’s Special Chicken ($9.99) was another vision of beauty. Aphrodite would be jealous: tender spinach- and feta cheese-stuffed chicken breast covered in tomato and red wine sauce alongside two massive potato wedges and green beans.
The Half Greek Village Spinach and Feta Pitza ($7.99) rounded out lunch, and us. It was a monster: a heaping mountain of spinach and feta beneath a gooey blanket of melted mozzarella atop a pita.
For dessert, I ordered Baklava ($3.75). Its flaky top gave way to a dense, rich, sticky bottom of walnuts and almonds soaked to their bones in homemade honey syrup.
“This is the best Baklava I’ve ever had,” remarked my companion.
The Melomakarona ($3.25), three Greek cookies, honey-dipped, with crushed walnuts, went great with a cup of Greek Coffee, thus ending my Grecian adventure, for now.
44 Veterans Highway
Commack, NY 11725