Grilled shrimp with olive oil and garlic.
We’d been waiting for Petra, the new Greek restaurant in Scarsdale, having seen the sign on the door for over a year. Would we still need to schlep over to the Rivertowns (or north or south) for good Greek food?
The small spot has been renovated nicely enough to feel special without being too formal. Its biggest asset, high ceilings, are accentuated with rustic wood beams and wrought-iron chandeliers. No ethnic decorations here, but better: Greek items for sale in back, from organic olive paste to quince preserves.
Part of Petra’s charm lies in its comfy interior. But, of course, the main attraction is the food.
Lovers of Greek food go in knowing what they want. I was after Greek salad, spanakopita, maybe avgolemeno? Lamb chops, galaktoboureko? The fairly large menu offers most of the classics one seeks—taramosalata and tzatziki, saganaki, hortaki (dandelion greens), gyros, grilled bronzini, pastitsio. No liquor yet, but I hadn’t had a frappé since a long-ago trip to Greece. This tall glass of iced coffee made with Nescafé (yes, instant coffee!) topped with a tall cap of foam (whipped instant coffee!) felt like a novelty and hit the spot even on a chilly day.
Clockwise from top: Greek yogurt topped with honey and nuts makes a healthy-yet-satisfying dessert; the frappé is a Greek invention, and Petra’s doesn’t disappoint, even on chilly days; Spanakopita is a savory Greek spinach pastry.
Greek salad outside tomato season is not the usual gamble here, where vine-ripened tomatoes are used. Spanakopita is well above average, with a delicate balance of spinach, feta, dill, and phyllo. Grilled shrimp with olive oil and garlic sauce were beautifully cooked and charred, with good flavor, if a tad salty.
Unfortunately, my first-choice dessert—loukoumades (honey-soaked donuts)—weren’t in production yet. When they are, there will also be an apple version. Middling baklava was eclipsed by serious house-made Greek yogurt, almost cream-cheese thick, topped with walnuts and honey. Although service sometimes crossed the line between attentive and hovering, I’ll be back, glad not to have to schlep too far for Greek food.
66 Garth Rd