Friday, Apr 18, 2014 04:44 pm est

Taverna brings Greek meals to Gramercy

Posted on March 13, 2013 | by Alex Cass

Click the image above for more photos of Taverna.

Gramercy’s Lyric Diner is no more, but there’s little reason to fret. In its place, as of Feb. 18, the same owners bring us Taverna, a fine yet affordable restaurant serving delicious Greek cuisine with refreshing authenticity.

From the tasty ingredients — many of which are imported straight from Greece — to the friendly, prompt and mostly Greek wait staff, Taverna can best be described as a truly ethnic Greek experience.

Manager George Theodosiou describes Taverna as “a little more ethnic compared to other Greek restaurants in the city.”

“We’re a good 20 to 30 percent cheaper price wise,” he said.

Inside Taverna you’ll find simple yet elegant table settings, a professional and pleasant staff, and quaint Mediterranean touches, all before you glance at the menu. Every dish is uniquely and freshly crafted, from the avgolemono ($7), a traditional egg-lemon soup, to Horiatiki ($14), a classic Greek salad with chunky vegetables and Taverna’s signature vinaigrette.

Theodosiou said the moussaka ($14 for the lunch portion) is a traditional specialty at Taverna made with “layers of potato, eggplant and ground beef, with béchamel [a French sauce made of flour and eggs] and melted Greek cheese.” He explained that the secret recipe comes straight from the kitchen of the head chef’s grandmother.

Although Taverna’s predecessor, Lyric Diner, was loved by many, Theodosiou explained that after 17 years the owners decided it was time to try something different. And although Taverna is vastly different from Lyric Diner in terms of look, feel and menu selection, the owners are still striving to provide quality dishes at reasonable prices. And not all of the past is gone. The exterior of the building — the side facing 22nd Street — still maintains the look of Lyric Diner, sign and all.

“It’s a landmark,” said Theodosiou. “It touches people in the area.”

Theodosiou says that there are high hopes for Taverna’s reception among New York City diners, especially in Gramercy, a neighborhood not typically known for its abundance of noteworthy restaurants. Particularly, he explained that former customers “come back to the see previous Lyric Diner … and they’re very surprised. And they like the changes.”

Jessica Laderman and Kassandra Carrion, juniors in the College of Arts and Science, both agreed that Taverna was not only within college students’ budgets but also delicious and fun.

Carrion loved the Solomos ($17), a grilled fillet of salmon with marinated, cooked vegetables.

“This is such a simple dish, but the way they cooked it is really what made it pop,” she said.

“The service was fantastic,” Laderman said. “Our waiter was very knowledgeable and friendly and willing to help us because none of us had eaten Greek food before. And the prices were definitely reasonable.”

Taverna will be offering delivery services in two weeks through the websites Seamless and Delivery.com, as well as introducing a new brunch menu.

Taverna is located at 283 Third Ave. It opens at 11:30 a.m. daily.

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Mar. 13 print edition. Alex Cass is a contributing writer. Email her at dining@nyunews.com.

Comments

CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
Tatiana Baez

Assistant Managing Editor | A CAS junior, Tatiana is studying journalism, environmental science and politics. She’s a bomb editor, as well as the staff’s main source of entertainment because she sings along to every song after 12 a.m. She also writes about culture, science, technology and sex, and her work has been featured in VICE, Motherboard, Elite Daily, amNewYork and others. She enjoys eating Thai food, reading fiction and binge-watching Netflix.

And in case you were wondering how great she really is — “I just can’t get enough of Tatiana” is a direct quote from her EIC at WSN only moments ago.

AS
Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.

 

DY
Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

CLOSE [x]
  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    NEWS FEATURES MULTIMEDIA SPORTS ARTS OPINION
    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.

    Next