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Posted by not-a-tourist on 02/25/2006
We live around the corner and have resisted going here for many years, having heard it is overpriced and touristy. So we went at 6:30 on a Saturday. The front of the house was good--asked us which room we preferred and recommended the back wine room, as it was more quiet and it was just the two of us. That turned out to be a good choice, amazingly. The food is excellent and that is the best thing about this restaurant. The service is so so , for the prices. They don't replace the silverware after the appetizers, and they don't refill the water without asking, although they are eager to sell bottled water. But the worst was when the check came. We were not exactly cheapskates--we both had appetizers, and expensive main courses, along with very expensive sides. And martinis, and two glasses of wine.
Posted by Anonymous on 12/16/2005
I have now been to Avra several times and the food has been consistently well prepared. I always get fish and it is fresh and nicely presented. The staff does a fine job and they don't crawl all over you. Ask your waiter for a few suggestions if you are unsure about the menu. Next to my mother-in-law's cuisine, It is some of the best in town.
Posted by great food on 09/25/2005
This is a fabulous Greek restuarant for Manhattan standards. It has a romantic atmosphere with outstanding service, and to top it off great Greek food. It is not as upscale as Milos on the upper west side, but comes in at a close second, Great restaurant for a first date.
Posted by Jason IBM Corp on 08/19/2005
I had high hopes for this restaurant as my friend a frequent guest there spoke highly of its vegetarian and seafood dishes. The food I found to be adequate. The appetizers were actually quite good, the fish entree (I had Sea Bass) was bland, with too much tomato sauce that made the entire dish soggy. The atomsphere is hip, with many young singles working their mojo magic. However this extended to the wait staff and hostesses, who in their very short micro skirts and plunging neck line dresses spent more time flirting w/ young 20 somethings than attending to the many guests in line waiting to be greeted, let alone seated. When asked about the specials, our waiter replied, "what?". When asked "the menu states that this is a mediterranean delicacy" but does not tell us what the delicacy is ... What is it? He replied ... "there is no such thing in English". "So what does it taste like? Is it a fruit, vegetable, animal?". He replied you will like it if you like it, and you will not like it if you dont like it. When we asked that another bottle of wine be opened and served with the main course, he returned immediately with another bottle, and seemed confused when we told him to please put the bottle in a wine cooler (ice bucket). Almost as if he were perturbed by our request. He came only once after taking our order to see if our meal was progressing well. I had to find him, & when I presented him with my credit card to pay for the meal, he replied, do you want to wait for dessert menus? I told him, when we are done with the meal, I would like to pay for everything -- including any desserts, I am trying to treat my guests without anyone "fighting over the check". At which point he returned my card -- to my surprise. He said, then I will take your card after dessert and when you have your bill . He was unable to grasp the concept. Finally when I had the bill paid, he yanked it away within 1 sec to see his tip.
Posted by Billh on 06/25/2005
Waiter took water order (tap or bottled) shortly after being seated. Server brought water. Waiter did not reappear for 15 minutes, at which time he declared he was ready to take our food order. Since the wife & I were out for the evening to relax & dine, we requested a cocktail, which had been overlooked by the waiter upon being seated. We also ordered an appetiser to share (fried calamari). Waiter then suggested taking entre' order and explained fish entree's would take 30 minutes. We reluctantly ordered, but explained we were in no hurry and did not want our courses rushed. Within the next five minutes our calamari was served. Within another 7-8 minutes, our fish entrees were served (we had only consumed about one-half of our appetiser). Shortly thereafter the waiter appeared and I ordered a glass of wine to enjoy with my dinner, since no one had bothered to take a wine order. About 15 minutes later, the waiter reappeared to "check on things". Since we were through eating our food, I told him not to serve the wine I had ordered earlier, that he had obviously forgotten to serve. Next, I requested our check. When he brought it, I paid and mentioned to our waiter, after looking at my watch, " Well, you managed to get rid of us in 55 minutes." Back on the street after our anything but relaxing & peaceful dinner, my wife & I vowed not to return.
Posted by Citygirl on 06/09/2005
I went to Avra last Valentine's day and have gone again recently. The seafood there is incredibly fresh and grilled to perfection. Eating healthy is not hard at this restaurant. The stuffed calamari with feta and tomatoes is delicious. Even the raw seafood platters are extremely fresh. We would definitely go again. Hopefully, we can sit outdoors next time around
Posted by Ex-New Yorker on 01/20/2005
Recently transplanted, but in NY twice a month and have been going to Avra for a couple years. I gave it 5 for value. I've spent as much as 110 a head there and as little as 30 and I always leave very pleased. I love fish and I try to eat healthy because I eat out a lot. The fish is always fresh and perfectly cooked, mild and simple, Greek style, no fancy fusion here... But if you like Greek/Mediterranean, you will be addicted. Desserts are ok, a couple are excellent, the chocolate is, again, addictive. The service is prompt and friendly despite the place always being jammed. Everytime I've been there. Not a quiet restaurant, but it's easy to go with the fun atmosphere. The waiters have gotten to know me and they give us amuses and make us feel welcome. Flip side- Couple times we were sat at tables that were just too small. Food is not well-salted, which is good for those watching their salt, and easily remedied. Some food is heavy and should be shared by a group rathen than had individually. Don't miss the octopus, the chillean sea bass stew, the fried little mullets.