(516) 621-3700, Roslyn
Roslyn is the new Greek capital of Long Island. The stunning Kyma is the third upscale Greek restaurant to open there in the recent past. First Limani (2008), an elegant, handsome fish-on-ice emporium made a deserved splash on Northern Boulevard. Then M.P. Taverna (2011), an outstanding, modestly priced Greek gastronomique spot opened in Roslyn Village. Now comes Kyma, a sophisticated Mediterranean seafood restaurant on the outskirts of the village where Trata Estiatorio had been.
Walking into Kyma (“wave” in Greek) rekindles memories of the Grecian isles Mykonos and Santorini. It is an all-white victory. Everything, from white brick walls to whitewashed wood floors and ceilings and all the details in between, is bathed in ivory. Along the walls, floor to ceiling windows and doors and lines of back-lighted wine bottles on high, make it one of the Island’s most captivating restaurants. A display of whole fish on ice, potted lemon trees, sun and sea art and dramatically displayed, bottom-lighted Greek earthenware complete the feeling.
Seafood, not the gyros or kebabs found at local Greek storefronts, is the star here. If you like octopus (or maybe even if you don’t) this is the place to order it. The grilled, meltingly tender Mediterranean version festooned with onions, capers, a fava purée, lemon and herbs ($19), costs more than any other appetizer and is worth it. Don’t neglect the skyscraper stack of crisp Kyma chips, paper thin zucchini and eggplant with a vibrant tzatziki sauce, ($13). However, roasted beets presented with skordalia sauce ($10) were ordinary. Gigantes, monster-sized imported Greek lima beans in a lively tomato sauce ($9), were extraordinary. Also recommended is the Halloumi, or Cypriot cheese, crowned with capers and citrus mustard vinaigrette ($11). When pan seared it develops a welcome crust.
While the four fresh whole fish on ice (bronzini, royal dorado, red snapper and black sea bass, all $25-27) are deservedly and appropriately the headliners here, impeccably prepared entrées can be found as well.
A special of two sizable soft shell crabs in an interesting lemon and Champagne sauce are recommended ($30), as is the rustic, deeply flavored oven-baked baby lamb shank with its harmonizing orzo, feta and tomato sauce ($25). The diner who ordered the grilled giant tiger shrimp in a sauce of extra virgin olive oil and lemon with a side of lemon-roasted potatoes ($29) loved the dish but couldn’t finish it. Meanwhile, the very light Santorinian wine and tomato sauce didn’t add much to the Plaki or satisfying pan-roasted wild sea bass fillet ($27).
Speaking of wine, sensible drinkers will order the Greek selections. They were produced to go with this cuisine. Although the names are difficult to pronounce and most Americans don’t know much about Greece’s native grapes, Kyma’s super waitstaff of smooth-moving professionals does and they are more than willing to offer sample tastes and give helpful guidance. I suggest the Assyrtiko, an easy going white ($28) and Rapsani, a red that seems to blend with everything on the menu ($27).
Desserts are delightful here (all $7), especially feathery Ekmek, a multi-layer wedge of pastry cream and semolina custard atop shredded phylo and a sprinkling of pistachios. The traditional baklava and galaktoboureko are also worth mentioning.
Photo by Tom Fitzgerald and Pam Deutchman / thefphoto.com