Perfect For: Date Night Dinner with the Parents First/Early in the Game Dates

Kefi made the jump from tiny successful neighborhood restaurant to bigger successful neighborhood restaurant about two years ago. The original incarnation pre-dates this website (as does anything that’s had a second birthday), and we decided a visit to the Columbus Ave. location would do both you and us some good. We were pleased to find that the prices are still surprisingly low, the service still relaxed and friendly, and UWS locals are still hanging out and talking about books or whatever. We like Kefi because it’s a restaurant with something for everyone on the menu, and it’s multi-purpose like a Swiss Army knife. A date, lunch with moms, Greek Easter (Greekster?) brunch, a night out with the ladies...it all works. Also, if you can somehow manage to eat dinner between 5:00pm and 6:00pm, the three course prixe fixe meal costs only $16.95. You don’t need to be a member of AARP or anything. That’s a straight up deal.

Food Rundown

Selection of Spreads

Yogurt, “caviar”, chick pea, and sundried tomato spreads served with plenty of pita triangles for dipping, which did not go unnoticed. I am sick of being forced to eat artichoke dip off a Splenda packet because a restaurant was stingy with the grilled bread. Thank you Kefi, for this bounty of bread from which to enjoy your dips. They are all tasty and should be on your table. We’re not sure why “caviar” is in quotes, but we’ll leave it alone.

Lamb Burger

Usually a special. If they have it, order it. It’s good, and you’re going to need a fork.

Grilled Octopus, Bean Salad

A brawny grilled octopus arm sitting atop a salad of chickpeas and some other very small beans. The octopus is perfect, and the salad is so flavorful that you’ll exert valuable energy trying to fit many tiny beans on one big fork. Difficult but worthwhile.

Fried Calamari

I was expecting this to be very mediocre. I had Kefi pegged as a place where grilled calamari would be the way to go, rather than the fried version you can find at any restaurant on this block. I was pleasantly surprised. The calamari is incredibly tender, and they show restraint with the batter - just enough for a crunch.

Flat Pasta, Pulled Braised Rabbit, Graviera Cheese

This is a really good dish, but you need to be into rabbit to enjoy it. If you’re not sure, don’t go there. The rabbit is really well cooked, and is delicious, but the taste isn’t for everyone. You’ll also find some bones, so be careful. Other than those warnings, this is a huge plate of food. The super-wide pasta noodles and thick Graviera cheese make this almost like a rabbity pasta casserole

Sheep’s Milk Dumplings, Tomato, Pine Nuts, Spicy Lamb Sausage

One of our favorite things to eat at Kefi. These are dumplings made from sheep’s milk and served in a bowl with lamb sausage and all kinds of other goodness. Lighter than you might expect from the description, and something you need to eat when you’re there.

Grilled Branzino, Potato, Olive, Tomato

A perfect piece of branzino - light but tasty like a piece of grilled fish should be. The combo of olives, potatoes, and tomatoes on the plate ensure you won’t go home hungry, and it costs less than twenty bucks.

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