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Kellari
Credit: Kellari

Kellari Taverna is a great example of why every Manhattanite needs to visit Midtown West, as the location itself is gorgeous and the Greek cuisine that is served within it can only be described as absolutely delectable.

This NYC hotspot is located steps away from Times Square and Grand Central on W. 44th between 5th and 6th avenue. It shares the same street as some other iconic restaurants like db Bistro Moderne and Sen Sakana.

The spaciousness that encompasses Kellari Taverna is quite spectacular. This city is sort of like the Goldilocks of different sized spaces that you have the options to dine in, and all work to a certain degree whether they’re a hole in the wall or something much bigger. Kellari is the latter and worth taking in before you sit down as the inside of it is truly breathtaking.

Kellari just brought on board Executive Chef Themis Papadopoulos who has over 20 years of experience working in fine-dining restaurants and 5-Star hotels in Paris and Greece to elevate the restaurant’s menu with traditional modern Greek touches throughout.

Chef Papadopoulos earned his education from Ecole Lenôtre and as a visiting chef at the Michelin-starred The Kitchen Gallery in Paris and the 2 Michelin starred Greenhouse in London. Papadopoulos’ worked as a gastronomy consultant at the Athens Was Design Hotel from 2015-2017 and spent the last seven years as the Chef de Cuisine at the Michelin-starred Le Mavromattis in Paris.  Prior to that he was the Executive Chef at ANEMI Hotel in Greece from 2007-2011 and for two years during that tenure also was the private head chef for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens.  He also spent seven years at the Executive Chef of Brasserie Valaoritou in Greece from 2000-2007. Papadopoulos is now continuing his journey with a big move to the United States to helm the kitchen at Kellari.

The multi-talented chef provided me and several other journalists with a first look at their new five course tasting menu, which will debut this fall at the restaurant with Greek wine pairings from Santorini and beyond.  The menu satisfies the senses and begins with pickled beetroot salmon with mango and fresh turmeric root coulis, followed by a Cannelloni bean soup with mastiha extract.

Then comes stand-out avocado cannelloni with smoked almonds, crab meat, red peppers and squid ink tuille, Seafood dolmades with pan seared langoustines and fresh herbs are served over a lobster bisque and then comes a picture-perfect Branzino Tart with /tomato concasse, yellow zucchini and a watercress pesto.  The perfect ending is a poached fig in Mavrodafni sweet wine with salep cream and walnuts. The overall tasting was quite spectacular and one that I would go back for time and time again.

For more information on Kellari Taverna, please check out their official website.