Greek & Olive Oil

It's Lunchtime!
Something about Greek food just makes me crave it from time to time. Maybe it's the buttery texture and sweet aroma of the olive oil. The fresh vegetables and ingredients. Or just the energy in the Greek restaurant.

As I was trying to explore restaurants outside of the lower parts of Manhattan, I stumbled upon Anassa Taverna that is conveniently located right by the NQR station in the Upper East Side. Upon arrival, I was immediately seated since my friend had been waiting at the table.
White Sangria - $14
Complimentary Bread
To start off our lunch, we each got a white sangria, which perfectly matches the crisp weather, and we were given a basket of complimentary bread and hummus. The bread was soft and chewy with a light drizzle of olive oil atop. After tasting the overly salty hummus, I turned it over and dipped my bread with the table olive oil and salt instead. I love hummus, but it's not always easy to encounter good quality and well-made hummus. 

Because it's been a while since I've seen my friend, we had a long, three-course lunch while enjoying the beautiful weather by our window seat and catching up with our lives and school.
Classic Greek Salad - $14
As appetizers, we chose the classic Greek salad and Greek meatballs. The salad took me by surprise as it was not a lettuce-based salad sprinkled with crumbled feta cheese and paired with tomato and cucumber slices as I usually see, but it was essentially a mixture of tomato chunks and thick cucumber slices along with two rectangular pieces of feta. The salad was different but delicious. The vegetables were freshly cut as they were generously smothered in olive oil and flavorful seasonings. In fact, the large cut of vegetables gave the salad a unique texture.
Greek Meatballs - $14
After a bite into the meatballs, I knew it was a good decision. The juicy, tender ball tasted better than I imagined. The ball was well-seasoned with a rich feta taste, which complemented perfectly with the sweet yet tangy tomato sauce. These meatballs were probably the highlight of our meal! (And it's crazy because we are no meatball lovers.)
Organic Chicken - $26
Moving forward to our entrees, chicken never goes wrong yet some will say otherwise. The organic chicken served with oregano fries, tzatziki, and pita bread was ordered. Thinking back, we probably only wanted fries. You know us by now. When we see the word "fries," our eyes sparkle. Regardless of the grilled chicken breast being on the drier side, the chicken was nicely grilled and generously seasoned. The dish was satisfactory but nothing memorable.
Royal Dorado - $29
Our second entree was the royal dorado (white fish) paired with risotto. Surprisingly, it was our first time trying dorado, and this white fish is known for its rich, succulent, meaty flavors like a red snapper. Unfortunately, it was not so rich or succulent, but I enjoyed light taste with the white-wine pairing and caper flavors. Similar to the chicken dish, it was okay but nothing special.
Baklava - $7
By now, we were extremely full, but our meals would not be complete without a dash of sweetness. There's another stomach for the desserts (if you did not know)! The walnut cake (not pictured) was delicious! We loved the nutty fragrance of the walnut and moist, spongy texture of the cake. It definitely hit the spot. However, the baklava, which I was really looking forward to, was quite a disappointment. There were too many layers of phyllo making the baklava too thick and difficult to cut. Also, the walnut chunks between the phyllo were too big making the difficulty level of piercing the baklava even greater than before. I'm trying to enjoy it, not make a workout out of it. When I could finally taste it, it was just okay. The proportion among the phyllo, walnuts, and honey did not seem to match.
Upstairs Dining Level
The Entrance
The overall meal was satisfactory but not memorable. Even though the food was average, the service was wonderful. The friendly attitude and undivided attention given to us by our server exceeded our expectations and left a long-lasting impression. Also, the ambiance was lovely. Sitting by the large, open window allowed us to enjoy the fresh air and warm afternoon sun while enjoying the meal and each other's presence.

Hit the Spot: 7/10
Anassa Taverna
200 E 60th Street,
New York, NY 10022, map
Phone: 212-371-5200, Website:


  1. i need to check this out when i'm back and missing greek food and greece!

  2. Megan! How are you enjoying your trip? In the meantime, I'll be on the search for more Greek food in NYC, so when you're back and missing Greece, I'll help you get a taste of Greece =)


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