Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Avlee Greek Kitchen | Carroll Gardens | Brooklyn

Avlee Greek Kitchen spread
Avlee Greek Kitchen, known for Greek comfort food in the Carroll Gardens/Gowanus area may be the neighborhood's best kept secret.  As a family-owned and operated restaurant, they've been providing regulars authentic Greek food since 2013. We'll show you why they've earned top marks 4.5/5.0
Avlee Greek Kitchen storefront
Owners Andrew Poulos and Peter Rogakos first assumed the restaurant space relinquished by former neighborhood favorite, Joe’s Superette.  They're continuing that tradition by maintaining a steady commitment to authenticity. "Avlee", which means garden in Greek is as poignant as it is clever.

Avlee Greek Kitchen Mezzes
Trio of Melitzanosalata (eggplant), Tzatziki, and Hummus
We started with a few dishes from the small plates section including this beautiful trio of spreads to go alongside the platter of warm pita.  While I've never had eggplant served as a spread, it was a nice, savory texture when combined with pita. The tzatziki is every bit and fresh as I've tasted anywhere, as is the hummus, which are all made in-house. Truly a great starter to go with other mezes and/or salads.

Pan fried fig rolls
Pan fried fig rolls
Pan fried sika or fig rolls, are stuffed with feta and herbs, then wrapped in cured beef.  Flavorful upon first bite, the fig especially, and cheese stand out.  They are plated in pairs and can be ordered in multiples of two for larger groups.

Pantzaria salad
Pantzaria (salad)
Prepared for us was a beet salad, Pantzaria, which consists of roasted beets, baby kale, walnuts, feta, and yogurt dressing.  It's a refreshing departure from most kale salads in that the beets are the main ingredient but match very well with the fig roll and the haloumi mentioned in the next section. It's a plate that ties all the small plates together, along with adding color contrast.

Haloumi
Haloumi
It should come as no surprise that I love cheese and the haloumi ought not to be an exception.  This Cypriot goat cheese is grilled lightly with lemon oil dressing. Many places tend to overdo such a simple dish, Avlee gets it right with light grill marks, good firmness, and light dressing on top. Fans of goat cheese will love it. (Definitely worth a try if it's your first time and not afraid of getting a lil' cheesy)

Dolmathes
Dolmathes
Dolmathes, widely regarded as the most culturally significant traditional Greek food was brought out with our small plates. As a hand rolled grape leaf, it encloses rice, scallions and mushrooms into a (slightly) acidic bite.  While not my cup of tea, they stay true to the original recipe so definitely order these if you have a craving for it.

Keftethakia
Keftethakia
While many cultures have their own variation on the meatball, keftethakia shares that common bond with their neighbors to the north. It's a ball shaped of beef, Berkshire pork, cheese, and herbs, pan fried and served up in tomato sauce for one truly tasty savory bite. It was perhaps one of my most favorite dish next to the moussaka.

HerinoFrecasse Bershire Pork
Herino Frecasse
Avlee was full of amazing surprises and this next bonus dish was just that. It's comprised of Berkshire pork neck, kale, romaine, egg lemon sauce and made to be shared. Although not photogenic the pork was flavorful and provided an interestingly acidic bite.

Moussaka
Moussaka
If there's one thing in Greek cuisine we couldn't skip, it'd be Moussaka. Baked from scratch, the zucchini, eggplant, potatoes, lamb & beef, and bechamel come together in harmony and tastes great. It's a hearty and comforting presence in the lineup meant to bring smiles.

Baklava
Baklava
No huge Greek dinner can end without some form of dessert, be it the kataifi or the beloved Baklava. Celebrated across many countries in the Mediterranean it's this one dessert that binds many countries together amongst their baklava variations.  The Greek recipe is simple. Walnuts & almonds wrapped in phyllo, honey syrup. That's it. Avlee also gets this right, as well as being a welcome sight amongst desserts.

Authentic Greek food in a cozy Cobble Hill neighborhood with a homely ambiance and family-owned? Sounds to me like a recipe for success. 4.5/5.0

349 Smith St.
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Avlee Greek Kitchen

Avlee Greek Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato



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