Greek Food goes upscale with the exciting new opening of Lefkes restaurant in Englewood Cliffs, which takes traditional Mediterranean cuisine to places well beyond your lunchtime go-to gyro cart or falafel shop.
We sailed in for a mother-daughter dinner during their soft opening last Friday night to check out the scene and had quite the sophisticated experience. Lefkes is located in the same space the American Cut previously held, and while it has been given a light facelift, the same beautiful decor has been left intact, including the inviting ambient lighting, wood floors, and beautiful wraparound bar.
After being seated at our table by Lefkes friendly hostess, we were ready to be transported to the islands, and from just the rich, flavorful smells wafting through the dining room alone, it didn’t take long. The menu here is a collection of farm-to-table-style Greek dishes showcasing what the culture does best: tender, seasoned meats and super-fresh seafood specialties.
We started with an order of Torched Yellowtail Shrimp Tempura, Portabella Mushroom, Jalapeno, and Sweet Soy ($20), which was served as a sushi roll, as well as the Spicy Tuna Roll with Avocado, Cucumber and Spicy Mayo ($12). Both were beautifully prepared and beyond delicious. With those two starters being such a success, we went for a third, ordering up the Oktapodi appetizer ($22), which perfectly paired charcoal-grilled octopus with fresh and tasty fava beans.
Next up was the main course. The chill outside made us crave the Mushroom Risotto ($24), which was prepared perfectly al dente and bursting with flavor, thanks to the truffle oil it was prepared with. We vowed to only nibble on it while we waited for our other dish, to no avail. It was nearly gone by the time the Poached Halibut ($34) arrived. That was quickly devoured as well, along with its pairings of cauliflower puree and beluga lentil salad.
While we were more than tempted to continue our culinary trip to the Mediterranean with an order of baklava, we remembered that diving in to dessert on an already full stomach might not be the best idea. We’ll be sure to say “Opa!” to those flaky, honey-sweetened layers of filo next time.
495 Sylvan Ave., Englewood Cliffs (201) 408-4444 Reservations recommended Mon – Thu: 11am – 11pm Fri – Sat: 11am – 12am Sun: 11am – 10pm