NEW YORK – On 36th Street in Long Island City, near the subway, it smells like the sea. Fish is the reason.
This is the Psari restaurant, formerly known as "Greek Captain”. Its new owner Giannis Voulis spoke to TNH about his establishment.
Prior to becoming the owner he worked in several New York restaurants, until he decided to open his own. Born in America, with roots in Volos and Athens, Voulis wanted to give his own Greek touch to the neighborhood.
“Ι didn’t know what kind of place I wanted to open. I was thinking of going to Manhattan, but I grew up in Astoria and I knew the ‘Greek Captain’ very well so I thought it was the right time. People love the fish because it’s healthy. Many Latinos come, Egyptians, Chinese, and Jewish people.”
He wants to see more Greeks in the neighborhood. “I want to have many Greeks in the store so they can learn more about it. Now that bouzoukia [music venues] have been open near here, more Greeks are becoming familiar with the restaurant and have started to come.”
The menu at Fish has it all. Seabass, sea bream, sea turtle, squid, octopus – while some days you will also find pastitsio, beans, spinach pie.
“People who are not familiar with Greek dishes prefer more fish and especially sea bream, sea bass, crab and mussels,” he said.
The restaurant’s Long Island City neighborhood has changed. “The last ten years I would say it has changed a lot. Many young people have come and this is good for our neighborhood.”
Voulis misses Greece as he hasn’t visited since 1998. He hopes to go there soon so he can eat…fresh Greek fish.