NEW YORK – The Greek steak house Merakia, 5 West 21st Street in Manhattan’s Flatiron District has reopened. The Greek word “Merakia” describes doing something with soul, creativity, and love, which, of course, always includes food and drink. Merakia brings the joie de vivre of Greece to New York’s Flatiron neighborhood.
On the unsuspecting block of West 21st Street lies a gray glass-enclosed storefront that is the gateway to something new to the Greek vernacular, an urban oasis that is rustic and plush. Designed in blue tones and warm neutral colors with natural brick and antique mirrors, the room charms everyone who enters under the twinkling lights of the entryway. A front café area leads to the marble bar and the dining area which is outfitted with custom bridge-inspired lighting and one-of-a-kind, hand-made fixtures that divide the deep booths and copper-topped tables that sit opposite the open kitchen. In the back of the restaurant is a semi-separate dining room complete with a stone fireplace, tufted banquettes, whitewashed brick, and a custom-coffered ceiling. This is the room where guests can cozy up to dining companions, leave behind the cacophony of the city streets behind, and make some noise of their own.
The menu is a celebration of Greek cuisine’s bounty with food choices that echo the feel of the room. Merakia offers what everyone loves about Greek cuisine including dips and pita bread, salads, and beautiful grilled fish, as well as a selection of Prime Dry-Aged meats and lamb. A 32-ounce Porterhouse is on the menu along with a 36-ounce Tomahawk, both served for two. A 20-ounce Short-Bone Rib Eye and an 8-ounce Filet Mignon are also on the menu. Grilled Lamb Chops and Slow Cooked Lamb are truly succulent. The Merakia signature Lamb for Two is roasted on the spit and served with tzatziki, tirokafteri, onions, tomato, cucumber, and pita bread. All meats are locally sourced, grass-fed, and antibiotic free. Side dishes span from traditional Greek to traditional steak house with Greek influence, again bringing something new to the table.
Partner James Paloumbis enlisted the assistance of notable Athens-based Chef Jean Charles Metayer whose influence can be seen in dishes such as Feta Psiti with tomato marmalade and perfumed with chili; Stuffed Calamari with cod and chorizo with Florina pepper sauce; and Beetroot Mousse with smoked eel and pita bread. For those who prefer their fish straight from the sea, there is a selection of tartares and ceviches.
The cocktails enhance the party atmosphere and add Greek twists to classics. Instead of a Moscow Mule, try the Merakia Mule made with Metaxa brandy. The Spartan Elixir is made with mezcal, tsipouro, thyme, and olive leaf. Other variations to bring the party vibe are the Rude Cosmo with El Tequilero Reposado Tequila and Ferrand Curacao, and this season’s cocktail trend, The Espresso Martini. An international wine list heavily populated with natural Greek wines adds to the eclectic, true New York restaurant experience where Paloumbis leads the charge in making Merakia a place to eat, a place to meet, and a place to feel free. Much like a visit to Greece itself.
Merakia is located at 5 West 21st Street in Manhattan. More information is available by phone: 212-380-1950 and online: https://www.merakia.com/.