Avra – Greek food in Steak country

I haven’t had Greek food since I left Chicago, where there’s a nice concentration of Greeks.

Avra is a nice Greek restaurant in the middle of midtown east. I didn’t realize that they had non-steak restaurants! Just kidding… but honestly high end ethnic food seems rare in this neighborhood.

When you walk in, you’re greeted by a beautiful display of fresh fish, crustaceans, and vegetables.
On the bottom right is a delicious hummus-like sauce for dipping bread. It was so good and smooth. There were also salads, but I mostly just ate it because I should probably eat more salads.
Avra’s octopus is as tender as any octopus I’ve ever had. The olive oil that the restaurant uses could do no wrong.
The cheese was good but not flaming. I was a little sad… maybe only certain cheese can be lit on fire. Perhaps I’ll do some research before I visit Chicago next time.
If you go to Avra, you must get the zucchini and eggplant chips. It’s like a giant pile of tempura… but with a Greek yogurty dipping sauce!
We picked out a 3lb branzino… which was possibly the largest branzino that I’ve ever seen. They divvied it up between us. The caper was a little too intense, and the fish was overcooked, but I imagine that it’s not easy to grill such a large fish.
The last time we went, we got smaller fish, which were all very tender and moist, so I suggest getting multiple small fish instead of a big fish just because of the way it’s cooked.
They gave us a plate of sweets at the end. I had the crescent shaped powdered sugar covered biscotti thing, which was pretty good. The thing that looks like a chocolate cookie is actually a very sweet syrupy and nutty non-chocolate dessert.
Although the seafood is pretty fresh, the appetizers are much better than the mains. We’ve had lunch here twice now, and I would not mind going back. But I would go back even more often if they lit some stuff on fire.

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