Kati Allo: Greek delights tempt the palate in Bayside

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Kati Allo

29-06 172 St. (off Francis Lewis Blvd.)


939-1616 fax 463-9544

Something different. Something else. That’s what Kati Allo, a small Greek restaurant and patio in Bayside West off Francis Lewis, is all about. Open now for a year or so, it’s one of those “finds” you’ll want to keep all to your self.

Emmanuel, who does a little bit of everything—owner, host, sauté and fish chef—is Greek. His father and grandfather came from Crete. His wife, Christine—hostess, cook and decorator—comes from Phiva. I dig her interior style: six vines strung top to bottom in the storefront windows, chairs of light bamboo, petite dolphins capering about plus large dolphins on the left. There’s a de rigueur counter, albeit a three-seater.

Out back, the new patio with bright green “grass” underfoot and a white trellis fence, is a great spot for salads, coffees and desserts in the summertime. Look for me munching in this Grecian garden setting next month. On weekends, Emmanuel Jr. an honors student at Fordham, and his sister Evelyn, a graduate of international marketing at Hofstra, round out the family-run eatery picture.

To begin our Mediterranean dinner appropriately, we selected cold Greek appetizers. (Wine, including Greek wines, and beer is served.) My dining companion opted for the plump stuffed grape leaves, and they were so bountiful, some were destined to be tidbits on the morrow. The garlic potato dip, skordalia, was for me—deliciously heady with garlic to spread on the thin, moist, pita wedges. Melitzanosalata, the eggplant dip with spices, was another temptation—and don’t bypass the hot ones: meatballs, Greek sausages, grilled octopus and haloumi and saganaki cheese.

There are Greek salads and there are Greek salads. Kati Allo has a particularly luscious one, a term I’ve not used with Greek salads before. The nice-sized iceberg lettuce bits, delicately thin sliced purple onions and bouillon-cube-sized feta are well tossed in dressing and then a small dish of seasoned sour cream is presented on the side. Needless to say, this Greek salad, which comes with the meal, was duly relished.

My companion’s choice of entree surprised me—lamb chops. They were moist and marvelous baby chops, and plentiful served with rice (very nice) or potato, which I later learned is one of the favorites at Kati Allo.

From the Greek specialties I chose a combination of souvlaki and loukaniko, the Greek sausage. Loukaniko is the greatest—firm, textured, ultra tasty and seemingly fat free. I like the way they’re split down the middle, grilled cut side and cooked cut side down. (Home cooks, take note.)

Next time I’ll have the spiral-grilled gyro. And I do want to try Seftelia, the Cypriotic sausage. Even though I’d had a mashed potato appetizer, I couldn’t resist lemon potatoes as the accompaniment. Greeks have a way with lemon potatoes.

If you're thinking diet, silly question. There are just-for-you platters: A turkey (or veggie) burger with cottage cheese, lettuce and tomato; Greek salad topped with cheese, lettuce, onion and tomato; and Salmon mignonette with an individual can of tuna which sounds very good to me.

For the pizza bunch, there’s pizza on a pita. The Greek version has spinach, feta and mozzarella, and that’s for me. You can choose the regular with mozzarella and sauce, or you can have a sandwich, like souvlaki, gyro or sausage with pita, lettuce and tomatoes, onion doused with the white garlic tzatziki sauce. It’s the sauce that makes the difference. There are burgers ad infinitum, including a Greek burger with pita and feta.

Desserts star baklava and kataifi. Both are absolutely mammoth, the biggest I’ve encountered. Remember when the pillow size shredded wheat biscuit was the only size? Well, Kati Allo clones it. It is a pleasantly sweet version. The apple turnover-sized baklava, again is minimally sweet, even bland. My dining companion had Greek coffee served rather endearingly in a red and green espresso cup.

For dinner or a snack I’II go to Kati Allo—something different. Something else. I like it indoors with the capering dolphins. Or out, in the Grecian garden.

The Bottom Line

Something different. Something else. Small Greek eatery and outdoor Grecian garden. Patio. Dine Medi8terranean style. Good service. A little find for dinner or snacking.

Chef’s Choice

Feta (melted with spices)...$3.95

Hummous (on pita)...$3.25

Melitzanosalata (eggplant dip)...$3.95

Pastitsio or Mousaka (Greek salad & Pita)...$8.25

Chicken kabob platter (Greek salad, potato or rice)...$9.95

Lamb chops...$14.50



Cuisine: Greek with wine & beer

Setting: Something different, Grecian garden

Service: Good

Hours: L&D 7 days

Reservations: n/a

Parking: Street

Private Parties: Up to 50

Takeout: Yes

Off-remise catering: Yes

Outdoor dining: Rear patio

Noise level: Quiet

Smoking: None indoors

Handicap Access: Yes

Posted 7:05 pm, October 10, 2011
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