Showing posts with label Kefi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kefi. Show all posts

Monday, July 25, 2011

Live Like Zorba

Some lifestyle gurus are promulgating “The Opa! Way” of life.
They derived this wisdom on "the full catastrophe" as Zorba called life, after interviewing Greek villagers and from readings ancient sages like Heraclitus, a Buddha contemporary from Ephesus in what's now Turkey. What an excuse for a working vacation! If I could live like Zorba, I'd just dance in a picturesque field all day, my boy. Here are the essential Opa tenets (with my sarcastic asides). 
  •  Have a sense of others. In Greek villages, people are interconnected, with notions of honor, caring and hospitality. (And gossip.) 
  •  Live life with a purpose to engage, collaborate, innovate and succeed. In Greece, our sages claim, accumulating financial wealth is overshadowed by the need to live life with purpose. (The ratio of dodged taxes to nights out sipping frappe? Cash in the bank!)
  • Work-life balance is an illusion. Resilience, not balance, is what matters, Greeks say. (More like capitulation with survivalist tactics. Hundreds of years of occupation, then war and political upheaval,  and now financial crisis gives Greeks a certain bias. Ditto for anyone left in a Greek village, who would be as resiliant as a goat.) 
  • Grant and receive forgiveness for your mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing. Let go of suffering. (Who can argue with this Biblical imperative? Greek debtholders!) 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Yogurt Cotton Kandaki

Yiayia would have been perplexed at yogurt-and-lemon-infused cotton candy, but boy, that's the tastiest, most inventive Greek sweet I have consumed in ages.
And it just might be Lenten, too. Karidopita, baked with real honey to connote the consistency of flourless chocolate cake, but with the taste of walnuts and spices, cannot be Lenten!
Those desserts capped an otherwise just-okay meal last night at Anthos, the midtown restaurant opened by a guy named Michael Psilakis, one of New York's most celebrated new chefs since Mario Batali. Inventive twists on Greek themes are his thing; he also runs Kefi on the Upper West Side. My peeve: his salads are unpleasantly salty. No matter. The New York Times loves him Q&A here and review here, and Esquire named him Chef of the Year. He still buys tea and spices in Astoria, for the photographers anyway. I don't know how he'll do in Midtown in a recession, especially with a $35 prix fixe promo.