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From the moment you walk into STIX Mediterranean Grill on East 23rd Street in NYC, you can tell that this lovely bistro was founded by a pro. Owner Stathis Antonakopoulos has been in the restaurant business his entire life. He has created a warm, inviting atmosphere to enjoy reasonably-priced, fresh, high quality food. It is inspired by his Greek heritage but has a modern twist and a special ingredient passion.
As the name suggests, STIX offers food on sticks but also much more. The souvlaki type STIXs include a chicken marinated in honey mustard and thyme and a special STIX of ground lamb and beef among others.
The spread symposium is a sampling of their flavorful spreads Jalapeno Hummus, a classic Tzatzki, smoked roasted Eggplant and Spicy Cheese Spread served with warm seasoned pita bread. The presentation of the food alone is rustic and appetizing.
They offer starters and salads, such as the simple, yet fresh Greek salad and delicious sides like a pan-seared kale with toasted garlic and balsamic vinaigrette.
The staff, like the owner, is friendly and pleasant taking time to explain the food and be attentive to each guest. The kitchen is open and impeccably clean.
In addition to dinner, they also have a coffee bar, lunch, and brunch on the weekends. The coffee here is special and organically grown thanks to Stefanos Domatiotis, who designed the menu. He was this year's Greek Barista Champion.
I have a huge sweet tooth, so dessert was a highlight. I loved the Zoumero, a “rich, juicy dark chocolate cake.” It is baked 80 percent of the way, then chocolate is infused. It is baked further and more chocolate is added. Finally, before the cake is served, more chocolate is added on top with a side of cardamom crème. Rich, but somehow still light, it's heaven for chocolate lovers.
In a place called STIX, there of course had to be dessert on a stick. Fritters with honey to dip in chocolate and walnuts was a great idea.
Before the meal ended, I was already planning my next visit. Bring your appetite and some family or friends and head over to STIX for a fresh affordable meal with Mediterranean flare.