Page 18 - The Valley Table - November/December 2020
P. 18

                                 The Greekish
8 N Broadway, Nyack
Even before the pandemic, Chef Constantine Kalandranis had begun to notice a shift in customers’ attitudes, away from fussy fine dining toward more casual, less expensive restaurants. When an issue with the town forced renovations at his Nyack mainstay, 8 North Broadway, Kalandranis decided to flip the concept and reopen as The Greekish, an affordable meze bar.
Each section of the small-plates menu — most dishes are priced at less than $15 — features modern riffs on familiar Greek and Mediterranean favorites. Start with spreads, including meltingly tender, harissa-spiced eggplant and silky yellow-split-pea hummus infused with lemon and olive oil, or raw bar selections like oysters with horseradish mignonette, tuna tabbouleh, and lobster salad stuffed into a superb, puffy, house-made pita.
Vegetables include charred Brussels sprouts with oregano and feta, and “cauliflower crack” that could convert even brassica haters. Pair those with goat-milk feta croquettes, hand-rolled keftedes, classic spinach pie, and/or a brisket gyro. A small selection of larger plates includes oregano hanger steak and sizzling Spanish octopus (a customer favorite from 8 North Broadway).
Nearly all wines hail from Greece and surrounding regions, including Macedonia and Crete, while a short cocktail list showcases Greek ingredients. (Order an ouzo sour, made with the anise-flavored aperitif, fresh grapefruit juice, and sumac.) The restaurant is also tip-free, with
any gratuities going to a staff fund to facilitate bonuses,
Masa Midtown
666 Broadway, Kingston
In the heart of Kingston, Masa Midtown brings the flavors of Turkey to the Hudson Valley. The boutique catering company is helmed by Chef Ozlem Oguzcan-Cranston, otherwise known as Chef Oz, who opened this brick-and- mortar in early 2020 after graduating from the Institute of Culinary Education in 2007 and working as a caterer in New York City since 2015.
To craft her signature fare, Oguzcan-Cranston infuses her heritage into dishes like Turkish-spiced skewers, stuffed peppers with pine nuts and currants, and yogurt panna cotta with apricot coulis and candied pistachios. Many of her meals are naturally vegetarian and embrace enticing ingredients like currants, feta, and, most notably, pomegranate.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Masa Midtown has adapted to offer Turkish takeout, with fresh, ready-to- eat meals available for dinner on Thursdays and Fridays and for brunch on Saturdays. The menu rotates weekly, which means Hudson Valley-ites have every excuse to check the lineup regularly for bites like firin makarna, a Turkish version of mac ’n’ cheese, and carrot cardamom pistachio cake.
As restrictions ease, Oguzcan-Cranston hopes to return to her catering roots with Masa Midtown. “I love the hospitality behind Turkish food and cooking,” she says. “It’s not just standing at the counter and serving. It’s the whole experience of showing people what everything is
all about.” —Sabrina Sucato Open Thurs–Fri, 3–8 p.m.; Sat, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
promotions, and paid vacations.
Open Mon and Wed–Sun, 4–9 p.m.
—Samantha Garbarini
 16 the valley table
nov – dec 2020
photos courtesy of restaurants

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