To evoke memories of my long-ago visit to Greece, all I need do is stop in at Greek Corner Restaurant in Carle Place as a reminder of the inexpensive good eating I experienced in tavernas throughout that country.
Greek Corner has the feel of a busy Greek cafe, with piped in toe-tapping bouzouki music and the staff putting out a vast array of dishes from behind the counters that line one side of the restaurant. The restaurant offers Greek specialties plus Italian items, club sandwiches and burgers and breakfast omelettes served from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. With nearly 150 items on the menu, it is no exaggeration to say that there’s something for everyone here.
Typical Greek dishes include spanakopita (spinach and feta baked in flaky filo dough); grape leaves stuffed with rice and cooked in lemon juice and olive oil; roasted eggplant salad; gyros; and souvlaki—grilled skewers of pork, lamb, chicken and beef. There is whole grilled fresh fish every day.
Pikilia, one of the most popular taverna dishes throughout Greece, are samplers offering a little of everything. The antipasta pikilia—large enough for two—brings together spinach pie, feta cheese, olives, tomatoes, onions, taramosalta (red caviar with lemon, oil and fresh whipped potatoes), eggplant salad and grape leaves. The meat pikilia contains meatballs, two types of souvlaki, gyro, Greek sausage and chicken sausage.
There’s another Greek Corner in Franklin Square (without the grilled fish or steaks); both are owned by brothers Dominick and Mario Rapitis. Mario received an education as a pastry chef at the New York Culinary Institute, and Dominick says he received an unofficial education when he lived in France for six years, hanging around with culinary student friends.
All cooking and baking is done on the premises. In addition to typical Greek desserts—baklava, galaktoboureko and kataifi—there is chocolate mousse cake, tiramisu and carrot cake.
In addition, Greek wine—red and white—and Greek beer are available.
Greek Corner is at 165 Voice Rd. in Carle Place. The phone number is 516-280-2778, and the website is www.greekcorner.biz