Kaló Páscha! In other words, Happy Greek Easter! The highest holy day of the Greek Orthodox faith falls on Sunday, May 5, this year. Tradition dictates the celebratory end of the 40-day Lenten fast begins promptly at midnight, after mass, with feasts lasting through the day. Here’s where to break some (tsoureki) bread around town.
The four-course, $70 prix-fixe menu starts with Easter eggs, dyed red to symbolize the blood of Christ. Among the choices for mezedes or appetizers are traditional kokoretsi, spit-roasted sweetbreads, and for entrees, imported lavraki, or Mediterranean sea bass. An a la carte menu is also on offer. (Noon-midnight). 19 W 44th St., 212-221-0144, kellari.us
Though the restaurant has only been open two years, chef Maria Loi has already established a neighborhood tradition by roasting 52 whole lambs on a spit—right on 70th Street. The entire feast, which features six courses and a complimentary glass of wine, is $75, and chef Loi will also donate a portion of the food to local senior centers. (1pm-11pm). 208 W. 70th St., 212-875-8600, loirestaurant.com
Observers of Greek Lent sacrifice olive oil, a staple in their cooking, for the holiday. So what better way to break a fast than to indulge in chef Jim Botsacos’ special a la carte “Lathera” style dishes—vegetables, legumes and seafood cooked in olive oil-based sauces, such as a roasted cauliflower stew with onions, tomatoes, green olives and oregano. A $65 prix-fixe, five course menu is also available. (Noon-11pm). 871 Seventh Ave., 212-582-7500, molyvos.com
Astoria has a long history as the capital of Greek culture in New York City, and the neighborhood’s restaurant scene is even more interesting now that chef Michael Psilakis (Kefi, Fishtag) has opened there. Staying true to custom, Psilakis will start serving at 12:30am with “a meal prepared as my mother has done as long as I can remember, served in the same manner: all at once, family style, for all to share and rejoice.” Eight dishes, $50. Psilakis will continue with an Easter menu all day Sunday (noon-11pm). 31-29 Ditmars Blvd., Astoria, 718-777-2187, michaelpsilakis.com
Also holding fast to tradition, this East Villager will be serving four courses from midnight to 1:30am for $55, starting with magiritsa soup (an avgolemono-style soup with lamb broth) and ending with phyllo Napoleon with Greek yogurt and sour cherry mousse. 128 E. 7th St., 212-473-0220, pylosrestaurant.com