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The Glutton’s Guide: Neraki Greek Mediterranean Grill in Huntington

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Dining with the Gods at Neraki Greek Mediterranean Grill

I’ve never been to Mt Olympus.  In fact, the closest I’ve gotten is watching Disney’s Hercules four times in the same day when my daughter was an addicted three-year-old.  But after a Tuesday evening at Neraki Greek Mediterranean Grill in Huntington, I feel like I got a glimpse of how Zeus may have dined nightly. 

Greek food seems to find its complexity in the simplicity of ingredients.  Fresh lemon, Greek oregano, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar – the staples of cooking often times mean standing out from your peers can only come in one singular way.  According to owner Alex Moschos, since 2011 when they opened their doors – that way comes about in the wee hours of the morning.  

Alex seemingly operates on local Greece time.  Because as the sun rises over the Cyclades and casts its light on Mykonos and Santorini, Alex is at the Hunts Point Markets gathering up the freshest seafood, meats and vegetables he can find. 

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Alex gathering the freshest products first thing in the morning

The results?  A restaurant known for the highest quality traditional Greek food on Long Island using age old family recipes.  It’s won a fair share of the accolades that keep those “in the know” coming back time and time again – Best Greek, Best Seafood, Best Mediterranean, Best of Long Island restaurants – the plaques adorn the wall.  

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Neraki in Huntington

Starters at Neraki

Our meal began with a spread that Neraki is known well for – it included a Village Salad (Horiatiki) with blocks of barrel aged feta from Greece, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, kalamata olives. Dressed with Greek EVOO and red vinegar and topped with oregano. 

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Horiatiki Village Salad

Accompanying the salad was warm pita perfectly charred on the grill, and a number of spreads.  Spicy Feta Spread (Tirokafteri), Eggplant Spread (Melizanosalata), Fish Roe Spread (Tarama), and Hummus.   Each had its own character and unique flavor.  From the tinge of infused heat in the Tirokafteri that was “love-at-first-bite” for this spice lover, to the brininess of the Tarama – the spread was  an ideal palate awakener for the feast to come.  

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Spicy Feta Spread Tirokafteri Eggplant Spread Melizanosalata Fish Roe Spread Tarama and Hummus

The appetizers continued with three Neraki staples.  Octopus (Octopodi), sourced from the waters of Spain and Portugal was perfectly grilled and charred just right.  It was followed with Loukaniko, a family recipe of a grilled sweet pork sausage kissed by the lemon and oregano and cut to share.  But the standout was Neraki’s Shrimp Saganaki.  Served on a hot skillet as if it came from the forges of Hephaestus, it featured two melted Greek cheeses with an abundance of garlic, scallions, & tomatoes.  It was extremely flavorful as the owner whispered to me “definitely another dish we are known for.”

Main Courses

As if there was room left in our bellies, we moved on to a trio of main courses that were exemplary.  The Branzino (Lavraki) was such the true hero of Neraki’s menu that I named the dead fish Odysseus.  As the fish was deboned tableside – I felt transported straight to a taverna in Mykonos, where Aphrodite herself might be dining at the next table.  The skin was crisp, the white meat moist, and the flavor abundant.  It was one of the freshest catches I’ve ever enjoyed as the less than 48-hour turnaround sea-to-table via Hunts Point was evident.  

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The Branzino Lavraki

For those who prefer their food land-bound, the Lamb Chops (Paidakia) are grilled to perfection, tender and juicy with a hint of smokiness, topped with fresh lemon and oregano – a dish worthy of a feast in King Minos’s palace and featured four double-cut baby american chops.  Our last steak was a Prime NY Strip Steak – extra thick cut Charcoal-grilled and bursting with flavor, it’s a robust, juicy experience that would make even Hercules feel satiated.  An added bonus to both meat dishes was a side of potatoes that must be the dreamy love child of an affair borne of your favorite home fry romancing your favorite steak fry.  

Dessert

There was no room for dessert… but a glutton does as a glutton does.  We managed to sample Neraki’s Galaktoboureko, a dessert that’s pure ambrosia. It combined much of what Greek sweets are known for, with a luscious vanilla bean custard nestled between layers of crisp filo dough, drizzled with a honey-based simple syrup. It’s a sweet ending that even Hera would approve of, perfect for those looking to end their meal on a heavenly note.

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Galaktoboureko

Conclusion: A Mythical Dining Experience at Neraki

Dining at Neraki, Greek Food is like embarking on your own odyssey through the best of Greek cuisine. With each dish crafted from the freshest ingredients and bursting with traditional flavors, it’s a journey that transports you straight to the heart of the Greek Islands. Whether you’re reminiscing about your last adventure in Greece… or perhaps dreaming of your first, Neraki is the perfect place to indulge in the authentic tastes and warm hospitality that Greece is famous for. So gather your fellow mortals and enjoy a meal fit for the gods!

For more information about Neraki, click HERE!

Read more Food Reviews by “The Glutton’s Guide” HERE!

Disclosure: Mr. Madden received a comped meal for his review, but no other compensation was received. The reviewed restaurant did not receive an advance copy of the review and receives no editorial control of the copy.

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