If you've been praying to Zeus for real Greek food to arrive uptown, it's been working: In the space of a few months two new Greek restaurants have opened in Upper Manhattan.
First came Whaddapita, which debuted late last year at 1625 Amsterdam Avenue in Hamilton Heights. Serving casual take-out fare like gyro sandwiches and Greek salads, the over-the-counter eatery is open Mondays through Fridays, catering mainly to the City College crowd (there's a handful of tables).
Now, a mere two months later, comes the welcoming Elysian Fields Cafe about 20 blocks south on 1207 Amsterdam Avenue in Columbialand. The menu is divided between the kind of uncomplicated sandwiches and salads you might also find further uptown at Whaddapita and more traditional Greek restaurant fare like grilled octopus, moussaka, and seafood plates.
The decor is soft and warm, with a large decorative hearth near the entrance and comfortably-spaced tables paired with country-chic chairs. The drinks menu includes beer, wine–from Greece and elsewhere–and cocktails. (Ladies receive a complimentary glass of rose on Thursdays.)
And, yes, there's Greek-inspired brunch on the weekends. Think Baklava pancakes served with Greek honey and candied walnuts–a fitting treat for anyone currently reading their way through the classics.