Greek Delight in Bellmore
Newly installed in the digs of the departed Mixing Bowl Eatery, Greek Delight bears vestiges of its predecessor's "Gordon Ramsay Kitchen Nightmares" makeover. The tan suede armchairs, for example, are particularly elegant. Even so, the friendly place has a vibe all its own - informal and Hellenic.
Want spanakopita (spinach pie)? You've come to the right spot. The flaky phyllo turnover crackles beneath the tooth; inside is a bright, grassy filling. Baba ghanoush (roasted eggplant spread) is airy and herbal. A bowl of lentil soup, a special, turns out to be hearty stuff. And while the gratis Greek salad doesn't look better than ordinary, the combination of lemony dressing, crumbled feta and chopped iceberg and olives somehow clicks.
What impresses more is a grilled shrimp kebab. The shellfish is plump and garlicky, grilled with onions and peppers to a state of succulence. A combo called "Greek trio" involves loukaniko (Greek sausage spiked with orange peel) that virtually bursts when bitten. The plate also includes nicely marinated sliced grilled chicken along with gyro meat.
"Do you make the gyro here?" I ask the waitress, explaining that I'd like to know whether the lamb and beef is rotisserie roasted and stacked on a spit in the restaurant or purchased from a commercial source. She checks with someone in the kitchen, who says the gyro is completely house-made. I'm skeptical and, as it turns out, with reason, since I learn on another visit that it's not house-made. Still, it's good gyro. Better still is the moussaka, a layered construct of chopped beef, potatoes and eggplant capped with a pillowy béchamel sauce. Lamb shank over orzo is flavorsome, if a trifle fatty. I also like the oregano-spiced roasted chicken special (if only it weren't drowning in gravy).
Dinner concludes with decent galaktoboureko, custard in phyllo.
Hummus has virtually no flavor. And a chicken kebab sandwich suffers from overdone poultry. Rice pudding, on the other hand, could use more cooking time; the grains of rice are hard.
This is a pleasant and promising spot that could be better if more attention were given to details.