Anthi’s Greek Food opened a few weeks ago on Amsterdam Avenue. Hidden among a strip of businesses that include a deli, dry cleaner, hair salon, and barbershop, it’s so small that it doesn’t even get a full street number — finding its address, 614A, brings to mind Harry Potter’s secret train platform 9 3/4, accessible only by magic.
But there is sorcery at work in this otherwise demure takeout shop, and it’s made most evident in its spanokopita.
The traditional spinach pie is as abundant as Anthi’s square footage is stingy: By length and width, it’s about the size of a slice of sandwich bread. But depth-wise, it contains multitudes: A good inch of spinach and feta filling is encased by layers of phyllo dough that crack and shed in an appealing sort of way before dissolving almost upon contact with your tongue. The filling is eloquent in its simplicity, just wads of tender spinach engaged in straightforward conversation with salty cheese. And at only $4, it’s a boon to both the ravenous and the cheap.
Anthi’s also makes an impressive variety of side dishes, priced by the pound. The lima beans in tomato sauce ($5) are particularly good, thanks to tender beans the size of wine corks coated by a lush sauce whose unobtrusive sweetness is cut by the bracing freshness of chopped-up dill. They’re like the baked beans of the gods, delivered in the mortal confines of the Upper West Side version of a strip mall.
Anthi’s Greek Foods
614A Amsterdam Avenue
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 1, 2010
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