Village Taverna Opens on University Place, Selling Greek Specialties and Sweet Treats


After being under construction since the summer, Village Taverna has finally opened its doors at 81 University Place (212-982-3457), offering up a comprehensive menu of Greek specialties.

The menu includes Mediterranean spreads like skordalia, taramosalata, and tzatziki; warm appetizers of grilled octopus, fried calamari, meatballs, and grilled sausage; six specialty cheese selections, including saganaki and grilled halloumi or manouri; a selection of salads; traditional entrées like moussaka, pastitisio, lamb shanks, and stuffed vegetables; simple grilled items ranging from burgers to lamb chops to chicken to sea bass; gyro and souvlaki platters; pita wraps; and classic desserts and coffee. Appetizers average around $10, with entrées in the $20 range.

When we walked by the new eatery yesterday, we’d already eaten dinner, but we’re never ones to turn down an extra dessert, so we sampled the baklava ($6.95) and the ekmek ($6.95), a custard cream topped with whipped cream, sliced almonds, and a cherry, all atop a mound of syrup-soaked phyllo dough strands. While both were definitely sweet, they weren’t cloying, and the baklava offered up a nice walnut flavor. We preferred the ekmek, though, creamy and texturally exciting — a sort of Greek ice cream sundae, made with custard instead of ice cream. Not necessarily mind-blowing, but tasty enough to entice us back to see what tricks the savory kitchen has up its sleeve.