The other night my date and I went to Thalassa Restaurant for Restaurant Week (three course prix-fixe dinner for $35). Thalassa Restaurant is located on 179 Franklin Street between Greenwich and Hudson St in the TriBeCa neighborhood. The restaurant was a little difficult to spot out in the night time, but their waving blue banner with a big Theta symbol caught our eyes and we found the restaurant. When we stepped in to the restaurant, the beautiful decor and the elegant atmosphere really caught my attention. The restaurant looked very fancy and the bar area had this calming blue glow. We spoke with the host, checked our coats and was directed to our table. The waiter handed us the restaurant week menu, regular menu, and the wine list.
First, we checked out the wine list. We are no wine connoisseurs, but my date’s got a thing for white wines and I usually go for wines that are light and crisp. We each ordered a glass of Assyrtiko-Chardonnay (Tsantali ‘Chromistsa’ 2006 Mt. Athos). It is described as clean and refreshing with subtle green apple. It was lightly sweet, very easy to drink, and refreshing indeed.
Next, we moved the regular menu aside and went straight to the Restaurant Week menu. We quickly decided on our three dishes. We both decided to go with the Grape Leaves Avgolemono stuffed with Rice and Ground Veal as our first course. For my main course, I ordered the Pan Roasted Skate with Red Organic Beets, and New Potatoes in a Lobster Sauce. For dessert, I had to order the Baklava Mille Feuille with Toasted Almonds and Walnut, no doubt. My date ordered the Colorado Lamb Chops over French Beans and Fingerling Potatoes as his main course, and the Molten chocolate cake for dessert.
After we ordered, they brought out the rustic country bread. They placed two slices of bread on each of our plates. The bread was accompanied with some fancy extra-virgin olive oil, a few pieces of whole olives, and red pepper hummus. While we munched away on our bread, they also gave us each a plate of Tuna Tartare on a slice of cucumber as a complimentary appetizer.
The bread was a little cold and nothing too amazing, but the hummus spread I put on top was flavorful. The olives tasted very fresh and were very enjoyable to munch on. The tuna tartare looked simple but tasted really well. The tuna and cucumber along with the light sauce they drizzled around it was a nice combination.
I was excited about the grape leaves. I’m a big fan of grape leaves. The grape leaves were good. There were four pieces of grape leaves nicely placed in the middle of the plate, along with this creamy flavorful sauce. It was satisfying, but not super fabulous or anything. I enjoyed my pan roasted skate dish, not because the fish was spectacular, but because the dish brought back memories of how much I enjoy eating beets. (Beets are nutritious, high in antioxidants and potassium. I like to steam or roast them. They make delicious additions to salads. I immediately added beets to my grocery shopping list. The best time of the year to buy them are June to October, but they are available all year long. Ok, enough ramble about beets, back to the post.)
So… for dessert… The baklava was extremely delectable. It was accompanied with a small scoop of rose petal ice cream and a couple of berries. The ice cream accompanied the baklava really well. The baklava was sweet, rich, and flaky. The ice cream had a subtle flavor and helped balance the richness. My date’s molten chocolate cake was amazing. When they said molten, they really meant molten. I was very entertained just watching him eat it. This molten chocolate cake was also served with a small scoop of rose petal ice cream. When he stuck his fork into the cake, it caught us by surprise and all this chocolate spewed out of the cake. Instead the pool of melted chocolate was a tiny piece of white chocolate, about the size of a dime. I was very amused! I wonder how they baked it like that. After we were finished with our dinner, they brought out complimentary glasses of this sweet red beverage. I wasn’t sure what it was exactly, but it was sweet and tasty.
The service was great. The waitstaff was super professional, polite, and filled with smiles. They were very attentive. There was always some food on our table. When we were done eating one dish, they promptly removed our plates and brought out fresh silverware for our next dish. We really enjoyed the complimentary appetizers and beverages. The atmosphere was very cool and relaxing. I found the blue lighting and the decor to be very pleasing. I especially liked the live guitarist that was playing an awesome selection of Beatles songs that evening. I didn’t even notice that it was live music until I was on my way to the restrooms. By the way, the restrooms were quite amazing. They are located down the stairs, at the far end in the back of the bottom floor. The restrooms were stocked with fancy olive oil hand soup and Tocca hand lotion. Their paper towels were exquisite.
Overall, it was a great choice for Restaurant Week and our three-course dinners were very satisfying. However, I probably wouldn’t go back there to try their regular menu with their regular (overly expensive) prices. The service was really wonderful and the eating experience was great. The food was good, but it was not mind blowing good. There’s many more great choices of Greek restaurants in New York City (such as in Astoria, Queens) that offers amazing food at not-as-expensive prices (the trade-off would be in the service, I guess). The Thalassa Restaurant would be a cool romantic place to dine or for special occasions. It was a wonderful dining experience and they really make you feel like welcomed guests at the restaurant.
Thalassa… maybe we will meet again at the next NYC Restaurant Week.