When you go to Anise, be prepared to have a full on meal!
I was speechless when our lunch order for two arrived in several trips as my colleague and I looked at each other and said “thank goodness we are hungry!”
Last week it was just around lunch time when a tweet came in from @eastofnyc mentioning the opening of Anise in the town where I work, Great Neck. It could be considered fate as I had tweetdeck minimized on my desktop but this was the tweet that popped up in my preview pane. Now if you also follow my personal blog on posterous, you may know that I am in the midst of training for a triathlon. Some moments in time I am completely ravenous, and this was one of them. I just finished I’ming my colleague that we need to get lunch as we go through our list of per usual. Rugby season just started for him so the both of us were looking for a good hearty yet healthy meal.
We quickly read the East of NYC post and jumped in the car. Anise is a new pan-Mediterranean restaurant, by Chef Michael Ginor (now on ABC TV’s “Neighborhood Eats” with Lauren Glassberg.) Quite honestly, this restaurant is hidden and a ways down from the more popular section of the town of Great Neck. Ginor’s other Great Neck restaurant “Lola” is gaining popularity and located in the heart of the town. In other words, if it wasn’t for this @eastofnyc tweet, I am not sure when, or if I would ever get there.
The restaurant itself is quaint with a sleek modern look. The two main walls were chalk boards that were used to list specials, as well as wine and beer options. I loved our high wooden table that was located in the sunny window corner. Outside were a few tables, but it’s still chilly here in NY. In a couple more weeks, those two tables are going to be prime real estate.
OK now for the food. Where do I start? We figured that the best way to experience the menu was to choose the “Meza Table”. The description was “Mediterranean Spreads, Cheeses, Soups, Salads and Appetizers”. Sure we are game.
Our waiter was so friendly and took the time to go over all the food items that were on our table: Hoomos (humus), Warm Feta Cheese Dip, Shoshana Eggplant, Roasted Cauliflower, Falafel, Cheese Cigars, Pastels (Lightly breaded croquet of mashed potatoes and herbs) Green Lentil Salad.
Let me just say that we both really loved everything on our table. All the food dishes were packed with that unique Mediterranean flavor plus some really great surprises like Jalapeño in the Warm Feta Cheese Dip.
The Hoomoos was spectacular. Again it had a nice kick of flavor with just amount of tahini. It was hard for me to stop dipping the Armenian bread right into this pool of decadence, but I had to move on. So many other things to eat!
Anise is a “highly recommend” from me and I can’t wait to go back. I am looking forward to a dinner meal paired with a wine or possibly one of their beers. Thanks @eastofnyc and thank you @anise613.