Opa for Omonia

April 10, 2013 Denise Romano
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Sprightly food with a Greek accent is the specialty of the recently reopened Omonia, a Ridge culinary landmark of long standing.

Open for 16 years, the chic space recently underwent a two-year renovation, explained manager John Bampalis.

“We changed the menu to full service,” he said, adding that the main draw of Omonia is its Greek, Italian and American-style pastries baked on the premises.

Patrons can enjoy their meal on the first floor of the restaurant, which is bright and dynamic, at the outside patio area or on the second floor which has another full bar, decorated with LED lights and candlelight.

“It’s very romantic,” Bampalis said.

Omonia’s food is just as beautiful as its décor. We sampled some of the eatery’s specialties from its expanded menu on a recent visit and enjoyed every bite.

The coffee drinker in our pair decided to sample one of the many items served from the espresso bar. Since it was a bit warm outside, we really enjoyed the Iced Frappe ($4.25). It was the classic European whipped coffee drink, served over ice with just the right amount of sugar and cream. It was just sweet enough and totally refreshing. Yum!

We were particularly struck by the Avocado Egg Rolls ($9.95), savory appetizers in which a filling of mashed ripe avocado spiked with onions, peppers and sun-dried tomato was encased in a deep-fried wonton wrapper. It was the first time we had tasted warm avocado, most often served in guacamole or salad, but it will not be the last.

Also amazing were the Kataifi Shrimp ($13.95), huge shrimp coated with a maple fig dressing, breaded in shredded pastry dough and deep-fried. The sweetness of the dressing was the perfect choice to complement the shrimp, and like the avocado egg rolls, the contrast between crunchy and tender was a gustatory delight.

Classic Hellenic flavors were dominant in the Grilled Feta with Tomato ($8.75), served warm. It was creamy and delicious, with basil, olive oil and roasted red peppers on top…total comfort food.

The Oriental Chicken Salad ($12.50) featured a generous portion of grilled chicken breast, inflected with oregano, on a bed of lettuce, scallions and grilled red pepper, garnished with crispy noodles and triangles of pita bread. Again, the dish was a study in contrasts, flavorful and lively, and supremely satisfying.

The Omonia Panini ($10.95) was a thick and filling grilled sandwich, stuffed with layers of smoked turkey, ham, gouda and provolone cheese and a triad of vegetables – tomatoes, onions and roasted red pepper – and dressed with mustard and mayonnaise. It was served with a side of fresh and crispy French fries.

The extended menu is new but Omonia has long been known for its desserts, which are lovingly made on the premises. We tried two: Baklava Cheesecake and Seven Layer Chocolate Cake.

For lovers of Greek desserts, the Baklava Cheesecake ($5) is a dream come true, a dense wedge of New York cheesecake enveloped in honey-soaked Baklava, rich and enticing.

As for the Sokolatina ($4.75), which featured seven sinful layers of chocolate sponge cake, soft chocolate mousse and fudge cream…what can we say? It was totally creamy, but not too rich. We absolutely loved every bite.

Somehow, we rolled ourselves out the door, feeling blissed out and filled with fine food.

Omonia

7612-14 Third Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11209

718-491-1435

www.omoniacafe.com

Open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to late night (after 12 p.m.)


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