Here we thought that Michael Psilakis was on top of the world, with a critically acclaimed restaurant on the Upper West Side in Onera, an even more critically acclaimed restaurant with Donatella Arpaia on the East Side in Dona, and a jump on A-list celebrity-chef status. (Psilakis is going to Yale to speak on Greek food Wednesday.) But his biggest plan, apparently, is still in the works.
Psilakis will be closing tablecloth restaurant Onera in the near future and reopening in the space with a much more casual, home-style eatery based on "pristine ingredients, cooked for locals, in just the same spirit as my mom used to make." (Dona will continue as before.) But Psilakis and a group of chefs he is calling a "culinary management team" will also launch an extremely ambitious Greek restaurant in midtown. "We want to take what people think of as familiar, rustic Greek food, and just blow it up," the chef tells us. "We want to take it to a three-star level — in food, service, everything." Psilakis promises more detailed info as the project gets finalized. But in the meantime, we're happy to hasten back to Dona.