Michael Psilakis’s Michelin star (and other honors) is raising the profile of Greek cooking in New York, but other restaurants are looking to catch up. Ethos, a big, popular place in both its Manhattan and Astoria locations, is getting a classically trained new chef who vows to take the places to the next level. (A third Ethos, meanwhile, is slated to open in Great Neck at the end of the month.)
Peter Spyropoulos, an alumni of Bouley and Milos, among other places, has barely been at Ethos a week and is already making changes. “I haven’t been able to start changing the menu, but I’ve already got them using better olive oil, better oregano, much nicer tomatoes…” And basic technique is now coming into play: “They were making a nice lamb shank with orzo, but it didn’t have any stock! They were breaking down the whole animal and throwing the bones away.” Even the kebabs have gotten an instant upgrade, going from oregano and paprika (paprika?) to a more traditional Greek mix of lemon juice, lemon peel, rosemary, garlic, and thyme. “This is all in four days,” Spyropoulos says. Imagine what he’ll do in four weeks.