Mina Stone started private cheffing to support herself after fashion school but eventually dropped the dress designing for food full-time, establishing a niche in the art world by catering gallery dinners and as Urs Fischer’s in-studio cook. That job led to a book, Cooking for Artists, and to her next gig, as chef-partner of Mina’s at MoMA PS1, where as of Thursday, November 14, she’ll be feeding not only artists but museumgoers, the building staff, and the greater dining public. Her husband, artist Alex Eagleton, has redesigned the space that previously housed M. Wells Dinette, replacing the school-desk-style communal tables with Corian-clad two-tops (“I hate communal dining!,” says Stone) and enclosing the once-open kitchen (“so it’s not noisy”). He mixed sand into the white and pale-green paints to give the walls a vaguely stuccoed effect, a reference to both his and Stone’s half-Greek heritage and to Stone’s culinary inspiration.
While the chef resists Greek-taverna clichés in both décor and menu, her style is greatly influenced by the simple, seasonal home cooking that she learned from her Greek grandmother and that she deems lacking in New York’s Greek-restaurant landscape of diners on the low end and fancy fish joints at the other extreme. Stone’s menu offers variously topped toasts, like one with smoked trout and the pepper spread called muhammara; a “winter Greek” salad; peinirli, the boat-shaped flatbread similar to Georgia’s khachapuri; turmeric-and-lime-spiked lentil soup; and daily specials like braised chicken seasoned with cinnamon and cloves. She’s sourcing a barrel-brined sheep’s-milk feta that she swears can “convert a feta hater” and baking a tahini babka that nods to her father’s side of the family — Jewish from Cleveland — but, she says, “feels very Greek to me.” To drink, there’s everything from ouzo and the iconic frappé iced coffee to turmeric lattes, kombucha, and natural wine.
Mina’s, 22-25 Jackson Ave., at 46th Ave., Long Island City; 718-440-4616
*A version of this article appears in the November 11, 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!