12 Greek Restaurants in the U.S. Where Wine Is Golden

Pair refreshing cuisine with top wines at these destinations

12 Greek Restaurants in the U.S. Where Wine Is Golden
Nerai brings Mediterranean luxury to New York City. (Samira Bouaou)
Aug 1, 2019

As the summer heat reaches its stifling peak, there’s no better time to dive into Greek dishes. Light, fresh and seafood-centric, the cuisine is an ideal match for the season, and tastes even better when paired with world-class wine. These 12 Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners with Greek menus also showcase the country on their wine lists, creating cohesive, authentic experiences.

These are just a sampling of Restaurant Award winners with Greek fare. To check out more wine-and-food destinations around the world, see Wine Spectator’s nearly 3,800 Restaurant Award–winning picks, including the 100 Grand Award recipients worldwide that hold our highest honor.

Do you have a favorite you’d like to see on this list? Send your recommendations to restaurantawards@mshanken.com. We want to hear from you!


The Black Olive

814 S. Bond St., Baltimore, Md.
Telephone (410) 276-7141
Website www.theblackolive.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Wine room at the Black Olive
The Black Olive
The Black Olive’s wine cellar houses a 2,800-bottle collection.

The Black Olive is situated in Fell’s Point, a historic Baltimore neighborhood with waterfront views and cobblestone streets. It’s owned by Dimitris, Pauline and Stelios Spiliadis, whose family comes from northern Greece. With a longstanding reputation for exceptional cooking, the Spiliadis family is also behind the Estiatorio Milos empire, which includes a fellow Best of Award of Excellence winner featured in this guide. Dimitris serves as the Black Olive’s chef and wine director, crafting those decades-old recipes and repeatedly traveling to Greece to source up-and-coming labels. The diverse, 425-selection wine list spans the globe, with representation from Hungary, Israel, Slovenia and more, plus a few Maryland wines. California, Greece and France are the program’s biggest strengths, and Dimitris encourages guests to try Greek wines with a flight of three Santorini Assyrtikos for $21, or $30 with a fourth tasting of Santorini Vinsanto.


Dio Deka

Hotel Los Gatos, 210 E. Main St., Los Gatos, Calif.
Telephone (408) 354-7700
Website www.diodeka.com
Open Dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Lamb chops
Dio Deka
Dio Deka’s double-cut lamb chops with olive oil–crushed potatoes.

In the centrally located Hotel Los Gatos, Dio Deka delivers an upscale experience infused with the values of traditional Greek hospitality. At 1,150 labels, the wine list is the largest of any Restaurant Award winner with Greek cuisine. Wine director Jeremy Dennis has curated a stellar collection of California wine, with cult favorites such as Screaming Eagle, Caymus, Harlan Estate and many more. France and Italy also stand out, as does Greece, and those selections are accompanied by tasting notes to provide additional information on these less-familiar wines. Enhancing Dio Deka’s authentic feel is chef Bronson Macomber’s menu. It opens with appetizers like grilled octopus and tzatziki with yogurt made in-house (best enjoyed with their fresh-baked pita), then leads into larger plates like mesquite-grilled branzino and lamb chops.


Estiatorio Milos

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, Nev.
Telephone (702) 698-7930
Website www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/restaurants/estiatorio-milos
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Estiatorio Milos’ dining room
Estiatorio Milos
Estiatorio Milos recreates the feel of outdoor dining on the Mediterranean coast.

With seven international outposts, Estiatorio Milos has become a leading name in refined Greek dining since it debuted in Montreal in 1979. The restaurants are known for chef-owner Costas Spiliadis’ authentic signature items like calamari, salt-baked fish and various spreads with toasted pita. In the famed Cosmopolitan resort, the Las Vegas location holds a Best of Award of Excellence for its 370-label wine list managed by sommelier Ronald Buyukliev. The selections are strongest in France (especially Burgundy), Greece and California. Expect plenty of indigenous Greek grapes, as well as well-rounded picks from Italy, Oregon and beyond.


Molyvos

871 Seventh Ave., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 582-7500
Website www.molyvos.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Molyvos’ dining room
Molyvos
Intricate plates and paintings line the walls at Molyvos.

The Livanos family has a long history in New York dining, starting in 1957, when John Livanos moved to Manhattan from Greece and worked as a dishwasher in his uncle’s restaurant. He went on to open several spots of his own, and today three generations help run the empire, which includes Best of Award of Excellence winners Oceana Restaurant, Moderne Barn and Molyvos. Named for the Greek village the Livanos family is from, Molyvos is home to their most extensive Restaurant Award–winning list. Wine director Kamal Kouiri also claims that their 730-label, all-Greek list represents the largest selection of Greek wines in the United States. The selections encompass an array of regions, from northern Macedonia to southern Crete, with more than 60 wines available by the glass. Pair your pick with Carlos Carreto’s cuisine, which includes moussaka and grilled whole fish, as well as creative plates like seafood pilaf and a red pepper stuffed with rice, eggplant, tomato and manouri cheese.


Nerai

55 E. 54th St., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 759-5554
Website www.nerainyc.com
Open Lunch and dinner, Monday to Saturday
Best of Award of Excellence

Lobster with squid-ink linguini
Samira Bouaou
Nerai’s poached lobster with squid-ink linguini in metaxa bisque.

With a recently relaunched wine list, Nerai earned Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence for the first time in 2019. This Midtown Manhattan spot features an abundance of Greek wines, rounded out by picks from the world’s premier wine regions, with standouts in France (especially Burgundy), California and Italy. Wine director Michael Coll likes to highlight smaller and family-owned producers, but he also lists benchmark names among the 575 selections. There are multiple options for private dining and wine-paired meals, and Nerai regularly hosts wine dinners with producers such as Domaine Katsaros and Tselepos. Chef Moshe Grundman is a native of Jerusalem, which brings a nuanced flair to the Greek menu.


Thalassa Restaurant

179 Franklin St., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 941-7661
Website www.thalassanyc.com
Open Lunch and dinner, Monday to Saturday
Best of Award of Excellence

Whole grilled fish
Thalassa Restaurant
Seafood is a cornerstone of the menu at Thalassa Restaurant.

Thalassa Restaurant is housed in a historic Tribeca building that was once a warehouse for Greek olives and cheeses. Today the space offers Greek specialties of its own, plus a Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine program. The 700-label list shines in Burgundy, Bordeaux and Italy, but Greece is the heart of the program. Owner and wine director Steve Makris includes a glossary within the list for context about indigenous varietals like Limnio and Robola. In the kitchen, chef Raphael Abrahante crafts the classics alongside innovative plates like Mediterranean fish tacos and a crabmeat salad with truffle vinaigrette. The dining room features imported design elements, like a bar made with marble from Thassos and handmade wooden tables from Mykonos.


Calissa

1020 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, N.Y.
Telephone (631) 500-9292
Website www.calissahamptons.com
Open Dinner, daily; closed November to April
Award of Excellence

Greek salad
Mikey Pozarik
A traditional salad with feta and tomatoes at Calissa

Featuring fresh fare and an abundance of rosés, Calissa offers ideal Hamptons dining in Water Mill, N.Y. It’s the more purely-Greek concept from the team behind Amali in Manhattan, which holds a Best of Award of Excellence. Wine director Kylie Monagan focuses on Greek wines on her 260-selection list that also excels in France. The rosé section lists nearly 60 international labels, covering a broad range of regions and styles. Large-format selections are another highlight of the program, with 64 options, several of which are from notable vintages. Mezze plates, sharable entrées and inspired sides dominate the menu by chef Dominic Rice, encouraging communal dining.


Elia

240 Hackensack St., East Rutherford, N.J.
Telephone (201) 939-9292
Website www.elianj.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Award of Excellence

Eggplant and zucchini chips
Elia
Elia’s eggplant and zucchini chips are cut paper thin and served with yogurt spread.

Elia aims to virtually transport diners to the Mediterranean coast through wine, food and an outdoor-inspired atmosphere. Excelling in Greece and California, the 205-selection wine program comprises a solid balance of value and trophy bottles. You’ll find lesser-known producers such as Zacharias and Thymiopoulos, with opportunities to splurge on names like Opus One and Moët & Chandon. The impressive 55 wines by the glass change regularly to ensure a continually exciting collection for regulars, and many are priced under $15. In addition to chef Jose Luis Falcon’s starters, salads and meat-centric entrées, guests can choose fresh whole fish from a prominent display to be grilled and served with lemon potatoes or horta.


Molos Restaurant

1 Pershing Road, Weehawken, N.J.
Telephone (201) 223-1200
Website www.molosrestaurant.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Award of Excellence

Waterfront dining at Molos Restaurant
Molos Restaurant
A meal at Molos Restaurant comes with sweeping views of the New York City skyline.

On the Hudson River, Molos Restaurant offers time-honored Greek cuisine, enhanced by a hard-to-beat view of Manhattan’s skyline through floor-to-ceiling windows. In 2019, wine director Dimitris Haronitis doubled the number of labels on the list, expanding higher-end Old World options and adding large formats and half-bottles. While California and Italy are strong, more than 50 of the 400 wines hail from Greece, representing producers such as Alpha Estate, Skouras and Boutari. Dine on an assortment of dips and mezzes, and selections from the in-house seafood market that include Dover sole, black sea bass for two and red snapper for two. Chef Gregory Zapantis prepares his fish with traditional simplicity, grilled whole and seasoned with olive oil, lemon and oregano. There’s also saganaki, a flaming cheese served tableside, for fans of dramatic presentations.


Ouzo Bay

1001 Lancaster St., Baltimore, Md.
Telephone (443) 708-5818
Website www.ouzobay.com/baltimore
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Award of Excellence

Watermelon and feta salad
Ouzo Bay
Ouzo Bay’s watermelon and feta salad is served with arugula, Kalamata olives and truffle vinaigrette.

Baltimore natives Alex and Eric Smith are the brothers behind Atlas Restaurant Group, a family of restaurants that’s reinvigorating the wine and dining scene in Baltimore. Today, Atlas’ fast-growing portfolio includes Restaurant Award winners Azumi, Tagliata and Bygone, but Ouzo Bay is the group’s founding concept. It’s set in the buzzing neighborhood of Harbor East, where the waterfront views are a seamless fit with the restaurant’s coastal Mediterranean aesthetic. White-washed details and rich blue tones set the scene for the seafood-focused menu. Choose from plenty of whole fish and staples like lamb meatballs, spanakopita and stuffed grape leaves, and pair your feast with sommelier Jack Bettin’s 250-wine list emphasizing Greece and California.


Skopelos at New World

New World Inn, 600 S. Palafox St., Pensacola, Fla.
Telephone (850) 432-4111
Website www.skopelosatnewworld.com
Open Lunch and dinner, Tuesday to Sunday
Award of Excellence

Skopelos at New World’s dining room
Skopelos at New World
Get a taste of Greece at Skopelos at New World.

Gus Silivos is the owner, wine director and chef behind Award of Excellence winner Skopelos at New World. Named for the Silivos family's home island of Skopelos, the restaurant has been in business since 1959 and remains a community go-to for Greek dining. Silivos’ take on the cuisine includes dishes like seared local snapper, lamb with mint pesto and baked oysters made using a prized family recipe. While you’ll find wines from Greek regions like Santorini and Amyndeon, California is the focal point of the 175-selection program. Value is a major priority on the inexpensive list, with most bottles priced under $100 and additional discounts for members of the restaurant’s wine club. The restaurant is part of the 15-room New World Inn.


Thasos Greek Taverna

3330 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Telephone (954) 200-6006
Website www.thasosrestaurant.com
Open Dinner, Tuesday to Sunday
Award of Excellence

Thasos Greek Taverna’s dining room
Thasos Greek Taverna
Enjoy authentic cuisine and breezy vibes at Thasos Greek Taverna.

In a bright, airy space that’d look right at home on the coast of Santorini, Thasos Greek Taverna brings immersive, authentic dining to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Owner and wine director Sophia Mylona built the 240-selection wine list to champion a range of Greek wine styles while satisfying fans of Old World regions. California is particularly strong, with coveted bottlings from Duckhorn, Quintessa and Far Niente. Chef Ioannis Tombas lends a contemporary touch to Greek classics, wrapping sticks of feta in phyllo dough with honey and sesame seeds, and serving salmon tartare with wasabi aioli.


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