When looking for a place to eat for Valentine Day, we wanted to go somewhere new that was close to home. I suggested Athos in Guilderland, as I had never eaten there. I made a reservation on opentable.com, and it was set.
I refrained from browsing the menu ahead of time, just because, since it’s Greek cuisine, I knew there would be a number of menu items that could fit my dietary parameters during the week.
We were seated upon arrival at a beautiful table that was set for us. The waitress assigned to our table was very busy, and it took a few moments for her to come over. That was fine; the menu was quite enough reading material to get through. When she did come over, we had decided on our starters and main dishes, so, when she asked if we were ready, we ordered. The problem was, she was on her way back to the kitchen carrying a bunch of plates. A major peeve of mine is when a server does not take down the order, and there was no way she could with her hands full. Moments after giving our order, the young lady returned to confirm the order, and, by confirm, I mean to ask what we wanted again but, this time, without the menu in front of us. As you will see, many of the menu items are not things that roll off the tongue or are easily retained.
The first thing to arrive to the table were Keftedakia (Gently broiled ground beef & lamb patties $8).
These were absolutely delicious. It basically is a ground lamb “meatball” patty spiked with a number of spices and herbs and grilled ever so lightly.
We also ordered Saganaki (Lightly sautéed Kefalograviera cheese finished with a table-side Greek cognac flambé $10), which Cassie had heard was all the rave.
This was a decent dish. The cheese is made from sheep’s milk, and has a bit of sharpness. They lightly fried the cheese, and then flambéd it with cognac in front of us. While most of the cognac burned off, there was still a little in the dish, and, occasionally, the taste of burned cognac was present and off-putting, but, overall, this was fun.
For my main, I ordered chicken sta karvouna (Grilled marinated whole chef-boned chicken $22). After earlier being annoyed by the waitress, here’s where things completely fell apart for me.
It looks great, right? Look closer.
Pay attention to the upper right. Can’t figure out what that is? Neither could I for a while. Turns out, it’s cauliflower, and I HATE CAULIFLOWER!!!!!!!!!! So, rather than allow my chicken, which looked delicious, to fester over a pool of disgustingness, I wanted to ask the waitress for a clean plate. Because it was so busy, it took a very long time (I didn’t keep track) for the waitress to return and even to get the attention of anyone from the staff.
On top of this, Cassie’s meal was completely wrong. She wanted Salmon tis scharas (Grilled salmon steak with lemon-herb E.V.O.O. $24); sole kalonis (Filet of Dover sole sautéed with capers and red bell peppers, in a white wine lemon butter sauce, accompanied by pilaf, lemon potatoes, and vegetable of the day $26) was delivered. She was fine eating that, but I felt that the waitress needed to be aware. The waitress blamed the kitchen for sending the wrong item; I blame her for not writing down the order. She offered us free dessert.
My chicken, once on its own plate away from that bullcrap, was awesome. I honestly have never had such perfectly cooked and nicely seasoned whole chicken. It was marinated in some herbs and was just out of this world.
Cassie took the server up on the free dessert, but between not trusting that they wouldn’t put cauliflower in it and looking forward to 50% off at TCBY, I declined.
I would certainly give Athos another try, but I will be more proactive about making sure that (a) the server takes down the order appropriately the first time, and (b) no cauliflower ends up on my plate.