Revisited: Athos – Guilderland, NY
Read about my first experience at Athos here.
It had been a couple of years since the last experience at Athos, so I figured I’d stop back in to try a few dishes.
While we looked over the menu, the server first brought over two fresh fish for us to look at, then he brought some warm pita and roasted pepper puree.
To start, I ordered the medium Athos seasonal salad (arugula, radicchio, apples, dried cranberries, kasseri cheese, roasted walnuts, with apple cider vinaigrette – $7).
I’m really glad the menu specifies a salad of this size feeds up to 2 people, because it’s just enough for 1.
Aside from my nitpicking of the size and menu description, it was very good. The mixture of greens was quite fulfilling and delicious. The peppery arugula was a great back drop to the kasseri cheese. The vinaigrette was pretty damn amazing and applied perfectly to the lettuce; it helped tie together the various flavors in this dish.
For dinner, I ordered a dish I’ve never had before, Mousakka (baked layers of roasted eggplant, ground beef, and sliced potatoes topped with béchamel sauce, accompanied by lemon potato and vegetable of the day – $20). For someone possessing as Greek a last name as I do, it’s kind of sad that it took almost 35 years of being alive to try this dish.
After I ordered, I frantically tried to get our server’s attention. I wanted to be sure that the “vegetable of the day” didn’t include any cauliflower. To my delight, it didn’t.
If this is a proper example of good mousakka, then I’m now a fan. The one complaint I have is that the meat and red sauce were a little light on seasoning, but the flavors of everything else were great. I liked how the eggplant melted into everything with each bite.
The vegetables on the side were a bit flawed. The lemon potatoes were probably the best bites on the plate; there were very few bites, though. The other vegetables were missing salt. I had to ask for a salt shaker to make these palatable.
Another thing I’m going to pick on a little is the plate garnishes. The sprinkle of herbs and spices around the rim of the plates in both of my dishes really gave the experience a bit of a dated feeling, which is unfortunate since the decor of the restaurant is quite modern and upbeat.
We obliged to see the dessert menu, and this put us in the most precarious position of the night: deciding which of these awesome sound desserts to try!
I was torn between karidopita (delicate spiced walnut cake bathed in sweet syrup – $6) and baklava cheesecake (walnut liqueur-flavored cheese cake accompanied by crumbled baklava – $8). I decided on the walnut cake, since I was a little troubled by “crumbled baklava”.
The dessert was absolutely delicious, and was a great choice. The cake had a very soft and rich texture as well as some warm spices. It was pretty sweet, but the sweet syrup really moistened the cake. It was very bold on walnut flavor, as I had hoped.
My second experience at Athos was very good, and small criticisms aside, I would say it’s a very good upscale Greek experience.