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All Reader Reviews of...

Kefi

505 Columbus Ave., New York, NY, 10024
nr. 84th St.
212-873-0200

Avg. Rating

8
Food: 8
Service: 7
Décor: 8
"Recommended"

Average Reader Rating on a Scale of 10.

82% would go back.

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tell you about the food? we never made it to the table!

By fbj on 12/29/2008

  • Overall Rating: 1
  • Food: 1
  • Service: 1
  • Décor: 2
  • No, I would not go back!

Rude treatment and utter disregard. Made a reservation for 10 people (3 weeks in advance). When I called to confirm, they told me I needed to pare down the menu for the group to accommodate the kitchen. This was not ideal but I was willing to do it. We arrived at the restaurant and were led to a table under the stairs. Although, originally told we would have a private room, we agreed to take the table. However, the table, crammed with chairs, was only set for 9! Our server was no help ("you take what they give you"), so we went right to the manager. He INSISTED that there were 10 chairs at the table. Finally he counted the chairs but there was no apology. It was beyond insulting. It was not physically possible to fit a 10th chair, so we left. We regularly dined at the prior location but I will never return to a restaurant where the management is so offensive. They might be busy this week, but keep treating all of their customers this way and they will be another dining casualty on the UWS.

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52 out of 96 people found this review helpful.

One of the most overrated places in NYC

By foodielover on 12/2/2008

  • Overall Rating: 5
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 5
  • Décor: 8
  • No, I would not go back!

This is definitely one of the most overrated places in NYC. The food is not good. This is supposed to be Greek food? I have eaten Greek food at a ton of great restaurants and I've been to Greece, and Kefi's food is not authentic at all. And the prices are way too high for what you get. My dining companion (who has also been to Greece) was also very disappointed. Although I live in the UWS, I will travel to other parts of NYC when I crave Greek food.

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33 out of 68 people found this review helpful.

Not up to snuff

By kkalvelage on 1/12/2009

  • Overall Rating: 5
  • Food: 6
  • Service: 4
  • Décor: 6
  • Yes, I would go back!

We’re loyal fans of Kefi & were excited for the new opening at Columbus Ave. & thrilled to see the expanded menu and wine list. Our excitement sadly turned to disappointment as we quickly learned the new staff just isn't up to snuff. There were just too many kinks in the system to ignore. I could have overlooked the initial delivery of appetizers and entrées to the wrong tables. But the quality of dishes coming from the kitchen is not what it once was. My favorite dish, sheep’s milk dumplings, usually arrive as perfectly formed little morsels, yet on this visit most were broken and crumbling all over the dish. The whole experience felt so rushed and chaotic it left me wishing for the old Kefi, with their patient attentive staff. Halfway through my entrée I had run out of wine, at which point our server was MIA for over 10 min, until I had finished my entrée when she then appeared asking if I’d like another glass. We'll visit again, but only on a week night; it would be a shame to miss out on those dumplings for good.

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36 out of 76 people found this review helpful.

Terrible Service

By klk12 on 6/7/2010

  • Overall Rating: 5
  • Food: 7
  • Service: 1
  • Décor: 4
  • No, I would not go back!

I have to agree with some other posts. The wait staff and management at kefi need to change to live up to the food- which is very good. If you want a rude waiter who rolls his eyes when you only order a salad and appetizer, and no alchohol, Kefi is your place. If you want a waiter who tries to push you out of the restaurant when there are 10 free tables around you , come here! And if you want a manager who tells you that "you should have gotten him" during your very uncomfortable meal, because that is definitely how you want to spend your evening- arguing with the waiter and manager in front of your table, then come here! It was a terrible experience. Even though the food was good, I left feeling gross for giving this establishment my patronage. And for sitting through a lecture from the manager instead of a simple apology.

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113 out of 230 people found this review helpful.

This is not Greek food -- not even fake Greek

By simokelli on 3/24/2009

  • Overall Rating: 6
  • Food: 5
  • Service: 7
  • Décor: 10
  • Yes, I would go back!

This is not Greek food but the chef's take on creative cooking using traditional Greek/Mediterranean ingredients in a non-traditional way. The chef has some very obvious cooking idiosyncrasies that mar the aesthetics, such as the excessive use of tomatoes and tomato sauce in most of the dishes. Why so many dishes with red sauce? He forgets that Greeks do not have too many kokkinista dishes. The same is the case with the olives, capers and pickled peppers. Why do they have to be present in every dish? In addition, the pita was not toasted, and therefore too soft to dip into the dips. And the salad although tasty, in no way resembled Greek salad; he needs to change the name. Finally, the menu lacks names of dishes, putting only descriptions of the preparation. Putting the names of the dishes on the menu would enable one to order what one wants to have. While the decor is attractive and Zen-like, the music is what Greeks call "dog house", popular but harsh on the ears.

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111 out of 200 people found this review helpful.

Poor service and a poor attitude..

By tranoh on 6/7/2010

  • Overall Rating: 6
  • Food: 9
  • Service: 1
  • Décor: 7
  • No, I would not go back!

I have been to Kefi a handful of times, and until tonight have always had pleasant experience. The food continues to be thoughtfully prepared and fairly priced, but all enjoyment of tonight's meal was soured by the poor behavior of the wait staff. It was bad enough that our server rushed us through our meal (bearing in mind that the restaurant was less than half full), pre-maturely brought the check, and stopped by two additional times to see if we had paid, but worse, when we commented to the manager as we left, he had the audacity to give us an insincere, patronizing, and paternalistic lecture about how it 'breaks my heart to see such sad faces leave the restaurant.' Barf. A simple apology with a promise to talk to the staff would have left me feeling disappointed with my overall dinner, but keen to come back. Now I would never go back to Kefi unless there was a change of management.

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99 out of 200 people found this review helpful.

Neat flavors at a reasonable price

By Noodles on 2/19/2008

  • Overall Rating: 7
  • Food: 7
  • Service: 8
  • Décor: 6
  • Yes, I would go back!

Three of us went to dinner last night. Overall I enjoyed the flavors and the fresher take on Greek classics than you can typically find. Value was very good. I enjoyed the glass of Greek red I tried. Calamari app was especially light and crispy, with a bonus of fried chickpeas. Warm feta had tasty olives and capers and was fun to share. The Branzino entree was very nicely cooked, crispy and dusted with spices. Shrimp were plump and tasty but the orzo wasn't anything to write home about. Noodles with rabbit were tasty if not orgasmic. For dessert we had the walnut cake and the pear, they were OK but didn't knock our socks off. Ice creams were good. Our server was friendly and knowledgeable. At 5:00 the place was only 25% full so we weren't rushed. We'll return to try more appetizers and wines, and maybe some of the other fish and lamb dishes. Clientele was mostly folks 35-70, and there were some kids. $85 bill for 3 included 2 apps, 3 entrees, 2 desserts, teas, 1 glass of wine. It's like Restaurant Week 24/7.

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83 out of 128 people found this review helpful.

Worth a visit

By tarrita on 6/5/2009

  • Overall Rating: 7
  • Food: 8
  • Service: 7
  • Décor: 6
  • Yes, I would go back!

I'm glad we stopped in... and had a reservation because it was very busy. Cons: - Tables are incredibly small and close, so it's a little cramped and loud. - Service. Our waitress screwed up our order, forgot to fix the check before giving it to us, and was hardly to be seen when we wanted to order more drinks. Pros: - The food. We had the lamb shank and lamb chop special, which were both delicious and hearty. And although the portions seemed small at first, we both left feeling very full. - The reasonable prices. Our bill came to about $30 per person for entree, tax, tip and drinks.

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196 out of 343 people found this review helpful.

Flavorful Food and so Cheap!

By InCulturated on 12/12/2008

  • Overall Rating: 8
  • Food: 10
  • Service: 6
  • Décor: 7
  • Yes, I would go back!

I love good food, but can hardly afford it in this city. Kefi does just the opposite. I have to say that the food was phenomenal. The restaurant is SUPPOSE to be a sorta 1st generation take on greek food- so instead of a classic greek salad, i got a lot more-- all the classic, mixed with other vegs, lettuce, and a slamming dressing. I shared everything with my friend, and we were able to get more for the price we might have had elsewhere. The dumplings melted in my mouth and the rabbit had a strong cinnamon flavor which went perfectly. We also tried the ouzo shooters, and i tell you i didn't like ouzo, until i had it mixed with some lemon basil concoction. I enjoyed it and plan to return--often!

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32 out of 64 people found this review helpful.

Blissful Valentine's dinner ends in custard-filled fillo pastry delight

By x76czar on 2/15/2009

  • Overall Rating: 8
  • Food: 9
  • Service: 8
  • Décor: 7
  • Yes, I would go back!

Sure, the dinner was spectacular. But the dessert at Kefi's was outrageous. My wife and I ate there on Valentine's Day 2009. We started with the warm feta and bread -- ideal for sharing with your sweetheart. For an entree, she chose the special: crispy, buttery, baby lamb chops and creamy rice. We quickly dispatched the four between the two of us, leaving only greasy bones inflected with the tiniest bit of meat. Even the gristle was tasty. I had sheep's milk dumplings, mixed with a zesty caper and pine nut sauce. And dessert: Warm custard between toasted fillo dough, glazed with syrup and topped with candied orange. It didn't last but five minutes on the plate.

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61 out of 120 people found this review helpful.

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