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85 Very Good

The sign outside is written in Chinese, but the home-style Mediterranean cooking is 100 percent Greek.

130 Division St., New York, NY, 10002


Known For

The lowdown

The sign outside is written in Chinese, but the guy at the door greets you with three words: “Traditional Greek cooking.” This, you learn, is Kiki’s. Kiki is from Poughkeepsie, but her father is Greek. She used to tend bar down the block at Forgtmenot (no “e” after the “g”). Now she and some of Forgtmenot’s Greek-American crew run Kiki’s together. The menu, in ­English, not Chinese, settles any lingering doubts. So does the cooking, a lot of it done by Rita, a.k.a. Auntie, a family friend of one of the partners. Nothing much you haven’t tasted before: tzatziki, saganaki, zucchini chips, grilled octopus, fries with oregano and feta, whole fish, moussaka, pastitsio, and a “traditional no-lettuce” Greek salad. Then why can’t you stop eating it all and ordering more? Maybe it’s the thrill of discovering Greek-grandma cooking in a neighborhood where you don’t expect to find it. Maybe it’s the vibe — more hipster watering hole than Greek Astoria estiatorio. Probably it’s because the food is so simple and delicious.

Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld

What you need to know

DrinksBeer and Wine

Noise LevelCivilized