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Byzantine exhibition in Helsinki August 19, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Europe.
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A major exhibition of Byzantine Art opened in Helsini this week at the Tennispalatsi Art Museum, one of three Helsinki City Art Museum venues in the Finnish capital, featuring artifacts and sacred objects related to the Greek Orthodox Church and dating back more than a thousand years.

The exhibition focuses on the monastic community of Mount Athos and its way of life.

The collection on display includes more than 200 objects from the Mount Athos monasteries themselves and from 15 museums around Europe, including ancient icons, rare manuscripts, unique sacramental vessels, magnificent textiles, wood carvings and other forms of art such as jewellery, crosses, maps, photographs and paintings, according to the museum. It also includes 1,000 year-old icons not previously exhibited abroad.

The Athos exhibition will be the museum’s major event for 2006, running from mid-August 2006 through January 2007.

The exhibition is designed to draw from broad international sources during the year of Finland’s presidency of the European Union. The Helsinki City Art Museum is administered by the City of Helsinki and has three locations throughout the City, the Art Museum Tennis Palace, the Art Museum Meilahti and Kluuvi Gallery.

Related Links > http://www.taidemuseo.fi/indexen.html



Athens Kouzzina August 19, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.
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Athens Kouzzina
Discover Mills, 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville. 678-847-0150.
2205 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth. 770-813-1369.

This restaurant, which has locations at Discover Mills and in Duluth, serves Greek cuisine, from appetizers and salads to pizzas and pasta.

Classic toppings, such as sausage, mushrooms and pepperoni, are available. The toppings list also includes artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, pineapple, bacon, chicken and ham. Customers like the Mediterranean Special pizza, which features extra cheese, feta cheese, gyro meat, tomatoes and Kalamata olives.

The Greek salads, made with iceberg lettuce, onions, tomatoes, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, pepperoncinis and Greek dressing, are popular. Customers often order appetizers including spanakopita, which is pastry filled with spinach and cheese, and the dolmades yialantzi, which are grape leaves stuffed with herbal rice.

Traditional Greek cuisine gets an urban update August 19, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.
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With Parea, Greek restaurants take a giant step toward culinary assimilation. Manhattan pioneers of the post-moussaka era – among them Periyali, Estiatorio Milos, Molyvos, Pylos and Thalassa – continue to make good on the Hellenic promise of gutsy, simple cuisine, with an emphasis on fish and lamb.

But Parea, the first New York restaurant from Cleveland restaurateur Michael Symon, crosses the line from updated Greek cooking into an urban-contemporary-pan-Mediterranean cuisine that happens to have a Greek flair. At Parea, the grape leaves are stuffed with lobster, there’s not a kebab in sight, and the only whole fish on the menu is an American red snapper for two.

That said, a lot of the food is very good. And who am I to stand in the way of Greek culinary progress?

Chef Jonathon Sawyer’s starters include a number of “spinialos,” fish cured in olive brine. This, the waiter explained, was a traditional method used by Greek fishermen to preserve scraps. The tuna spinialo, silky, barely cured slices adorned with toasted almonds and slivers of artichoke, was delicious. But the wild salmon spinialo with garlic, veal tongue and celery, tasted, sadly, like salmon with garlic, tongue and celery.

Crispy pork, however, was near perfect: Chunks of crisp, unctuous pork held their own against cubes of roasted beets and a honeyed sauce. And the zucchini keftedes were exemplary fritters.

I loved my intensely flavored skate, two pan-roasted pieces atop a melange of sausage cubes, tiny mussels and chiffonaded raw mustard greens. A piece of halibut got credit for size, but that only served to remind me how boring a fish halibut can be. The subtlety of the surrounding broth didn’t help: The menu promised fava beans, peas and asparagus, but I got peas, black-eyed peas, a half-dozen fava beans and no asparagus that I could discern.

“Lamb porterhouse” turned out to be nothing more or less than two big, nicely grilled loin chops. Slices of braised veal breast, tasty and tender, were insulted by their accompanying gigantes beans, which were pasty and tasteless, a crime against legumes.

We ordered two a la carte sides: out-of-this-world fries laden with salt, rosemary and oregano, and a refreshing salad of artichoke and fennel with celery leaves.

Desserts were weak. Greek doughnut holes were dense; they had nothing on glazed Munchkins. A little cylinder of walnut cake was overwhelmed by ganache, chocolate syrup and some rapidly melting and rather pallid caramel ice cream. The best thing I can say about the strawberry-feta tart was that it was mercifully small. One bright note: a creamy rice pudding with poached peaches and pistachios.

Parea occupies sleek, loftlike space whose rough-hewn brick columns suggest a ruined temple and the Flatiron District in fairly equal measure. With 24 seats at the bar and a long narrow communal table, it makes good on its name, which means, in Greek, “group of friends.”

36 East 20th Street; 212-777-8448.
Updated pan-Med … la grecque.
Lunch: Monday to Friday noon to 2:30 p.m.
Dinner: Monday to Thursday, Sunday 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 5:30 p.m. to midnight.

Tzatziki recipe August 19, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Recipes.
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10 cups plain low fat yogurt
4 cucumbers
6 garlic cloves
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
Peel cucumbers and shred finely
Puree garlic, oil and salt in blender
Add puree, shredded cucumbers to yogurt in large bowl and mix
Serve with pita

Serves 12 people

Is it Greek to you? August 19, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.
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Nearly 20 years ago the area known then as Long Branch Pier burned in a massive fire. But a year ago, Pier Village rose from the ashes.

It’s a tony shopping area. There’s a beach club, rental apartments and restaurants. Many offer outdoor seating, like “It’s Greek to Me.”

Anthony Papavasiliou’s family started the restaurants. The recipes all come from his grandmother.

His family owns two locations. The others are franchised. The Pier Village franchise belongs to Theo and Peter Savrides.

Peter is quite partial to the tzatziki. He simply shreds peeled cucumbers, then he squeezes out the water. You’ll need a little muscle for that. Then he folds the cucumbers into plain, low fat yogurt. Next he purees oil, salt and garlic. That’s flavors the yogurt. A little paprika, a lone olive, and it’s served with warm pita. It’s the perfect party dip.

The menu is quite traditional, from orzo to Greek salads. So after a day at the beach, or shopping, or just relaxing, a taste of Greece may be calling you.

It’s Greek to Me
44 Centennial Drive
Pier Village
Long Branch, New Jersey (Monmouth County)

For a tzatziki recipe check our “Food Recipes” category.