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179 Franklin St.

Thalassa means "the sea," and at this Tribeca fixture, it means the Mediterranean, which provides the inspiration and much of the fish for this seafood standout with three stars from Forbes. Fashioned from the former storehouse of owner Steve Makris' family import business, it has two levels to accommodate 90 diners, as well as a climate-controlled wine room and a cheese cave. The Greek influence is everywhere from the curved bar made of marble from the island of Thasos, to the handmade Iroko wooden tables from Mykonos, to the music on the telephone hold button, to the award-winning wine list.

A signature appetizer is Diver Sea Scallops wrapped in kataifi filo with sheep's milk, butter, and a yummy kalamata balsamic reduction. Fish arrives daily from local fishermen as well as direct from the Mediterranean via Federal Express. Chef Ralphael Abrahante is especially pleased when he can get red mullet, a bright red lean and firm-fleshed fish that has been a Mediterranean delicacy since ancient times. Sardines are a summer specialty marinated in lemon oil and served with micro arugula salad and a watermelon relish. Royal Dorado, or Tsipoura, is Mediterranean sea bream with a firm white flesh and mild flavor. Although it's a seafood restaurant, Greeks would never be without lamb on the menu, such as the traditional Lamb Shank braised slowly in St. George wine sauce and served with lemon potatoes.

A favorite dessert is the Manouri Baklava; layers of almonds, walnuts, and filo filled with manouri cheese mousse. Dinner daily; lunch weekdays. -- Marian Betancourt

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