Xarello, the ambitious pan-Mediterranean Williston Park restaurant that opened in November and never really found its footing, has reopened as the eminently pronounceable Taverna 38.
John Alexopoulos and Claudio Peralta still own the place, but Xarello’s executive chef, Katia Iris Ramirez, has departed. Now helming the kitchen is Fotious Markou, a Greek native whose experience includes being personal chef for the president of Romania, executive chef for a luxury yacht based in Athens and partner at the Paphos Diner in Brooklyn.
The restaurant’s decor has become less formal (and more Hellenic), the prices have come down and the menu is straightforward. Starters include the Greek dips tzatziki and taramosalata ($4.95), stuffed grape leaves ($6.95), spanakopita ($5.95), grilled octopus ($13.95) and shrimp with tomato and feta ($9.95). Mains include souvlaki ($13.95 for chicken, $14.95 for pork), grilled lamb chops ($29.95), grilled salmon ($18.95), braised lamb shank ($19.95) and young rooster braised in red wine and tomato ($22.95). Daily grilled whole fish are priced according to the market.
Taverna 38 is open for lunch and dinner every day except Monday. Takeout also available.
Taverna 38 is at 38 Hillside Ave., Williston Park, 516-747-0223, taverna38.com