That’s the motto of Kalamaki, the casual Greek eatery from the Trata crew that opened on Monday.
In Greece, “kalamaki” is the preferred term for what is commonly known here as souvlaki—skewered and grilled chunks of meat. At Kalamaki, the kalamaki comes in lamb, pork and chicken. The other main meat offering is gyro. The lamb-beef gyro is the usual column of ground meat, but the pork and chicken gyros are made of overlapping slices of succulent meat—very rare among Long Island’s Greek restaurants. The menu is filled out by salads, spreads, warm filo-based pies and homemade desserts.
The kitchen is overseen by Jose Luis Falcon, who has been the executive chef at Trata for five years. (He spends the mornings at Kalamaki then heads up the street to Trata in the afternoon.) Mexican by birth and a veteran of high-end French, Chinese, Japanese and New American kitchens, his tenure with Trata has enabled him to “take my cooking skills and apply them to the food of the Mediterranean.” He has traveled extensively in Greece and, for Kalamaki, he drew particularly on what he found tooling around its small villages.
With its small, focused menu, reliance on high-quality ingredients and modern-rustic décor, Kalamaki seems to be positioning itself as a Hellenic Chipotle.
Kalamaki is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. It is at 1380 Northern Blvd., Roslyn, 516-625-GYRO (4978).
Top, from left: lamb-beef, pork and chicken gyro at Kalamaki; Bottom, clockwise from top left, Chris, Billy, Ariane and Marisa Papacian at Kalamaki. Newsday photos / Erica Marcus