New York City's beloved Greek restaurant Molyvos, which opened in Midtown with great acclaim in 1997, will undergo a renovation in January 2012 and debut a new logo. The restaurant is currently closed and will reopen in late January 2012 with a fresh new design inspired by the romantic villages and islands of Greece.
The current design, featuring natural earth tones and a dark wood bar, will be replaced with shades of Sandy Hook Gray, Grant Beige, and Couply Gray highlighted by Aegean Blue and White color throughout the space.
Adding a personal touch to the design, the owning Livanos family, who also operate the nearby Oceana and Abboccato restaurants, will hang family photos on the wall adjacent to the kitchen area known as the "Family Corner."
The restaurant's more traditional look will offer a clean, simple, and elegant background for the soulful Greek cuisine prepared by executive chef Jim Botsacos. Upon re-opening, Botsacos will offer updated versions of select dishes from the original Molyvos menu, and will also have a section on the newly designed menu featuring Greek classics such as Arni Kokkinisto Me Hilopitis, a slow cooked lamb with red wine tomatoes and homemade Greek egg noodles.
The exclusively Greek wine list created by wine director Kamal Kouiri will also continue to grow.
"We're capturing more authentic and diverse personalities of Greek culture with the new design,” says proprietor Nick Livanos. "It will reflect the look and feel of Greece from its clear blue sea, to the pure white sand, and the tiny villages scattered across the country."
Designer Kim Nathanson worked with the Livanos family incorporating their vision of charming elegance reflective of authentic Greek culture for the space into every aspect of the refreshed design. The new logo will be emblazoned above a retractable blue and white awning, mirroring the image of old world Ouzo labels, hanging above a vibrant display of lush plants.
Past the entryway, glass bell lamps light the newly refinished graphite toned bar. Moving into the main dining room, detailed accents serve to transport guests to Greece. Taupe and grey colors are accented by bold blues and whites to pay homage to the rocky coast lines with sandy beaches, charming villages, white-washed houses, and bright blue skies that are emblematic of Greece.
On three of the walls, artistic, simple, and thoughtful abstract sketches depict a Greek island seascape surrounding dining room tables under glowing wicker bell lamps.
Blue and white colored chairs and a "pantry" of stacked white plates brighten the charming space and offer a homey setting. Plush light and dark blue curtains can be drawn to separate two areas in the main dining room and offer additional privacy to guests.
Since Molyvos first opened, chef Botsacos has been at the helm, serving dishes inspired by authentic Greek recipes. His menu will continue to feature long-time favorites including Grilled Baby Octopus, Lamb Yuvetsi, and Traditional Greek Spreads, known as Pikilia.
New menu items will include Feta Saganaki, sesame seed crusted Didoni Feta with fennel and watercress salad, and Meyer lemon spoon sweets.
Old favorites from the original Molyvos menus will be updated and reintroduced with options like Skoldalia Me Patzaria Ke Gigantes, marinated beets, and giant white beans with garlic sauce, and the Octapodopita, a tender octopus pie with rice, tomatoes, and herbs wrapped in phyllo.
Classic dishes will include the Arni Kokkinisto Me Hilopitis and the Moussaka, served in a casserole layered with eggplant, potatoes, spiced ground lamb and beef, with a yogurt béchamel.
Wine director Kamal Kouiri continues to build Molyvos's extensive all-Greek collection of wine, which is the most comprehensive in the country. With more than 400 bottles, and 60 wines available by the glass, Molyvos's wine list features 60 grape varietals, representing more than 50 wineries. Guests can also enjoy wines from many boutique producers that are exclusively available at Molyvos.
"With this renovation, we're capturing that traditional Greek feeling centered on family, friends, and great food–it's full circle with the design and the cuisine," says Executive Chef/Partner Jim Botsacos. "The whole experience is going to transport our guests to a town in Greece. It'll be a real escape from bustling city life outside."
Molyvos is located at 871 Seventh Ave. in Midtown Manhattan.