Veteran restaurateur Reno Christou and partners has opened Kyma Flatiron (15 W. 18th St), a stunning ode to the sun-drenched Greek Islands in the heart of Manhattan. Akin to the original location in Roslyn, New York, Kyma Flatiron’s menu and aesthetic centers around the many salt-bleached and sun-kissed islands that are ubiquitous to Greece, serving a contemporary seafood-centric menu in a beautiful white aesthetic with traditional Grecian architecture and design.
Immediately upon walking into the space, eyes are drawn to the gleaming marble fish display at the rear of the main dining room, where fresh lobster, giant tiger shrimp, langoustines, black sea bass, swordfish, pink snapper, oysters, and other underwater delicacies fundamental to Kyma’s menu are proudly displayed. Chef Chris Christou helms the menu, which features numerous beloved Greek specialties, such as Pikilia with a choice of tzatziki, spicy feta, skordalia, hummus, taramosalata, and melitzanosalata; Saganaki of crispy kefalograviera with lemon spoon sweet; Rhodes Island Stuffed Calamari with four Greek cheeses; Sesame Feta with ﬁg jam; and Spanakopita with leeks and feta, served with herbed yogurt.
Several favorites from the Rosyln menu also made the move to Flatiron, including Kyma Chips, or crispy slices of zucchini and eggplant, served with tzatziki; Zucchini Keftedes with sumac yogurt; Marinated Swordfish skewered with tomato, onion and bell pepper; and Grilled Lamb Chops with roasted garlic and lemon. Whole fresh fish like lavraki, tsipoura, and more are prepared simply and grilled to perfection with Greek olive oil, fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and lemon. Elevated ingredients and whimsical flourishes such as black garlic, dashi broth, carrot chamomile purée, lobster roe, uni butter, and bottarga punctuate the menu, offering diners a sophisticated flare primed for Manhattan
“My take on food has always been an honest, simple approach – when you are working with the best ingredients, you don’t have to do much to plate a beautiful dish,” says Reno Christou. “At Kyma, we’ve created a menu meant to take you on a journey to the Greek islands, but we’ve sprinkled in some modern, more playful ingredients suited to New Yorkers. We want our guests to find a home in this little oasis we’ve created in the heart of the city.”
Complementing the traditional menu, Kyma’s design was curated to be transportive and honest, fostering an island vacation aesthetic with white brick walls inspired by Greece’s famously white tree trunks, as well as olive trees and imported accents throughout. Lighting plays a key role in setting the tone, with backlit booths and recessed alcoves meant to mimic the sun reflecting from the water on the horizon. “I wanted to evoke a little bit of the sunset that Santorini is known for, and let our guests escape from the hustle of New York City life,” says Christou. Glass wine jugs encapsulate lighting fixtures for the room’s many tiered chandeliers, while antique clay roof shingles serve as sconces dotting the walls. Gazing upward, the whitewashed cedar ceiling evokes weathering from salt, wind, and sun reminiscent of a seaside resort; dim lighting atop each of Kyma’s grand pillars suggests that they extend well beyond the confines of the room.
Housed within each alcove is a collection of authentic Greek pottery and ceramics dating back decades—some even centuries—all sourced from flea markets and abandoned alleyways throughout Athens and its environs. Decorative gargoyle-like akrokerama, meant to protect the home from bad luck in Ancient Greece, are mounted within, as are small olive trees and pitharia usually reserved for storing olive oil. A pristine marble bar top greets guests as they enter the restaurant, accentuated by large mirrors opposite a backlit bar topped with Cycladic plates, bowls, and other dishes
The cocktail-forward beverage program features numerous classic and Greek-inspired tipples meant to pair with Chef Christou’s seafood-heavy menu. Signature drinks include The Kymatini and Kyma Spritz, integrating the unique flavors of Mastic (Sap grown exclusively on the mastic trees of the Island of Chios) and The Repo Old Fashion which utilizes Vysino Cherries. The extensive wine list spotlights a number of Old and New World wines, with a heavy emphasis on diverse and eclectic vintages from Greece.
Kyma Flatiron is open nightly for dinner beginning at 5 p.m with the lounge & bar open through the day from 11:30a.m. Lunch and weekend brunch are soon to be announced. Kyma also features a second floor with dedicated bar and DJ capabilities that is available for full buyouts.