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Petra: The New Greek Restaurant in Scarsdale

spanikopitaMy Greek grandmothers are cooking for Scarsdale. Or at least when I closed my eyes during dinner at Petra I imagined they were.

If you have traveled to Greece you will be transported back to the Aegean Islands via your fork. This is authentic Greek food. A wide variety of hot mezedes (appetizers) include keftedakia (spiced meatballs), saganaki (flamed Greek cheese), and steamed mussels with garlic, wine and cheese. Charcoal grilled octopus is my personal gage of quality in a Greek restaurant and it was perfect--tender with a light charring.

Cold mezedes include creamy tzatsiki the classic yogurt, fresh dill and cucumber dip served with grilled pita bread, dolmadakia (grape leaves stuffed with rice and herbs), and a roasted eggplant garlic and spice dip, among many others. While there are six lovely salads on the menu from which to choose, we enjoyed the Petra house special salad-a traditional Greek salad of vine ripe tomatoes, cucumbers and feta amended with grilled zucchini, peppers and onions.

Having opened only a few weeks ago, dinner time is already busy at Petra.

My mother chatted in Greek with Mike, the head waiter and charming Zorba look-a-like, who made us feel right at home.

We shared a plate of mousaka, a hearty dish for a cold night. The eggplant and meat filling were topped with a lightly browned, yet fluffy béchamel topping. Having attempted mousaka at home, I know the topping is the challenge. The grilled baby lamb chops were cooked to order and tasty. My husband insisted on trying the grilled jumbo shrimp marinated in lemon, garlic and olive oil and we were all happy that he did.

We spoke with friendly co-owner Philip Varis who hopes that families will come to Petra. While the menu has all of the traditional Greek foods many of which are kid-friendly, they also offer a $6.95 hamburger.

We couldn't resist tasting a homemade dessert. The karidopita, a walnut cake, had just enough honey syrup to moisten, yet not overpower the taste and texture.

We look forward to working our way through the menu and especially want to try the homemade loukoumades (fresh Greek donuts), a favorite of the children of all ages in my extended Greek family.

I hope you enjoy Petra as much as we did.

Petra is located at 66 Garth Road directly across the street from the Repertoire Dance Shop. To help commuters rushing home from the train they provide both take-out and a clever curbside pick-up so you don't have to park. Delivery will be offered shortly and they are awaiting their liquor license.

Phone: (914) 874-5674

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