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Mazi sampler. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Two years after his restaurant, the former Athens Grill, was destroyed in a fire, restaurateur John Mantzopoulos has opened Mazi, one of several new dining options popping up in downtown Riverhead.

Unlike its predessecor, the menu at Mazi is more inclusive of Mediterranean dishes rather than just leaning toward Greek food. However, there are still Greek salads, gyro sandwiches and many other options for a satisfying mid-day meal if you’re craving Greek.

The highlight of the rebuilt dining room is the super glossy wooden bar near its entrance. With a pretty white-washed brick wall and metallic wall hangings, the bar offers the industrial chic look that has become so fashionable in recent years.

On a recent visit, we chose the Mazi cold dip sampler ($14) and the Mediterranean Meatballs ($9.) Both are on the appetizer menu, but when ordered together, it’s an ample enough portion to feed two for lunch.

The sampler included eggplant dip, a feta and jalapeño spread and traditional hummus — all made in-house. The dish came with pita slices and was garnished with olives, cucumber slices and tomato.

The serving is big enough to share, perhaps even for three or four people. All the dips were tasty, but the standout was the feta jalapeño spread. With just a hint of a kick from the spicy pepper, it’s totally delicious. A must-order appetizer if you dine there.

The Mediterranean Meatballs are served in a sweet San Marzano sauce with shaved and shredded Romano cheese and served with crostini. There were only five of them in the small appetizer, so one or two people should finish off this tasty dish before a meal.

Go for lunch. Sit at the bar.

Mazi is located at 33 E. Main Street in Riverhead.

Vera Chinese


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