Mazi’s Mediterranean paella and homemade ekmek kataifi (custard, phyllo dough and shredded coconut) helped the Riverhead restaurant earn a glowing write-up in The New York Times this weekend.
The downtown eatery earned a “very good” rating, the second-highest in The Grey Lady’s five-point system.
“The meat entrees were excellent,” said Times’ food writer Kurt Wenzel. “The grilled lamb chops were thick and flavorful, served on a rustic bed of grilled onions and roasted potato. A mixed grill of pork and chicken kebabs with a lamb chop was very tasty and more than we could eat.”
After the former Athens Grill was destroyed in a fire in summer 2013, John and Christine Mantzopoulos reopened the eatery as Mazi in September of this year. The family relied on Ms. Mantzopoulos’s salary as a nurse while they sorted through insurance red tape.
Wenzel thinks the restaurant has only improved in its second incarnation.
“It’s hard not to root for a place with such an inspiring back story,” he wrote. “But all sentiment aside, Mazi is a better restaurant than its predecessor, with new, stylish décor and a more versatile menu.”