Merakia overall score: 86
Formerly Kat & Theo, Merakia is a Mediterranean and Greek inspired meat house in the Flatiron district. I was invited in as a guest of Instagram influencer @NYCFoodFOMO to take pics and sample the menu. Here’s the breakdown:
We had the porterhouse. This baby had a great seared crust on the outside that was nicely charcoal flavored and charred. I enjoyed that aspect of it – you could taste the garlic that was rubbed onto it, as well as the variety of fresh Greek herbs. The meat itself was tender and juicy as well. It was dry aged somewhere between 28 and 32 days, and hailed from either DeBragga or LaFrieda (there was some confusion about this between what management said and what the chef said). The main pitfall for this delicious hunk of beef was that it was under seasoned.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8
As you can tell from the menu, there is a pretty nice selection of beef on this otherwise lamb-heavy Greek meat house menu. I was impressed.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
Portions are all on par with similar steakhouses.
The porterhouse was priced at $120, which isn’t too steep for 32oz, but could certainly be a bit lower. Other steaks are priced a bit high, close to the top end of the normal range at expensive midtown steak joints.
This joint offers some really unique cocktails.
I really enjoyed the “Metal & Dust.” It even came with a small triangle of home made strawberry fruit leather.
The bar itself was really nice, and I would definitely hang here for drinks any time.
Specials and Other Meats: 9
Lamb is the way to go for non-beef meats. This is a Greek joint after all, and they do it well. We tried three different lamb items.
Avid readers of this website will know of my affinity for lamb ribs. I absolutely love them, and I even sell them. Merakia nails them! Perfectly seasoned, nice balance of crisp lean meat to fat, and nice with a squeeze of lemon and some tzatziki. There are enough to share between two people in one app order (five meaty ribs).
This is an entree, and it comes with four nicely sized chops. These were a slight bit overcooked for my liking (more like medium to medium well), and also under seasoned. But damn were they good quality. I still recommend them.
Kleftiko (“mountain thief” lamb stew)
This was the star of the night. If you eat here, you must order this. It is a 200 year old family recipe that the chef has carried down for generations. The story behind this traditional dish is that thieves would steal a lamb and cook it in the mountains, covering it underground in the process to conceal the smoke and aromas. It makes for a nice concentration of flavors. Mixed in with the stewed lamb meat are peppers, herbs, spices, and Greek cheeses. It is served in a sourdough bread bowl.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 10
I mentioned the lamb ribs just a moment ago. Those are top notch. Based on that, I’m giving full points here. We were too full for dessert so we skipped.
Seafood Selection: 8
There are some nice looking fish entrees and apps on the menu. We didn’t get to try them this time around, but we will certainly be back for them.
Amazing people are running this joint. Very attentive but not in your face all the time. Eager to make your dining experience excellent. Chef Scalco is very friendly and enjoys talking about his family recipes and the history of the dishes. If you’re into that sort of thing, you will love this joint.
This is what your table bread will look like: nice toasty bread, high quality olive oil and tasty olives.
I was blown away by the interior of this restaurant. Tin ceiling with awesome beams and Edison bulbs up front:
And a cozy, rustic brick-walled and beamed-ceilinged rear dining room with a fireplace.
I highly recommend giving this place a shot – especially for the lamb ribs and kleftiko.
5 W 21st St
New York, NY 10010