Ever since the Summer Olympics in Athens, Gothamist has been obsessing over Greek food and wine options in the city. And while we've spent the past couple of months indulging the obsession through a quick gyro here or a lingering bougatza and frappe there, the time had come for Gothamist to pull out the big guns. It was time to go to Molyvos.

We'd heard over the years from various press sources that the theater-district-based Molyvos offered inspired interpretations of classic Greek cuisine, along with contemporary surprises, in a rustic setting. Now, finally, was our chance. We brought along a few friends so that we could sample plenty of items from the menu. There's just something about the Greek propensity towards lots of small dishes--the meze--that makes Gothamist want to order ten items when five would suffice.

Choosing amongst the classic Greek spreads of tzatziki, melintzanosalata, and taramosalata is always impossible, so we ordered a menu item that brought us a sampling of all three. Good thing we did, because Gothamist could not pick a favorite--all three were top notch. The eggplant base of the melintzanosalata was light and not in the least bit bitter, the garlicky edge of the tzatziki did not overwhelm the tanginess of the yogurt, and the taramosalata avoided any too-fishy or too-salty overtones. The accompanying pita and olive bread was warm and fresh, and way too addictive, considering that we needed to save room for all that was still to come.

photo courtesy of www.molyvos.com

And here is what was still to come: chicken magiritsa soup, briam (vegetable stew), lamb chops, grilled baby octopus, rabbit stifado (stew), moussaka, clay-pot-cooked lamb shanks, and spinach with orzo. Did we go a little crazy with the ordering? Yes. Was it worth it? Definitely yes. Our group tried a bit of everything, and the flavors melded wondrously. Whether it was the velvety texture of the soup, the charred meatiness of the baby octopus, the olive-oil infused vegetables of the briam, or the sweet lamb and mild rabbit that were both falling-off-the-bone tender, Gothamist was in Hellenic heaven.

We've rarely so enjoyed such a span of Greek foods in one meal, so until we can afford that airplane ticket to Athens, Molyvos will certainly suffice.

Molyvos, 871 Seventh Ave., between 55th and 56th Sts., (212) 582-7500