Whenever visitors from out of town ask where to eat in Midtown during their stay, my first response is usually: don't. But if they persist, my go-to suggestion will always be Molyvos, a homey yet elegant Greek restaurant that's destination-worthy even if you're not confined to the prison of Seventh Avenue. Now, the owners are opening their third Manhattan eatery, Ousia, this evening, and there's a strong chance it'll make the wilds of 12th Avenue worth the trek, too.

The Livianos Restaurant Group—which also runs Oceana in Midtown and two Westchester restaurants—once again mines its Greek roots for their new 57th Street eatery. Executive Chef Carlos Carreto is in charge here, whipping up spreads like Melitzanosalata (smoked eggplant, walnuts and feta, $10), Greek Salads with caperberries and hunks of briny feta ($14), and casual soups and sandwiches like a Cretan Flat Bread with spicy tomato sauce, Greek sausage, Louza (Mykonian prosciutto, essentially), mozzarella and oregano.

Beyond snacking foods, the extensive menu covers a lot of Mediterranean ground, employing seafood including a Whole Grilled Lavraki (a type of seabass, $32), prepared simply with a lemon and olive oil emulsion, as it should be. The oft forgotten (outside of RenFairs) Turkey Leg is cooked confit here and served with roasted butternut squash and spiced honey ($22). An order of Greek Fries with a citrus spice and oregano ($8) is all but mandatory.

I'm devastated they're not lighting haloumi cheese on fire here, but I'll survive.

As you can see, Ousia's well-appointed and cheery, much more colorful than its sister to the east. The bright blue of Greece's flag appears all over the dining area, accented by pops of yellow and gold. If you can make it almost all the way to the Hudson, it looks like a good spot for a bit of Mediterranean escapism.

629 West 57th Street, 212-333-2000; ousianyc.com

Ousia Menu by Nell Casey on Scribd

Ousia Beverage Menu by Nell Casey on Scribd

Ousia Dessert Menu by Nell Casey on Scribd