Periyali has been open about 15 years and their kitchen is still churning out good food. There are handful of Greek restaurants in NYC and Periyali is one of the top on the list.
I have probably been there about 7/8 times over the past 15 years. Our friends had given us as for Xmas gift a gift certificate to have dinner there. We have eaten with them there and we also had an event with them there so it was the perfect gift.
We were going out with friends and I asked if they were interesting in going to Periyali. The response was "of course, we haven't been in years but used to go all the time and loved it". I was on the phone with my brother before I was to meet the crew and I told him I was going to have dinner at Periyali and his response was the same "I always loved that place." Exactly!
The atmosphere is warm and inviting. The service is attentive. The place reminds me of kitchen restaurants on the upper East Side. There are many people in NYC, particularly upper older upper East Siders who literally go out for dinner every night. Gino's was a place that existed on the regulars, although it is no longer open. They had a menu but would always tailor it to your needs. Periyali would probably do the same.
We started out with the special mushroom salad. 4 types of mushrooms sauteed over a plates of greens with tomatoes and 2 chunks of feta on the side and a warm vinaigrette. Really good. They portions are big so keep that in mind. I definitely could have shared. We also had a grilled octopus which they have perfected.
For dinner, we all had lamb. It's cold outside and fish did not seem to be what anyone wanted although they do fish and shrimp really well. I had the lamb chops. 3 rib lamb chops served with green beans and potatoes. It was like good home cooking. Nothing fancy just good. The other lamb dish was a loin of lamb marinated in curry. Also good.
We had a nice red Greek wine which our waiter recommended. I couldn't tell you what it was because the label was in Greek.
We couldn't resist dessert. Baklava and rice pudding. Both yummy!
I am so glad we keep returning to Periyali. I could eat Greek food every night. It is simple and tasty. I won't let so much time pass in between again for my next visit. Next time, we're bringing the entire family.