Best Greek Restaurant - 2009
Ariston Restaurant - CLOSED
Thanasis Barlos has been the proprietor of the highest Michelin-rated restaurant in Greece, as well as of Elia, a posh Mediterranean eatery in the Bal Harbour Shops. But when he and partner Michelle Shimon opened Ariston in February 2008, the goal was more informal. They wanted to serve simple, well-executed Greek cuisine in a festive neighborhood-restaurant environment. Mr. Barlos's mother, Noni, provided recipes that come to life via vivid execution by chef Alexia Apostolidi, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. The mainstays are all on hand, including luscious renditions of tarama and tzatziki and a textbook moussaka. But what distinguishes Ariston are the suckling piglet roasted in a wood-burning oven ($21.95) and lamb aromatically spun in a charcoal rotisserie ($25.95) — both accompanied by potatoes softly roasted in olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs. Service is sharp, the wine list extensive, and the honey-dripped walnut cake (karithopita) not to be missed — and you won't miss it if you show up from 6 to 11 p.m. (or Saturday until midnight).