Greek-American celebrity chef Maria Loi, nicknamed the “Martha Stewart” of Greece, recently expanded her cooking empire with a restaurant opening in midtown Manhattan. Loi Estiatorio serves traditional Greek dishes with a fresh, modern twist.
Items off the menu like lavraki (branzino), paidakia (lamb chops) and htapodaki stin scara (grilled octopus) follow Loi’s cooking philosophy by keeping it simple, nutritious and delicious.
So far, the restaurant has received rave reviews from local New York magazines and guides for its beautiful ambience as well as its top-notch food. Former “Seasonal” chef Arno Mueller is in charge of the kitchen as the chef de cuisine, but Loi oversees the entire restaurant and frequently mingles with guests.
The Greek-American chef has strongly hinted that Loi Estiatorio is just the start of a large expansion of her brand. She plans to stock Greek-made Loi yogurt and pasta in US stores within the next two to three months, most likely in the Whole Foods chain of stores.
In March, she will be presenting her own line of cookware at the International Home and Housewares show.
Finally, she has plans to open up additional restaurants in New York, with ideas for a more upscale, gourmet dining experience, as well as a more casual eating spot closer to the traditional Greek tavernas.