Naxos Eclectic Cuisine

Walking into Naxos on a Saturday night, we were surprised to see it void of diners. We were ushered to our reserved table that was perched on an elevated platform, thus giving us a bird’s eye view as we settled into our cushioned seats. The seating arrangement was strikingly meticulous—at a long table, the supposed seats for the host and hostess were obvious; while at a more intimate table for four, chairs were of alternate heights, presumably for two couples enjoying a get-together. Service was enthusiastic and polite. We had the pleasure of having the owner himself—an affable Italian who set up this four-month-old restaurant “out of passion, not because of money”—introduce the house specialties. We took heed of his recommendations and enjoyed the refreshing chickpea salad and strips of toasted pita bread as we waited for our starters. We were not disappointed. The homemade sausages were well matched with the tangy tomato base. We were intrigued by the Spuntino Romano—four layers of cheese and Parma ham, deep-fried and topped with anchovy sauce, served on top of heart-shaped roman bread. The roman bread nicely offset the richness of the cheese. The main course portions were shockingly huge, courtesy of the New York chef. The porterhouse steak was delightfully tender. Every bite was bursting with flavor, and the mushrooms were a lovely complement. The Zarzuela de Marisc—a hearty seafood stew with huge prawns, sweet scallops, tender bits of capsicums, and more—could make an appetizer for four. Even though we were quite full, we had to try desserts. The Banana Foster Flambe was pleasant, with lovely vanilla gelato on the side. The owner recommended a dessert that was not on the menu: Gelato de Napolitano, an interesting assortment of creamy gelato flavors—cactus fig, walnut, chestnut, fig and peanut—each individually “packaged” in their respective fruit or nut exteriors. A must-try. To end a very enjoyable dinner, we were served aperitifs of sweet limoncello (lemon liqueur) and grappa—compliments of the house. With great service and good food at reasonable prices, Naxos definitely deserves a second visit.