Across Hudson County, the food scene is booming, from Italian specialities and brunch classics, to twists on tapas and Thai fusion, there is a restaurant to suit even the most unique palates. And while exceptional cuisine should be a given, it takes a special eatery to hold true to the ideals of tradition and heritage.
Sitting on the edge of the Hudson River, with arguably one of the best views of the Manhattan skyline, Molos Restaurant focuses on bringing authentic Greek dishes (and tradition) to the Hudson Waterfront. Since opening in 2013, Eliana Stefanitsis and her father, Jerry Stefanitsis, have taken great pride in making Molos Restaurant what it is today. Jerry has worked in restaurants since moving here from Greece in 1972, and together, the father-daughter team focus on making every part of the restaurant authentic, from the food and drink menus to how they source their ingredients; they want restaurant-goers to experience the culture they both grew up on—like a part of the family.
“The goal of the restaurant is to bring a piece of Greece to Weehawken,” Eliana said. “We have over 40 wines from all over Greece including an assortment from where we are from in Cephalonia. We want people to appreciate the culture like we do. Fresh fish is part of the Mediterranean diet, which we were brought up eating… it has to be authentic to portray a true Mediterranean lifestyle. We’re passionate about serving the freshest ingredients possible, much like they do off the docks of the Mediterranean.”
Playing off their efforts to cook and create like they do in Greece, some of Molos’ signature dishes include multiple options of whole fish, which are displayed in their fresh fish market, and saganaki, a cheese lit on fire and served tableside.
Chef Gregory Zapantis helms the Molos kitchen, and after a successful career leading kitchens and partnerships throughout New York, including Kellari Taverna in Midtown and Thalassa in Tribeca, he has become widely-known as a fish aficionado. He was also honored as the first culinary ambassador to Greece in North America by the Chef’s Club of Greece. Chef Zapantis is consistently creating new plates, and for the summer season, is introducing a shrimp and sweet pea risotto as a featured main course, as well as new side dishes including fresh artichokes and a lobster risotto.
Aside from the new dishes, another exciting element for the summer season is the introduction of Molos’ outdoor lounge. Currently, the two-story restaurant features their contemporary designed main dining room, including a bar area with weekday happy hour specials and a lounge. The second floor is the private dining space which accommodates anything from birthdays to weddings and comfortably seats up to 120 guests. “The only thing that was missing from the restaurant was the ability for guests to enjoy our unbeatable views while dining outside,” Eliana explained. “Now, guests can eat a great meal, drink a glass of wine and spend more time outside well into the evening. We are excited to welcome all passengers off the New York Waterway ferry who want an after-work drink or to dine al fresco after being cooped up indoors all day.”