Emeril Lagasse has long been a friend to the New York City food scene, but he’s finally put down roots here with the opening of the new restaurant Rodos.
The celebrity chef who taught a generation of home cooks to season their food properly (and yell “Bam!” at the same time) created the restaurant in collaboration with restaurateur Yiannis Chatiris and Eleni Vareli. They bring the modern Greek favorites — the restaurant is named for a Greek island — while Lagasse and his team at We Love Food Hospitality infused the dishes with the boldness of Louisiana cooking.
Mediterranean classics like hummus get reinterpreted with butternut squash and holy trinity salsa verde, while the New Orleans beignet — Emeril’s stomping ground — gets a savory twist with octopus ($19). The modest menu includes a handful of appetizers, salads and mains like lacquered Long Island duck ($36) and grilled branzino ($32).
Desserts range from housemade baklava ($9) to Portuguese egg tarts ($10). A long wine list, because what Mediterranean meal is complete without that, is accompanied by a half-dozen cocktails.
Rodos is now open at Hotel Henri, 39 W. 24th St. in Flatiron. The 112-seat restaurant is open seven days a week from 4:30-11:30 p.m. For reservations, call 212-989-8811.
Emeril Lagasse isn’t entirely a new face on the New York food scene. Though he hasn’t had a restaurant here — the closest is at Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where he has three — he took part in the inaugural Harlem EatUp! celebration of the neighborhood’s food created by chef Marcus Samuelsson, and is a frequent presence at the NYC Wine & Food Festival.