LOCAL PROFILES: Tom Galis (The Greek) 8.9.17
Here at LBC not only do we love eating, but we also love profiling local restaurants we frequent and the restaurateurs behind them. Having traveled to Greece, one of our local favorites is The Greek; the food feels highly authentic and unique, not commercialized “American Greek”. All of the wines are from Greece which forces us to try new and delicious wines (twist our arms…). When bringing a group, the spreads (with delicious pita bread) are a must try, as well as the keftedes (meatballs) and tyrokroketes (cheese croquettes).
We spoke with Tom Galis, owner of The Greek, who is also opening his new restaurant “GRECA” in Tribeca (right around the corner) soon which we can’t wait to try!
Tell us about opening The Greek!
I've been in the restaurant business for 20 years and wanted to create/offer a Greek dining experience based on my Greek-American upbringing.
Why did you start your business below Canal Street?
The block (Greenwich Street between Desbrosses and Watts) was perfect because it reminded me of the cobblestone streets of Thessaloniki in Greece, thus the Northern Greek experience begins from before you even enter the restaurant.
How has owning a business below Canal Street impacted you & The Greek?
Tribeca is a great neighborhood and our neighbors were very supportive of us from the very beginning, helping us get through the crucial first year of existence. I am thrilled I chose this neighborhood to open my business!
How do you source your ingredients for the restaurant?
We have 2 sources for our ingredients: Items like Olive oil, Cheeses, Rice, Beans, Vinegars, confections and canned goods (tomato paste, etc...) come directly from Greece. Greek products are All-natural, Organic and Non-GMO. The fresh products like Milk, Eggs, Fresh Vegetables all come from the tri-state area (mostly upstate NY). All these products are farmed/raised naturally and are mostly organic and/or Non GMO. This is very important to me as these are the types of products I use at home and would never serve my guests anything that I wouldn't eat myself.
We are really excited to see you’re opening a new restaurant “GRECA” soon on Washington Street. Can you share a little about that?
The new restaurant "GRECA" (derived from 'Greeks of Tribeca') will be a bakery, Feta bar and lounge. We will be baking fresh bread and delivering it to our neighbors fresh every morning on a subscription basis, along with all of our authentic Greek products. During the day, it will be a Café and lunch spot, and a Lounge at night. GRECA’s projected opening is the end of this September.
What is your favorite thing about owning a business below Canal Street?
Quite simply the people and the relationships we have made.
What are your favorite local spots below Canal Street (aside from The Greek, of course!)?
- Wolfgang's: The steak.
- Kaffe 1668: Intelligentsia coffee.
- Brandy Library: Obvious.
- City Vineyard: On the water.
- Valley: Fashionable, great proprietors.