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The story of high quality Greek restaurants in New York begins in 1987 with the opening of "Periyali" by Nicola Kotsoni & Steve Tzolis. This was in response to expressed desire for a classic Greek restaurant from regulars at their successful, authentic Tuscan restaurant Il Cantinori (est. 1983) and traditional French Bistro La Gauloise (est. 1978).
They never imagined that 32 years later, Periyali would be one of the most famous Greek restaurants in Manhattan. The first to introduce traditional Greek cuisine, Periyali also put Greek wine on the map. In fact, the New York Times held a Greek wine tasting at Periyali in 1988, the first of its kind in the city.
A romantic Greek word for coastline or seashore, the name Periyali was chosen because so much of the food originated from the Greek Islands, specifically Patmos, home of Periyali's first consulting chefs, Irene & Victor Gouras. Their delicious 'home cooking' recipes were extensions of "Patmian House," their seasonal restaurant on the island.
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