I have driven by Athos in Guilderland so many times and thought to myself that I must stop in for a meal soon. It always looks packed, and a quick skim through the menu shows that it has much more to offer than the standard Greek fare. Although you’ll find the usual items like spanakopita and moussaka on the menu, there are lots of other dishes with long Greek names that I’ve never heard of.
I was finally able to make some time this weekend to visit Athos, and the meal was every bit as good as I had hoped it would be.
The complimentary starter is a generous basket of pita with an olive tapenade. The olive spread was delicious with lots of garlic, so we finished this off in no time. We also decided to try the dolmathes for an appetizer, which are grape leaves stuffed with ground meat, pine nuts, and rice, and then topped with a lemon sauce. Although the serving size was a little small, we thoroughly enjoyed this dish. The bits of pine nut added some crunchy texture to the filling, and the lemon sauce was thick and tangy.
For our meals, we tried the chicken souvlaki and the fish plaki. The chicken dish is from the grilled section of the menu, and it includes skewered white meat chicken, peppers, and onions with a side of vegetables, lemon potatoes, and rice. The meat was cooked perfectly, with nice charred edges and crispy bits. It was served with a side of tzatziki, the traditional Greek yogurt and cucumber sauce, which was by far one of the highlights of the meal. The sauce was thicker than most tzatziki versions I’ve had before on gyros or sandwiches, with a smooth and creamy consistency and nice hints of dill.
The fish plaki dish is baked red snapper with tomatoes, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, and feta, also served with the vegetables and rice. It’s hard to tell in the picture below that there is in fact a fish filet beneath all of that delectable topping, but it was tender and well seasoned. The fish really just served as a supporting actor for the star of this dish, which was the topping of vibrant stewed vegetables with the occasional bite of salty feta.
We somehow managed to save room for dessert, which included a baklava cheesecake (served as a small round cheesecake with crumbled baklava filling on the side) and Galaktobouriko, a dish that I will never be able to pronounce, which is custard wrapped in phyllo dough and drenched in honey. The custard almost reminded me of a Mexican flan in taste and consistency, so of course it was delicious.
Final Rating: 9/10. The menu at Athos is packed with interesting Greek specialties that you can’t find in many other places. The food was all well seasoned, well portioned, and full of lively flavors. The atmosphere is a step above casual, and the prices reflect that, but the high quality of the food really overshadows anything else. It’s also worth noting that some weekend nights have live music, which was fairly loud even in the side dining room.