251 Lex Honors A True Mediterranean Menu
The Mount Kisco establishment places importance on both local and seasonal ingredients.
Stokes Farm heirloom tomato-and-cucumber salad with goat-milk feta
Peruse the menus at the majority of restaurants declaring themselves purveyors of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, and what you're likely to see really amounts to nothing more than a “greatest hits” of French and Italian cooking.
There are approximately 20 different countries adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea, so an authentic Mediterranean restaurant should reflect the cuisines of more than just France and Italy (granting that they are the world’s major cuisines).
The latest from Chef/owner Constantine Kalandranis, the 135-seat seafood-centric 251 Lex, is one such restaurant. The menu changes daily, but expect to see ingredients such as Spanish octopus, fresh crudos, Greek sardines, feta, hummus, harissa (a North African hot pepper chili paste), preserved lemon, and halvah (a Middle Eastern confection) cookies.
251 Lex's copper-topped bar
Besides honoring a true definition to the cuisine, Kalandranis and Executive Chef Hichem Habbas also place importance on local and seasonal ingredients, using purveyors such as Blooming Hill Farm (Blooming Grove, New York) and Stokes Farm (Old Tappan, New Jersey).
A recent menu had dishes such as potato-and-feta-cheese croquettes with smoked harissa oil; gnudi (or, ricotta gnocchi) with sunchoke purée; roasted Hidden Fjord salmon with cannellini beans and warm fennel vinaigrette; and a grass-fed sirloin steak with lemon-soaked yucca. Entrées range from $19 to $30; there’s a four-course prix fixe for $45 on Thursdays.
The two-story restaurant, in the century-old Victorian that once housed The Flying Pig, is divided into 70-seat dining areas, plus a 30-seat patio with a spit roast, and a 35-seat barroom. Stratford, CT-based Drivetrain Creative Group provided the interior and exterior design, which features repurposed wood from local barns along with brick, steel, copper, and leather.
Kalandranis also owns 8 North Broadway in Nyack and 273 Kitchen in Harrison.
251 Lexington Ave, Mount Kisco