Lunch 11:30 am-2 pm Monday-Saturday, dinner 5-10 pm Monday-Thursday, 5-11 pm Friday-Saturday. $$ Moderate.
[GREEK] Anyone who’s ever visited Greece knows the country’s big culinary secret isn’t spanakopita but an overwhelming commitment to friendliness. On cue, the minute you enter Alexis, walking past framed pictures of Mykonos and Santorini and all the other Greek islands with water so blue it looks like the sky, you’re greeted with a huge smile and a gentle warmth from a staff that treats you like you’re part of the family. And then they start pouring the ouzo. The same family emphasis is carried over to the menu, where every plate is loaded with more delicious, tender turkey souvlaki (the Greek version of a kebab) than you could ever conceivably fit in your stomach. Tradition is pretty important to the Bakouros family, and after 30 years it still knows how to do most of the staples justice: The spanakopita is delicate and cheesy, rich with feta and just the right amount of spinach, and the deep-fried calamari—served with lemony tzatziki as a perfect dipping sauce—is crisp and fresh, more tentacles than oily batter. It’s not quite Mykonos, but it’s the closest Burnside Street will ever get. MICHAEL MANNHEIMER.
Ideal meal: Turkey or lamb souvlaki, spanakopita and a Greek salad.
Best deal: The small calamari plate ($8.95) could feed at least three people.
Chef’s choice: “There is not only one—but myself it is the calamari and the lamb chops. I’m Greek, lamb is my favorite! But our calamari is famous. Best in the city.” (Gerasimos Tsirimiagos)