Restaurateur James Mallios and the team behind midtown’s Mediterranean restaurant, Amali, have opened their first permanent fast-casual concept, Amali Mou, in UrbanSpace’s new Vanderbilt Market inside Park Avenue’s Helmsley Building in New York City. Drawing its name from the Greek word “mou”—a term of affection for a younger loved one—Amali Mou is the little sister restaurant to Amali, offering the same commitment to sustainable ingredients and bold Mediterranean flavors as its forbearer.
Inspired by the beachside havens Mallios and his culinary team visited this past summer in Santorini and Mykonos, and the Aegean islands’ popular takeaway-style souvlazidikos, Amali Mou offers a focused menu of modern taverna fare that includes gyros, mezes, and market salads in a casual yet convivial setting.
“Gyros are an important part of Greece’s culinary heritage. As you travel across the country, you find that there are regional differences in the way gyros and souvlakis are served—the same way barbeque varies across the American south,” Mallios says. “In Thessaloniki, for example, souvlaki is served with different mustards a instead of tzatziki. At Amali Mou, we wanted to focus on this iconic dish, but put our own mark on it.”
A collaborative vision with Amali’s executive chef Rachel Goulet, Amali Mou’s menu features breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with dishes moderately priced from $4–$17. Breakfast options include Skotodakis Greek Yogurt made with stone fruit, honey, and nuts. For lunch, diners can order from a selection of gyros, salads, and mezes including: the spiced-yogurt marinated Cascun Farm Chicken Gyro and the pink peppercorn confitted Cascun Farms Pork Gyro—both served with cucumber, Lucky’s tomatoes, red onion, tzatziki, and French fries; Village Salad with tomato, cucumber, Feta, red onion, Kalamata olives, Kritiko olive oil; Dakos with barley rusk, crushed tomatoes, Xinomizithra Goat cheese, capers; Kafteri Dip with red pepper, chili pepper, whipped Feta; and Fava Bean Puree with scallions, capers, Kritiko olive oil.
The menu’s selection of gyros, salads and mezes are also available for dinner with the addition of the Lamb Burger served with tzatiki, cucumber, red onion, Feta, arugula, on a black pepper brioche bun; and Fries Aneton, a traditional dish of crispy fries topped with oregano and a fried egg.
The Mediterranean beverage program includes coffees, soft drinks, cocktails, and a curated selection of organic, biodynamic, and natural wines. The house-made soft drinks include Saffron Tea Arnold Palmer and Greek Sour Cherry Lemonade, while cocktails include Aperol Spritz and White Port & Tonic. Amali Mou’s wine list, which consists of 20 bottles, is both affordable and approachable, with options by the glass and bottle. In addition to emphasizing Greek varietals, the wine list includes gems, such as a 1980 Portuguese red and prestigious brands such as Ridge and Merry Edwards.