Honoring the memory of my first CT Eats review (Aladdin’s Natural Eatery), I traveled back to the Mediterranean. With two helpers, Tomas and David, I tried out Kainos for a taste of Greece in upstate New York.
I found the interior of Kainos to be well put together yet casual. In the entrance, you’re greeted with a large, ornate statue, and the black marble tabletops add additional elegance. The restaurant also has a peaceful outdoor seating area on the river. Overall, classy but comfy, stylish but subtle.
As nice as those marble tables may have been, I did not have quite as nice and smooth of an experience with Kainos’ menu. There weren’t many gluten-free and dairy-free options. However, the restaurant was accommodating of my needs, which I appreciated. When I asked the waiter about allergen-free options, he went and talked with the chef immediately, who said that they could make a lot of dishes dairy-free for me and also that, on certain items, they could forgo the breading for just an egg batter.
Their responsiveness to my needs definitely helped me overlook the restrictiveness of the menu. But only a little, because I did still have trouble finding something. In the end, I went with the grilled octopus appetizer and the gyro lamb burger (sans bun) for my entree.
I had a conflicted experience with the grilled octopus. When the waiter brought the dish to the table, it smelled incredible. The aroma of garlic was so appetizing and exciting, and that flavor came through when I tasted the dish, but I didn’t get much beyond that. The octopus had a stronger than usual “fishy” taste, and there wasn’t enough outside flavor to balance it out. Even a bit more salt would have helped.
The cooking of the octopus left me wanting as well. The inside of the meat was tender and buttery, but that was all. I expected more char on the outside — especially from a dish advertised as grilled octopus.
While the octopus was a mixed bag, I enjoyed my lamb burger, even without the bun. The meat was cooked well: tender and juicy inside with harsh grill marks on the outside. The seasoning was simple, but in a way that highlighted the natural flavor of the lamb nicely. I’m the kind of person that finds eating a plain burger patty — no bun, no toppings — boring and undesirable, so I wished there were other options. But I enjoyed my gyro lamb burger nonetheless.
For Tomas’ entree, he ordered the vegetable pitazza: a veggie and cheese pita pizza with tons of fresh veggies piled on top. It looked scrumptious, and Tomas said that it tasted good as well. He said that he’d want to try another option next time he goes to Kainos, but was quite satisfied with his vegetable pitazza.
Tomas and David both also ordered Kainos’ Greek fries, which are french fries topped with goat cheese and herbs. They both loved the flavor of the sweet, tart goat cheese with the aromatic herbs. Even though I couldn’t go for the cheesy bits, I tasted some of the plain fries. I was not disappointed. The fries were light and crispy on the outside with a nice soft, creamy interior.
I’m not sure where I stand with Kainos. I would definitely tell someone that it’s a good restaurant if I were asked about it, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to return. Honestly, this might be largely due to my dietary restrictions. The menu did have a lot of really delicious sounding dishes, but sadly, there wasn’t much that I could safely go for, even with the chef’s offered accommodations. Perhaps then, I would conclude that Kainos is a good restaurant that, unfortunately, doesn’t have an inclusive menu.