- 165 N. Middletown Road, Pearl River, NY, 10965
- Overall User Rating:
- (2 ratings)
- Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. Dinner: 5-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 4-9 p.m. Sun.
- Official Web Site:
The Greenhouse Café brings to mind memorable ad campaigns like "Tastes Great!/Less filling!" Along those lines, this Pearl River restaurant could accurately advertise, "It's a Greek restaurant!/It's an Italian restaurant!"
Big deal, you might say. Walk into practically any diner around and you can choose between chicken parm and moussaka. True, but the Greenhouse Café ranks important notches above that experience, so it bridges the gap between diner and dinner due to its focused menu; airy, plant-filled environment; and efficient and hospitable service that tells you that you're in experienced hands.
We sampled a lot of the Greek fare. The tatziki, akin to an Indian raita, has dense, tangy yogurt, refreshing cucumber and a lively bite of garlic. On a hot summer night, you could get a double order and just make a dinner out of tatziki and pita. Saganaki is another good choice. The salty cheese is served on fire, then doused with a squeezed lemon half at the table, for a melty toasty and tart experience. Spanokopita, often served as an appetizer, moves up to the entrée category here. A pair of the flaky, triangular spinach turnovers makes a tasty, albeit light, meal. They're served with a small bowl of applesauce. It's not a bad combination, but a bit nontraditional. Call it a quirk of the house.
It's important to note that the menu doesn't consist entirely of overtly Greek or Italian dishes. There are plenty of standard choices, with a focus on fish and seafood (there's that Ionian Sea again), plus broiled chops, steaks, and chicken. One standout: the tender lamb shish kabob. Another standout, this time from the dessert menu: the house-made cheesecake. Its excellent texture is halfway between a full-on creamy New York style and a drier Italian style — another example of the synergy that is at the heart of this restaurant. A subtle hint of lemon makes the cheesecake seem deceptively light, as if you could eat it for days with no consequence.
The location also boosts the appeal of the Garden Café: It adjoins a florist shop, plus has a wall full of windows that boast a line of impressively green and healthy hanging plants. All that flora and foliage add a special touch to the décor.
Greenhouse Café is a steady, reliable place. It's not overtly formal or fancy; neither is it extremely casual. You won't find cutting-edge creativity, but you'll find well-prepared, professionally served, tasty food — a solid bet for a dinner out.