Greek cuisine is known worldwide. However, not everyone can jump on a plane and head to a beautiful Greek island. Luckily, you can find the next best thing on the East end of Long Island, Elaia Estiatorio. This Greek gem opened its doors four years ago and has since made its mark, and receiving rave reviews.
It’s no surprise that this restaurant has become the place for Greek cuisine in the Hamptons, as its owners are the Greek-American power couple Sofia Crokos and Chris Boudouris.
Sofia Crokos is a well-known event planner from New York. She is the founder and owner of Sofia Crokos Events. She has worked with many famous and influential people, turning their special days into truly fabulous events. She grew up in a large Greek family where there was always an abundance of great food and laughter. Her parents instilled in her the importance of her Greek roots and culture from an early age. She studied fashion, but soon after turned to event planning. “I love creating special events to help people celebrate the important moments in their lives.” Sofia says. And she does so with great elegance and style.
Chris Boudouris is the owner of Bridgehampton Wine Cellar; the biggest wine and spirit retailor in Bridgehampton. He was born in Northern Greece and moved to the U.S. at an early age. He worked in the computer tech world for many years before leaving it behind to pursue his passion. “I have always appreciated wine and wanted to create a business to share that passion with others.” He is a self-taught oenophile who has mastered the art of wine tasting.
While living in the Hamptons, the couple was constantly being told that there was a need for a Greek restaurant in the area. With this in mind, they seized the opportunity to bring their love of Greek cuisine to life. Sofia’s background in design and event planning, combined with her love of the culinary world, helped design a restaurant filled with atmosphere and flair. Chris’ knowledgeable palette enabled the creation of an extensive wine list, consisting mainly of Greek wines and spirits.
This knowledge and experience are used to enhance the culinary experience of their customers. Together alongside their chef, the couple came up with a menu that encompasses everything they love about their Greek culture. Their background and experience, as well as their sparkling personalities have helped make Elaia the success it is today. “We both love what we do, and we find a balance which I believe is what makes us a great couple and team.” says Chris. The name Elaia, which is the ancient name for olive tree, was chosen by the couple because they wanted something that represents their Greek roots.
Their vision is to serve simple, flavorful, and authentic Greek dishes. Their chef focuses on local, seasonal food to highlight the rich flavors of their menu. Some of their most popular dishes are Horiatiki, Oxtapodi, Paidakia and Lavraki. Their menu also offers a variety of delicious spreads such as Taramosalata, Fava and Xtipiti. And no Greek restaurant would be complete without a dessert menu that includes Baklava and Portokalopita.
“We are very passionate about what we do and want to please our customers. We want every patron to leave Elaia feeling that they were transported to Greece,” says Sofia. As for the future, the couple would love to one day own a charming beautiful bed and breakfast with its very own vineyard… perhaps even on a Greek island.