The Kiriakidis family arrived in the United States carrying more than their luggage. They also packed some true Old World values: a love of good food and family. Much of their lives was spent working in kitchens, and it became something of a dream to one day open their own eatery. It took time and effort, but under the urging of patriarch Theodoros, the octet of siblings came together to found Pontos Taverna.
The family now spends their days making the same food they grew up with, chatting boisterously with one another as they stuff marinated beef with saganaki cheese or grill octopus to tender perfection. Theodoros—or Teddy, as many call him—serves as the head chef, whipping up his signature dessert of cinnamon-infused rice pudding that serves as a cinematic end to any meal, like a plate engraved with the kitchen staff’s names in movie-style credits. How good is the family’s culinary work? The New York Times gave it high praise in a review from December 2012, stating “The… word—triumph—could be used, over all, for Pontos, a great place to go for a family-style Greek ‘fix,’ and a budget fix as well.”
Since 1986, wine experts at GrapesWine.com have dutifully tasted and compiled a handpicked selection of domestic and imported fine wines. Their easy-to-navigate site aids patrons with recommendations, including a list of the best wines under $20. Rotating picks of the week, hand selected by the shop's proprietor, John Caplan, include a vast array of reds, whites, ros?s, ports, and dessert and sparkling wines, all of which hail from across the globe, from California to South Africa. Aspiring connoisseurs attend popular wine tastings, led by knowledgeable taster Jim Winston as he recounts the flavorful notes and fragrant bouquets of countless varieties. In-state customers can create a case of favorites and take advantage of free shipping or pick up at a later date.
More than 5,000 full costumes, masks, and accessories for purchase or rent disguise the racks at Happy Daze Costumes. Wearable characters include the big brown dog ($54.99), granting free reign to bark at a party host's other guests, or the straight jacket ($34.99), absolving the wearer of having to hold anyone's drink. The guise depot also carries a large number of accessories for completing getups, such as a sequin scepter ($4.99) for a beauty queen or dainty ghoul. Rentals ($25–$125) include both full costumes and accessories to be kept for a week. Choices include a devastating toreador lady and the ever-popular pumpkin.