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Michael Psilakis's NEXT restaurant

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We're only three months into 2008, and already chef Michael Psilakis has opened an immediately packed restaurant, Mia Dona, in midtown and announced that he's moving his crazy-popular casual-Greek spot, Kefi, to a bigger location on the Upper West Side. But nature, and Psilakis, abhors a vacuum, so he already has a pretty good idea as to what he'll put in the old Kefi space, at 222 West 79th Street. As New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni (whom I seem to be referencing in every post) recently blogged, it will revolve around the grill. Now, Psilakis has more details: "It will focus on healthy eating," he says. "The way they eat in the Mediterranean, everything comes off the grill, and it all has that wonderful char flavor." He's not sure when he'll close the existing Kefi to renovate the space and install the grills, which aren't there yet—that depends on how fast construction on the new Kefi site on Columbus Avenue proceeds—but he imagines that the new place will open before the new Kefi does, and that the new Kefi will open in August (he says that Kefi will only be closed for about two weeks). But that's surely not Psilakis's last restaurant concept. He's decided to use the 79th street space as a kind of laboratory to experiment with different restaurant concepts that he can then install in bigger spaces. So stay tuned; I imagine in another three months we'll hear about Psilakis's next genius idea for a restaurant.

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