Inspired by the traditions and heritage of the Greek islands and mainland, Molyvos has been one of New York’s most beloved Greek restaurants since its opening in 1997. Named after the seaside village on the Greek island of Lesvos where the Livanos family roots originate, Molyvos is known throughout Manhattan for its rustic Greek country cooking. Executive Chef Carlos Carreto takes diners on a Grecian culinary journey through a variety of mezedes and appetizers, as well as hyper-local specialty Greek cheese and honey, fresh fish, wild greens and savory pies – all accompanied by the largest all-Greek wine list in the U.S.
Molyvos is proud to have won numerous awards, including Wine Enthusiast’s “100 Best Wine Restaurants” in 2015 and 2016 as well as making their “Five Best Wine Bars in New York City.”
Celebrating the lifestyle and food that represents the delicious, healthful way that people in Greece eat, Molyvos’ main goal is to bring filoxenia – the Greek style of hospitality – to the heart of New York City. The warm, friendly service makes guests feel as if they’re in a Greek home, and the food forms a paean to the variety and seasonality inherent in Greek cuisine. Nestled in Manhattan’s Midtown West neighborhood, just a block away from Carnegie Hall, Molyvos was a pioneer when it first opened, bringing rustic Greek cuisine to a new level of elegance and sophistication amid décor inspired by Greece’s romantic seaside villages. It has held fast to that vision for more than two decades, serving innovative but authentic Greek fare that continues to evolve today.
The backbone of Molyvos’ kitchen, Executive Chef Carlos Carreto has been with Molyvos since the beginning, joining the team in 1997. Proudly upholding the integrity of authentic Greek cooking techniques and flavors, Chef Carlos learned the art of Greek cuisine in-house from Founding Chef Jim Botsacos. Rising through the ranks, Chef Carlos worked side-by-side Chef Jim until he was hand-selected to succeed him to helm the restaurant. Now, Chef Carlos adds his own inflection to our traditional dishes as he executes the daily menus and develops new recipes.
Chef Carlos’ love of food and cooking precedes his time at Molyvos, first learning about flavors and the joy of cooking from his grandmother, who always crafted wonderful meals for the family with the freshest ingredients. When he’s not in Molyvos’ kitchen, Carlos spends his time cooking at home with his three children.
Wine Director and General Manager
Curating the largest all-Greek wine list in the U.S. is the challenge and love of Wine Director and Managing Partner Kamal Kouiri, who has been a part of the Molyvos family since 2001. Kamal is passionate about providing guests with a roadmap to Greek wines, eagerly sharing his expansive insight in approachable ways, from wine pairing recommendations at dinner to guiding guests through their first Ouzo experience.
Traveling to Greece at least once a year, Kamal tours wineries and meets winemakers on both the islands and the mainland to ensure he continues to have the pulse of Greek viticulture. With more than 60 indigenous grape varietals grown throughout Greece to keep track of, Kamal prides himself on continuing to introduce new labels that are exclusively available to diners at Molyvos. This vast, personal knowledge of Greek wine-making is what allows Kamal to showcase boutique and specialty producers from all over Greece, while offering a selection of over 700 labels, including 50 wines by the glass.
Kamal’s dedication to Greek viticulture has been recognized by Wine Enthusiast’s “Award of Unique Distinction” and Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence” in 2012 and 2013, as well as “Best of Award of Excellence” from 2014 through 2019. Unsurprisingly, his passion has also helped Molyvos become one of Wine Enthusiast’s “Five Best Wine Bars in New York City” as well as making their “100 Best Wine Restaurants” in 2015 and 2016.
Paul McLaughlin has been an integral part of the success of Molyvos and other Livanos family restaurants since he joined the Group almost 25 years ago. Originally from Brooklyn, Paul developed a love of food by assisting his Italian grandmother in the kitchen every Sunday. He began his culinary career waiting tables while attending The Joseph I. Lubin School of Business at Pace University. With a passion for a fast-paced environment and guest interaction, Paul began working at Le Bernardin, where he became the first American Captain.
From there, Paul moved on to work as the General Manager at Solera in New York City with esteemed Chef Dominick Cerrone before joining the Livanos Restaurant Group. With Paul’s help, the Group opened two new restaurants – Oceana, the Group’s flagship restaurant, followed by Molyvos, an eatery inspired by the Livanos family’s Greek roots.
A father of three, Paul spends his free time with his wife at their home in the Adirondacks, where he enjoys hiking, boating and cooking for friends and family.
The Livanos Family
The extraordinary legacy of the Livanos family began in 1957 when John Livanos immigrated to the United States from Greece and began his career as a dishwasher, working for his uncle in Manhattan. He purchased his first restaurant in 1960, and later opened the elegant Livanos Restaurant in White Plains, NY, in 1985.
Today, John and his children, Nick, Bill and Corina, own and manage the critically acclaimed Oceana, Molyvos, Ousia, and Oceana Poke in New York City, as well as Moderne Barn in Armonk, NY, and City Limits in White Plains, NY.
Nick, the eldest of the Livanos siblings, grew up working in the family’s restaurants during the school year and spending his summers in Greece. Coming from a family of talented cooks and a long line of commercial fishermen, it didn’t take long for him to fall in love with food; the concepts of freshness and quality were the foundation of his culinary expertise. Nick graduated from Adelphi University with a bachelor’s degree in management, but his life changed when, on a whim, he decided to visit the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, and later enrolled. Today, Nick oversees the business of all Livanos restaurants, sharing duties with Bill and Corina. He enjoys engaging with guests and swapping stories about food, family and life.
Like his older brother, Bill was inspired by their father’s passion and dedication to the family’s restaurants to pursue a career in hospitality. As a child, Bill remembers going to work with his father — first to a diner they owned in West Hempstead, NY, and then the Arch Diner in Brooklyn. Bill learned and worked every position in the Arch Diner and eventually followed in Nick’s footsteps and studied business at Adelphi University. Upon graduating, he worked for several national restaurant chains before returning to the family business to develop the wine program at Livanos Restaurant and eventually participating in the beverage programs for all of the family’s restaurants. Today, Bill manages the Livanos restaurants alongside Nick and Corina, with his main focus on the suburban concepts.
Corina, the youngest of the Livanos siblings, grew up with her father and brothers as her role models in the hospitality industry. After graduating with a degree in management from the University of Rhode Island, she worked her way through the family’s restaurants, eventually joining her brothers as a key member of the management team. One of the most notable moments of her career was opening Moderne Barn in the family’s hometown of Armonk, NY, in 2010, bringing a casual-yet-sophisticated concept to the neighborhood. Even though each Livanos restaurant has its own character, Corina hopes that every guest experiences a few simple things: delicious food with exceptional service in a comfortable, engaging environment.
In 2016, the third generation of restaurateurs, Nick’s eldest sons, Johnny and Enrico, joined the family business as managers at Ousia. Both Johnny and Enrico graduated with degrees in hospitality management and culinary arts – Johnny from Cornell University and the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone Campus in St. Helena, California, and Enrico from Syracuse University and the Culinary Institute of America. Johnny, with his seasoned knowledge of Greek cuisine, wine, cocktails, and hospitality, leads the bar program at Ousia, while Enrico guides Ousia’s service operations to provide a dynamic and memorable dining atmosphere.