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GYROS AROUND THE CLOCK

Help! It's 4 a.m. and a souvlaki is calling!

We've come to expect that Greek restaurants should be able to satisfy our needs at any hour of the day or night. And the Greek eateries along Elmwood Avenue do a pretty good job.

Pano's and Plato-Oh are both open 24 hours a day, every day.

The Towne comes darn close. It's open 7 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. daily.

Mykonos is open 24 hours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The rest of the week, its hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The other two restaurants keep adequate hours. The Acropolis is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Ambrosia is open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

More good news for the gung-ho Greek gourmand: Though we limited our ramble to the long-established venues, there are two new kids on the block.

Stavros Malliaris, who owns Ambrosia, has just opened Nektar, almost next-door, at 451 Elmwood Ave. Described as a "martini bar/wooden-oven/grill," Nektar has an upscale flavor. "A trendy bar, with flatbread and pizzas, southern Mediterranean cuisine," Malliaris says. "Lamb chops, steaks, striped sea bass, a couple of pasta dishes, olive oils, fresh herbs, Greek tomato relish, polentas, gorgonzola mashed potatoes. . . . You can see I'm a little excited."

Nektar will be open daily from 4 p.m. until 2 or 3 in the morning.

The other newcomer is Astoria restaurant, which opened in June at 423 Elmwood Ave. An intimate, pretty place with a couple of tables out front, its hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; and 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday. Look for gyros, souvlakis, pastitsio and other Greek specialties.

"We're the best Greek restaurant on the strip," Astoria boasts.

Let the games begin.

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