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Niko's Big Fat Greek Restaurant

2298 River Road, Wheatfield (743-1410) *** (out of four)

This week's review marks the third time in recent weeks for visiting a re-opened restaurant.

That's "re-opened" as in, one place taking over for another that had failed and closed. It seems like there are more and more such examples. In some cases -- this week is a prime example -- the location has been home to several different businesses.

It's good that Niko's Big Fat Greek Restaurant has taken over the little place on River Road that once housed Green Acres, and another restaurant after that, and maybe even another one before Niko's came along.

We visited Niko's before the dreaded ultra-low-fat diet was ordered for yours truly. It's a good thing, too, because I don't know what I would have chosen from the Big, Fat menu that would have fit my 10-percent-fat-or-less regimen.

Niko's is good eating.

It seems like a very friendly place, about a dozen tables comfortably arranged with an open view of the kitchen. Couple that ambience with good food and good prices and you've got the recipe for success.

I was still watching my intake when we stopped in. Hence, I had only an order of Spanakopita ($3.75), which I split with No. 1 daughter, and a bowl of the seafood bisque ($3).

Let's start with the bisque: awesome. Brimming with clams, shrimp and crab meat, it was a thick, creamy concoction that quickly took off the day's chill.

Nicely seasoned, nicely done. Ditto for the Spanakopita, a thin and flaky pastry stuffed with feta cheese and spinach. It's a traditional Greek favorite and you won't be disappointed.

One daughter supplemented her pastry with a cheeseburger, reporting that it was very good.

My wife decided on one of the night's specials, Shrimp Fiesta over pasta ($8.95). She said it had a nice "ting" to it, spice-wise, and was surprisingly tasty.

Daughter No. 2 went for the haddock fish fry, also enjoyable.

Desserts ran from $2.50 to $3.50, and we couldn't decide between baklava or the Greek rice pudding, so got both and shared.

The baklava, like the Spanakopita, was tender and flaky, with a gooey honey filling. Sweet and tasty. Definitely delicious.

There's a kid's menu and several senior specials, as well, so everyone is well cared-for. Another touch that should help assure Niko's a long and prosperous life.

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