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Chasing down ambrosia in Astoria? A trip to Taverna Kyclades

On a cold New Year's Eve, we embarked on the N train to the last stop in Queens - Ditmar's Blvd in Astoria. This would be my first trip to the epicenter of Greek cuisine in NYC and I was pretty psyched. As soon as we stepped off the elevated train platform, we were assailed with the amazing smells of busy bakeries, crowded restaurants and a lively but still laid-back neighborhood vibe.

The Decor: (8/10)

Very relaxed vibe and extremely friendly service - after walking in, I was immediately reminded of some of the family-owned tavernas I visited while in Athens.

Appetizers: (9/10)

Caviar Dip ($5.50)
Caviar mixed with yogurt and various other things combined to make an EXTREMELY tasty dip that tasted of the essence of the ocean.

Greek Salad (Small 6.50)
This is considered a small?? This salad could easily have been a full entree. Good but nothing extraordinary.

Stuffed Grape Leaves ($5.75)
Really nice and tart grape leaves stuffed with rice.

Spinach Pie ($5.80)
Flaky layers, tender spinach filling and buttery goodness - this was probably the perfect home-made spinach pie. Extremely highly recommended.

The main course: (9/10)

Grilled Whole Porgies (MP - $15)
An extremely simple preparation - which was just what I was hoping for. This was really well grilled and simply seasoned with some salt, pepper and olive oil. I'm happiest digging into a fresh fish, grilled and served whole, bones and all (and this little fella had a lot of them) with as little fuss in preparation as possible.

To cap things off:

One final touch - Galaktoboureko - a complimentary pudding dish sprinkled liberally with cinnamon. This was really good and the perfect end to a great evening.

Taverna Kyclades is a great place for some great, simple, traditional Greek food. If you like your fish done simply and extremely well, you won't be disappointed by coming here.

Taverna Kyclades

Taverna Kyclades on Urbanspoon

Directions by subway: Get off the train at the Ditmars Blvd stop. Walk ½ block to Ditmars Blvd and turn right. Walk 1½ blocks to 33-07 Ditmars Blvd. The restaraunt is on your left side.

On a related note, my Athens + Greek Islands photoset

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