Restaurant Review: Taverna Kyclades, Astoria, New York

By Paul Riegler on 28 November 2018
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It happened all of a sudden: the words “the octopus,” followed by an invitation to dinner at Taverna Kyclades, a Greek restaurant in the Astoria neighborhood in New York City, at a time when, for several days, I had been thinking about Greek food.

I would be the advance party, more due to chance, to secure a table because waits of 45 minutes or more were common, my host told me. But I was assured that the octopus would make up for the wait.

After parking across the street, I walked in and was warmly greeted by one of the two hostesses, who took my name and mobile number, promising a 30 to 45 minute wait and suggesting a stroll around what is a very nice neighborhood. It didn’t seem as if 30 minutes had passed when my mobile rang. Busboys were setting up the table but the hostess insisted I sit and enjoy a glass of the house white wine while this took place. No one else in my party had yet arrived but the tavern doesn’t stand on ceremony or quibble about details. I was seated, fresh bread and olive oil were brought, and I took in the atmosphere.

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People were flooding in and, while there was clearly a noticeable Greek contingent in customers (Astoria is a very Greek neighborhood), there was also a smörgåsbord of ethnicities representing what makes the New York metro area so great.

The fresh baked bread looked so tempting that I snuck a piece while waiting for the three people who were en route. Everyone around me was enjoying what could only be described as wonderful food. The way plates were being brought reminded me more of a banquet than a restaurant.

The remainder of our party arrived and we got started on the matter at hand: what to eat. I suggested we order for the table. Done! Soon the banquet was at our table as well.

Click here to continue to Page 2Grilled Octopus and Stuffed Grape Leaves

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