Taverna Kyclades

Every Astorian claims a favorite Greek grill and judging by its brisk business, Taverna Kyclades tops many a local list. Perhaps that’s because the lively space furnishes a better-than-average meal at a moderate tab. Its French window-lined, Aegean-blue-ceilinged dining room is tightly packed with lacquered wood tables as neighbors share recommendations and even tastes. Seafood entrées may be grilled or fried; we recommend the former, especially the lightly broiled, meaty scallops accompanied by crisply fried potato rounds. Greek salads are prosaic, so go with a solicitous customer’s tip and order the zesty spreads—tarama cod roe, potato-garlic skordalia, or yogurt-cucumber tzatziki. Dessert—galaktoboureko custard—is on the house. In warm weather, a patio supplies an open-air mixture of the Long Island Sound, breezes, and cigarette smoke. Clearly Ardian “the Giant” Skenderi, the six foot six owner-chef who’s an expert with fish, has a healthier slant than the patio’s Marlboro men. — Karen Tina Harrison

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