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Need suggestions in Astoria

A friend of mine just moved to Astoria and I'm meeting her there for dinner next week. She is not a foodie, so I don't particularly trust her to come up with any interesting ideas, but she'll probably be open to trying whatever I suggest. My own eating experiences in the neighborhood have been limited to Elias Corner and the Bohemian Hall. I'd like to try whatever people think is tops in the neighborhood for food these days, be it Greek or otherwise (although I do love a good grilled fish). Someone mentioned 718, and I once had drinks there but as I recall the menu didn't look too exciting, or maybe it just didn't seem to be exactly what I thought I'd find in Astoria. Thoughts? Recommendations? Thanks.

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  1. Make sure you stop and get some smoked salmon at Josephson's. We used to live near Astoria, and now we order it every year during the holidays.

    1 Reply
    1. re: gridder

      I think you are talking about a place in Oregon, the poster is talking about a neighborhood in Queens, New York City.

    2. Try Uncle George's (Greek) or Brick Cafe (Euro bistro).

      8 Replies
      1. re: pemeott

        update: so my friend is now suggesting we try Ovelia. I did a search and it sounds promising, but there aren't a whole lot of specifics yet. Anyone have any more details of experiences there?

        1. re: equilibrist

          I personally think it is absolutely nothing to brag about
          went when it first opened (not sure if it changed) but the food was o.k. did not fit the whole decor
          what i mean is; the place looks like it would have an interesting menu but the food consists of ex. calamari that tastes like old diner oil---- loukoumades at the end of meal which are drenched in oil etc. the only dish i really liked was the eggplant salad (melintzanosalata) THAT'S IT!! Service was very good Would I go again? NO

          1. re: equilibrist

            OOPS do i have the right place?????
            Is it on 34 street and 30 avenue in astoria

            1. re: pcorntail

              thanks for the tip. Well, as it turns out she already went once and loved it, so that's where we're going. I won't hold my breath, but I'll look forward at least to trying a fig martini--something I can't quite imagine.

              1. re: equilibrist

                I have heard wonderful things about Ovelia over on Astorians:
                http://www.astorians.com/index.php?to...

          2. re: pemeott

            I don't get it
            what is good at Uncle Georges?
            can you give me an example
            because i have never had a good experience na d I Hate uncle georges
            I keep saying it over and over

            1. re: pcorntail

              i only go there for lamb bbq and kokoretsi (stuffed lamb intestines), for sides you have to order lemon potatoes and/or lentils. I Love Uncle George's for their lamb bbq and unpretentious atmosphere, their kilo of house wine is very drinkable. And if it's Thursday or Sunday, it's lamb head day - can't beat that if you're into organ meats.

              1. re: pcorntail

                There are several fantastic appetizers like the garlic potatoes and tzatziki. For an entree, try the shrimp with feta.

            2. Ovelia, Love it. Seems to be the best Greek food in the neighborhood these days. Chef is a 30yr Greek chef with the skills to prove it. Sit outside on the ultra comfortable seats. The Grilled red snapper rocks along with the 3 kind dip appetizer, Mixed meat grill, orange sausage and the rice pudding for dessert.

              6 Replies
              1. re: pulled pork

                Can you please list the address?
                Thanks

                  1. re: pcorntail

                    Ovelia's at 30th Av. and 34th St. We went this past weekend. The house cocktails were good, the food fine. Nothing earth-shattering or wildly creative, but Greek doesn't have to be. Liked the grilled fish with a side of broccoli rabe and the broiled octopus app: clean flavors and done just right, ditto the lamb chops The loukaniko seemed like a nice rendition of the usual sausage, but I'm not sure it needs to be deep-fried. I prefer mine grilled.

                    The complimentary loukoumades were the sweetest, syrupiest ones I've ever had, and with loukoumades in Astoria, that's saying a lot. It was as though they were filled with the syrup they were soaking in. Fortunately, I got my frappe unsweetened, which took the edge off.

                    Service was friendly and attentive, even when seated outside during a weekend dinner crush.

                  2. re: pulled pork

                    I'm not sure about Ovelia being the best. Agnanti wins out for me, plus I prefer the atmosphere. The one time I was at Ovelia there was loud dance music with way too much bass. Has that changed?

                    1. re: magicmouse

                      Nah, it isn't the "best"; I think for some people, the fact that it's young and modern counts for something: bartenders who know what they're doing, sauteed broccoli rabe instead of limp horta, and music that isn't stuck in Athens circa 1987, things like that. Some of the old-line cafes and restaurants are playing the same songs they were playing 12 years ago when I first moved to the neighborhood. Imagine what it's like if you're a Greek Astorian in your twenties and those same songs have been following you home, too, all these years. ;)

                      Loud depends on what you're comparing it to. It's loud compared to a lot of Astoria Greek restaurants without live entertainment, definitely not quiet, but even when we were waiting inside at the bar we had no difficulty conversing.

                      1. re: hatless

                        I've eaten at Ovelia twice now, and the second time was indeed better. I actually sat at the bar alone and it was very pleasant. I got their homemade sausage platter, kind of a deconstructed gyro. Very good. They also have an interesting liquor sitting behind the bar: figs in mextaca, which they mix with white cranberry juice and maybe something else for their house cocktail. I will absolutely try this next time!