Review: Taverna Kyclades in Astoria
On a Friday night, after our names were taken down for the table wait, we were told that we can wait in a bar about 2 blocks down in the same street where the first round is on the house (i.e. by Kyclades). So, for about 24 minutes, we conversed over a glass of wine at the nearby Les Amis bar. Nice gesture by Kyclades.
Kyclades is basically family-style dining, very loud, bright and extremely busy.
As I don't know many (or hardly any) Greek wines, we odered what I would consider the only Greek wine that struck some familiarity with me, a Santorini 2005. This pale straw, greyish, pinot gris-like, was slightly off-dry, but with restrained acidity and with layers of minerals at the finish. It was refreshing and went well with food. $26 for the bottle.
The cold antipasti was too much for the 2 of us. It was basically 3 dips of skordalia, tzatziki, taramosalat and, imho, the best was the taramosalata or the Greek version of caviar. It was tasty and not fishy and, in general, less bland than the other 2 dips. My wife loved all 3 dips.
For our mains, we had the fried clamari and a whole, grilled sea bass. While we were not enamored with the calamari as it was bland and lacking of flavor, the fish was the highlight of the dinner. Fileted and deboned, it was fresh and sweet, with good and tasty charred portions of the skin. This was well executed. It had just the appropriate hint of olive oil and lemon drizzling which, when usually over done would have detracted away from the fresh flavor of the fish. $26.
I noticed other appealing fish dishes being served to happy and contented diners all around us and I conclude that fresh fish dishes would be the primary reason for my next trek to Kyclades in Astoria.
I am a big fan of Kyclades. I love all the fish and seafood dishes, especially the grilled shrimp and the scallops. I disagree about the calamari. I find it amazingly fresh and tender. I think it is great with a squeeze of lemon. It is definitely one of my favorite restaurants in Astoria.
Kyclades is super. I've had a few things there, but can highly recommend the grilled octopus. It's tender and flavorful and quite beautiful. Also, having looked over quite a few diners' shoulders, it seemed like the grilled calamari was the thing to order, not the fried calamari. Just a hunch.