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Taverna Kyklades Efharisto (Thanks)

guttergourmet Jan 18, 2010 04:50 AM

I haven't been to Greece since I was 18 (30 years ago) but Taverna Kyklades took me back to the Piraeus in Athens. The warm bread and olive oil and freshly grilled pita made scooping the already delicious garlicly skordalia and fluffy taramosalata even better. The loukanika was the best grilled Greek sausage I've ever had. Then I ordered the quail. A brace would have been enough for anyone but the birds came out as 3 perfectly splayed charcoal tasting triplets. Mrs. GG's butterflied grilled snapper was so fresh I swear it was giving me the eye. My daughter's mound of tender fried calamari was bigger than her head and I was jealous of my Mom's crab stuffed shrimp despite my beautifully flakey swordfish steak. The horta (steamed dandelion greens) were like the best of spinach and broccoli rabe combined and the lemon potatoes were spectacular. A carafe of retsina cut the richness of the meal as did the complimentary galaktoboureko-the Greek equivalent of creme brulee, panna cotta, flan and baklava all rolled up into one buttery, syrupy phylo covered sweet cinnamon custardy dessert.

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Taverna Kyclades
3307 Ditmars Blvd, Queens, NY 11105

  1. p
    Pookipichu Jan 31, 2010 01:28 PM

    I HATE Taverna Kyclades.

    I grew up in a Greek family eating the most delicious home cooked Greek meals, homemade keftedes, moist, tender finikia cookies made from scratch, fresh grilled fish with olive oil. I have yet to find a single Greek restaurant in Astoria that comes close.

    I waited 1.5 hours for a table and by that time I was starving, everything should have tasted delicious, even if not so. The wait itself didn't bother me, I will wait for great food and I love Greek food because of my background. I was hoping that Taverna Kyclades would be my go-to restaurant for Greek in Queens since the reviews had been spectacular.

    With excitement, I ordered fried calamari, which was tough, rubbery, overcooked. Greek salad was mediocre, uninspired with salty feta. The waiter recommended baby shark, which was overcooked and dry. Dandelion greens were lifeless, overcooked. Lemon potatoes were oversalted. Chicken kebab was overcooked, dry, tough and oversalted. The lamb was overcooked, salty and gamey. The only decent item was the tzatziki. Lastly they were all out of dessert.

    I was so embarrassed that I had taken my parents to such a terrible restaurant after promising them the best Greek food in Queens. I had much better fish at Elias Corner.

    As for homestyle Greek food, Helios in Brooklyn is far superior, without the wait or crowds. And their lamb is never gamey or oversalted. Nor is their chicken ever dry.

    Taverna Kyclades is nowhere near the quality of Molyvos, Periyali or Estiatorio Milos and I don't see any merit in it as a "destination" restaurant. I do not understand why it is popular much the same way I don't understand the popularity of Juniors, Jackson Diner or Joe's Shanghai. Dingy establishments serving mediocre food based on some positive review given decades ago.

    Perhaps I went on an off night, very possible. Every restaurant has one, now and then, but the meal was SO terrible, I am hard pressed to give it another chance.

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    Taverna Kyclades
    3307 Ditmars Blvd, Queens, NY 11105

    9 Replies
    1. re: Pookipichu
      lambretta76 Feb 25, 2011 03:32 PM

      Helios went out of business, if you're talking about the one in Park Slope.

      1. re: lambretta76
        p
        Pookipichu Feb 25, 2011 03:36 PM

        You are correct, Helios (Park Slope) is gone. My post was from over a year ago... resurrected by an absurd person I have no energy to reply to.

        1. re: Pookipichu
          Steve R Feb 26, 2011 05:56 AM

          We've been going to Kyclades for 20 years or so and, a couple of months ago, brought some friends who'd never been (inclulding a CH member). Unfortunately, I think you hit the nail on the head in your comparison to the other old icons. It aint what it used to be by a long shot. Yes, the fish was fresh and its a lot better than the current Elias Corner (another place long past its prime) but it's far from a destination place any longer. Our friends thought it okay, maybe even a little better than that, but not much more. I was more critical, having its past to compare it to and realizing that nothing was all that any more. Too bad. And it was crowded, so I doubt they'll be feeling the pinch and making any changes. Oh well.

          If its helpful in any way, let me say that, if I am in the neighborhood and wanted a fresh fish dinner at a Greek place in Astoria, I'd still go here. It's not a "must avoid" place, simply a mediocre neighborhood place with a better than that history. I cant say the same about Jackson Diner, as it's not even mediocre anymore, never could about Juniors (it never had good food... really), and probably would use Joe's the same way, if there werent a line and I needed a giant meatball and soup dumpling fix. There are places that keep up their reputations as destination spots over the years... diFara's & Ali's Kebab Cafe are 2 that come to my mind. Kyclades aint one of them.

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          Elias Corner
          24-02 31st St, Queens, NY 11102

          Taverna Kyclades
          3307 Ditmars Blvd, Queens, NY 11105

          1. re: Steve R
            p
            Pookipichu Sep 20, 2011 08:37 AM

            Went back to Kyclades... again. I don't know why I keep expecting a different result, but was craving Greek food and the far superior, relatively unknown, Helios (of Park Slope) sadly has remained closed.

            The service has not improved. They are constantly busy and I understand that will wear down anyone's friendliness but the waitstaff, especially the bussers, just seem put out.

            The tzatziki remains the best thing I've eaten at Kyclades. Horta was cooked to oblivion, lemon potatoes much too sour. The Greek Hamburger was overcooked and the sauce accompanying the calamari has no seasoning.

            The calamari was edible this time, praise Neptune. But still far from the best rendition I've had. Grilled scallops were decent-very good.

            They didn't run out of dessert this time and I had their galaktoboureko, too sweet for my tastes but nicely flavored with cinnamon. Why is this place so popular...

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            Taverna Kyclades
            3307 Ditmars Blvd, Queens, NY 11105

            1. re: Pookipichu
              s
              SpiceJunkies Sep 24, 2011 08:24 AM

              I live in the neighborhood, so I see the lines every weekend taking up almost a whole block on Ditmars. I think it is so busy because the locals have long declared it the best so Greeks from the entire NYC area stop in whenever they make the trip back to the old hood.

              While the meals I've had there, though few, have always been a top notch example of the style, there are just sooooooo many other options in Astoria. I usually look at the line in awe, and walk to Stamatis.

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              Stamatis
              29-09 23rd Ave, Queens, NY 11105

      2. re: Pookipichu
        janie Feb 25, 2011 03:39 PM

        wow, what a scathing review.... I 've never been always wanted to go....anyone go recently with any info on their scallops......since there are hundreds of positive reviews and lines all the time, I would venture to think it was an off night...what are your favorite places in queens? I do agree with about Juniors, Jackson Diner and Joe's Shanghai....

        1. re: janie
          d
          diprey11 Feb 25, 2011 03:46 PM

          See, and now you don't, apparently. ;-) which I humbly think is right. (Nice Bernoulli curve, btw)
          IMHO, the place crashed down in flames quite some time ago: the parallel with Joe Shanghai feels very true to me.

          1. re: janie
            p
            Pookipichu Feb 25, 2011 03:52 PM

            I had a TERRIBLE experience at Kyclades, the whole thing from start to finish was a mess. The huge wait, the salad, the feta, the baby shark, etc. etc.

            I am very aware that every restaurant can have an off night/meal and the reason I made my parents drive an hour to the restaurant was because of all the glowing reviews. I never wish a bad meal on anyone and hopefully others have had better experiences.

            Favorites:

            La Fusta,
            Nan Xian
            Sripraphai
            Hunan House
            Hunan Kitchen
            Rincon Criollo
            Nixtamal
            Southern Spice
            JJ's
            M. Wells
            Tournesol

            off the top of my head. I like a lot of restaurants.

            1. re: Pookipichu
              j
              jta Feb 26, 2011 08:38 AM

              Have you tried the grilled shrimp or kalamari there? i think it may change your mind.
              Also, noone has mentioned Bahari on Broadway just before 33rd street.

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              Bahari
              31-14 Broadway, Queens, NY 11106

        2. a
          Amy Mintzer Jan 19, 2010 07:43 AM

          How mouthwatering! Where is it?

          5 Replies
          1. re: Amy Mintzer
            squid kun Jan 19, 2010 08:58 AM

            .

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            Taverna Kyclades
            3307 Ditmars Blvd, Queens, NY 11105

            1. re: squid kun
              f
              foodwhisperer Sep 23, 2011 09:09 PM

              That's my favorite Greek place in queens. To think i went to Uncle Georges for so many years before i found Kyclades. Its better than Telly's Taverna also. Good Retsina there too

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              Telly's Taverna
              28-13 23rd Ave, Queens, NY 11105

              Uncle George's
              33-19 Broadway, Queens, NY 11106

              1. re: foodwhisperer
                i
                irvingk Sep 24, 2011 08:07 AM

                Kyclades is abolutely the best in Astoria in my opinion.

            2. re: Amy Mintzer
              j
              JacquieLH Jan 19, 2010 10:56 AM

              If it's the same one that I like, which judging by the description, it is, it's in Astoria.

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              Taverna Kyclades
              3307 Ditmars Blvd, Queens, NY 11105

              1. re: JacquieLH
                f
                FAL Jan 31, 2010 11:49 AM

                Great place .

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