E Taverna, lovely neighborhood Greek restaurant in Astoria: pile up the small plates
I enjoyed my second visit last night to E Taverna, a charming small neighborhood restaurant in Astoria (23rd Ave & 27th St) with a menu of Greek classics and some less common dishes. I love their current menu offering small plates of many of their menu items. This allowed the two of us to affordably ($37 and change, including one glass of retsina) try 6 dishes, each of which we fully enjoyed.
Both times I've gone I was struck by the warm, welcoming service. The wonderful food delighted my omnivore husband as much as my several vegetarian dishes did me. He raved about his loukaniko (Greek sausage) and avgolemono (egg, lemon and chicken soup). We also had an unusually tasty Greek salad, okra, gigantes ("giant beans"), lemon potatoes, and lentil soup. Fresh bread is delivered to the table with tyrokefteri, a wonderful spicy feta spread. Many Greek standards, very well prepared, with excellent, fresh ingredients. We skipped dessert, with treats waiting at home from an earlier stop at Cannelle Patisserie in Jackson Heights.
Twice now experiencing consistent quality across multiple dishes, a comfortable, hospitable setting, and reasonable prices has made me an admirer. Although we reveled in the wonderful warm early October evening at an outside table last night (where I'd enjoyed a previous solo visit), trips into the restaurant revealed an unusually pleasant low noise/sound volume with lovely traditional Greek music. I think E Taverna’s likely to now become a regular in our repertoire. I hope this place doesn't get lost in the Astoria crowd with its consistent quality and lack of bombast.
Part of why this place is so fabulous is that the owners are connected to Titan supermarket and the now defunct Aegean Cove restaurant...which was also fabulous. A friend of mine knows them and was able to confirm this. Needless to say I came across E Taverna by accident and it is my fave Greek restaurant for sure!
Oh, okay - that's interesting. I hadn't heard about those connections. Somehow I'd been assuming that there were some lingering connections to the previous tenant there, Foodoni, which had been a turn-off and why I didn't check them out for a long time, even though I live close by. This new information makes more sense.