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Dinner in Astoria

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ebell10 Jun 12, 2014 09:20 AM

Hey Chowhounders,

I live in Brooklyn and I've got a few friends visiting this weekend and want to show off Astoria to them (I know not in Brooklyn). Anyways thinking of dinner at one of the following places (none of which I've been to):

Zenon Taverna
Vesta
Nameste
Seva

Thoughts? Anywhere else we should go instead? Budget is probably around 30-50 per person including alcohol and BYOB is a huge plus!

We're all open to cuisines, no dietary restrictions, all love food and good wine and definitely good beer.

Thanks guys!

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    queenseats RE: ebell10 Jun 12, 2014 01:22 PM

    If you're trying to "show off Astoria," I think you'd be better off with sticking to what sets this neighborhood apart from others. While I enjoy Seva, it's not destination worthy. Never tried Namaste, and from what I've heard, it's nothing terribly exciting. I love Vesta but there are similar spots across the city and certainly in Brooklyn. I think it would be smart to focus on Greek or Middle Eastern cuisines. Zenon (for Cypriot), Kyclades for seafood, Kabob Café or Mombar (BYOB) for Egyptian. Lots of great places on Steinway in Little Egypt. Really like Duzan. This will give your visitors more of a taste of the neighborhood, in my opinion.

    8 Replies
    1. re: queenseats
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      ebell10 RE: queenseats Jun 13, 2014 08:11 AM

      Thank you this is super useful! Right now Zenon, Gregory's 26, and Mombar are up there. Although we may just go to Vesta even if I could find it elsewhere- it just seems so nice!

      1. re: ebell10
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        queenseats RE: ebell10 Jun 13, 2014 09:25 AM

        Vesta is a gem, for sure, and probably my favorite restaurant in the neighborhood. But if the goal is to show off Astoria for what makes it unique, I'd go with something else. Also, how large is your party? May need reservations as some of these places fill up.

        1. re: queenseats
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          ebell10 RE: queenseats Jun 13, 2014 09:27 AM

          it's 5-6 and yeah I've been concerned about that! I was thinking of a later dinner, starting around 9 PM

          1. re: ebell10
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            ebell10 RE: ebell10 Jun 13, 2014 12:58 PM

            Just a heads up- made a reservation at Zenon will let you know how it goes! Thinking of going to Vesta for brunch or dinner tomorrow. Is their brunch good? Previously had brunch at Sugarfreak and it was pretty tasty (plus the bloody marys were free). Is Vesta worth spending more for? Thank you you've been super helpful!

            1. re: ebell10
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              queenseats RE: ebell10 Jun 16, 2014 08:24 AM

              Sorry just seeing your post now. Hope you made it to both and please report back. I love the brunch at Vesta. I think it is one of their strong suits. I think it's a great value.

              1. re: queenseats
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                ebell10 RE: queenseats Jun 16, 2014 11:44 AM

                Loved Vesta for brunch. I thought the cocktails were so-so but my pancakes were perfect. I don't normally order pancakes but these were the kind I like (any maybe others don't like...) kinda dense but still light and slightly underdone. Wonderful. I will definitely go back for dinner and for brunch again and again. I've also been to Pachanga, which is one of their other restaurants and thought Vesta was way better. So good.

                I wasn't as big of a fan of Zenon. We ordered way too much food and some of it was wonderful (really liked the meatballs and the lamb) but I wasn't incredibly impressed. Sorry to be a downer! I think I would go back and order much much less next time and maybe then it would be better? I guess nothing stood out because there was just too much... The waitress was lovely though and they had some nice cheap wines.

                Must do even more exploring next weekend! Astoria is so much fun for food! I should check out some other Queens neighborhoods too.

                1. re: ebell10
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                  queenseats RE: ebell10 Jun 16, 2014 12:33 PM

                  Thanks for the reviews! Glad you enjoyed Vesta. I hear you about Zenon. I enjoy it, and actually had my wedding rehearsal dinner there because it's a nice space for a group and a good value. But there are other spots in the neighborhood that excel more, particularly with seafood. I'm guessing you did one of the mezze meals at Zenon which can be overwhelming and a bit redundant, flavor wise. For your future explorations of Astoria, I also recommend Mar's. It is not cheap by any means but excellent quality seafood in a beautiful space. For more traditional Greek seafood fare, I'd recommend Kyclades (controversial on this board, but I've never been disappointed). Heard good things about Gregory's, as well as eTaverna and Kopiaste but have not yet been. For more upscale and modern take on Greek I really enjoyed MP Taverna.

                  Lots to experience in this neighborhood. Hope you're back for more!

                  1. re: ebell10
                    Gastronomos RE: ebell10 Jul 16, 2014 07:32 AM

                    If Cypriot Greek is on the mind you may try Kopiaste. A bit different from Zenon, but not mind blowing either.
                    Agnanti is another spot you may try.

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        AubWah RE: ebell10 Jun 12, 2014 01:53 PM

        Gregorys 26 Taverna

        3 Replies
        1. re: AubWah
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          ebell10 RE: AubWah Jun 13, 2014 08:09 AM

          I'm interested in this place but I'm concerned it may be overhyped. Anyone else been here? I know it's well priced- which is great- but I guess I read Yelp reviews (I know, yelp sucks) that made it seem like it wasn't always worth it? Sorry, really not trying to say you don't know what you're talking about, I just want some second opinions if available!

          1. re: ebell10
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            AubWah RE: ebell10 Jun 13, 2014 09:12 PM

            Its under hyped. Its like Athens without the economic turmoil

            1. re: AubWah
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              ebell10 RE: AubWah Jun 16, 2014 11:44 AM

              Lol will definitely check it out next time then! Thanks for letting me know :)

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          saria RE: ebell10 Jun 12, 2014 04:43 PM

          BZ Grill for pork gyros.
          Artopolis
          Pye Boat Noodle seems to be garnering very positive attention.

          1 Reply
          1. re: saria
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            ebell10 RE: saria Jun 13, 2014 08:10 AM

            Pye Boat Noodle seems really interesting. I think I'm feeling Greek tonight, but for another time definitely. Thank you!

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