May 28, 2010 by Dana
When my friend Jill lived in Astoria, Zenon Taverna was our usual haunt. Periodically, I would venture out to Astoria (which, at the time, was foreign territory to me) and we would enjoy some QT over authentic Greek food.
But somewhere along the line, after Jill had moved out of Queens and before I moved into the borough, I had forgotten about the restaurant. That is, until it was featured in the New York Times last weekend.
So, when my friend Cara and I were deciding where to meet for dinner last night, the little Greek place was fresh in my mind. We made a reservation, just in case everyone who had read the article was thinking the same thing as us, and headed to Astoria.
From the outside, you can see the usual signs of an authentic, family owned Greek restaurant: proudly framed articles and reviews in the doorway, a faux thatched roof above the storefront, carefully potted plants on the sidewalk, and, of course, the blue and white flag displayed prominently in the window.
Inside, the décor is just right. Wood floors, trim, and chairs give you the rustic feel of a small Greek village setting. Murals of Greek scenes are painted on the walls, and blue and white tablecloths further authenticate the experience.
But the real winner is the food. I ordered the Freska Lahanika sta Karvouna (Fresh Char-grilled Vegetable Platter), which is an appetizer and entrée all rolled into one. Salad is served first (definitely opt for the addition of freshly imported feta cheese), and is followed by a dish full of colorful vegetables, lightly seasoned with lemon, oregano and garlic, and grilled to perfection. Broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, eggplant, green peppers, mushrooms, olives and a perfectly roasted tomato are accompanied by a delicious potato based garlic dip, called scordalia, and a basket full of warm pita triangles and olive bread.
Zenon Taverna is a must try for anyone looking for a deliciously prepared meal at a reasonable price. Just don’t come here on a first date – garlic is the star at this Greek taverna. Or at least remember to bring a mint for the ride home ;)