You'll feel like you've stepped onto a Aegean isle when you enjoy an evening at Ploes - the ambiance and food make this the next best thing to being there.

Ploes RestaurantDinner at a Greek restaurant in Astoria has got to be authentic, and Ploes is so authentic we couldn't even read the name of the restaurant on its sign: PLOES. The restaurant is decorated very nicely to the effect of a wine cellar. It has an arched brick ceiling and mosaic tiled tables.

We ordered several appetizers for a lighter dinner and enjoyed a carafe of the house red wine. Overall the dinner was good, and exciting! Our first dish was Saganaki, which is imported Greek Kefalograviera cheese, pan-fried in olive oil, then flambéed table-side! The cheese was very good, it came as a slightly crispy wedge probably 6 inches long, and about a half-inch thick. We felt that the brandy used to flambé it and the lemon juice the drizzled over the top added a weird flavor.

We also tried a mushroom saganaki, (manitaria) which was a portobello mushroom grilled with the same cheese and sautéed in red wine sauce. This was delicious and definitely was a favorite. The only thing I noticed was that the cheese slipped off of the top of the mushroom making it hard to cut the two together. I thought it was odd that the cheese was melted on the top of the mushroom rather than the gills. Regardless it was very very good, the sauce was almost like barbecue sauce and was slightly chunky with tomatoes and onions.

Finally we tried a meatball dish served with sliced mushroom and an herb sauce. These were tasty - but we really kept going back to the portobello. They surprised us with a little plate of bite sized backlava at the end of the meal which was a great way to finish a nice dinner. Overall, maybe a little pricey, but sticking with the appetizers kept the bill down and still satisfied our appetite - and the carafe of wine was a great deal!

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