Taverna Kyclades

Taverna Kyclades is your first stop for what Zagat calls "perfectly cooked seafood at a modest price". Step in and immediately feel at home as our friendly staff cater to your every need. Enjoy brilliant dishes made with the freshest ingredients including seafood brought in every morning from the fish-market.

It is always a good sign when a restaurant is crowded, you know right off that it has got something going for it. And in Astoria, in a Greek place, you know it is authentic. Taverna Kyclades is right on my corner, all the way out in Astoria, on the last stop on the N train, yet it is always packed, and gets amazing reviews. I'll have to add mine to that list — even after the up-and-down experience we had at dinner.

Reservations aren't accepted and with my parents in town, we came around 8:30 to put our name on the list for a table. There's no bar, or real waiting area, so we stood on the sidewalk, waiting almost an hour for a table. I eventually got a few menus for us to look at and ordered a round of drinks to hold us over. Eventually we got an outside table and sat down to dinner.

It was worth the wait. We started with a few appetizers, including Fried Calamari, Fried Squash and Eggplant with Garlic Dip, and Pan-Fried Greek Cheese. Note the 'fried' theme. All these dishes were great — to start, I love cheese, and the fried cheese was salty and chewy and hot, with a spritz of lemon juice it was delicious. Along with these appetizers we ordered a carafe of Greek red wine which was good, and reasonably priced.

Continuing our fried theme, we ordered a plate of fried sardines (mom's favorite) as an entree, along with a Swordfish Kebab with Vegetables. I'm not the biggest sardine fan, but these were good even with the bones. The swordfish was tender and moist.

Then, as we were each sampling our variety of dishes, and as the restaurant continued to be very busy, a waiter ran by our table, knocking the entire carafe of wine over and into my white linen shirt. It was a mess, and I quickly went to the bathroom to clean up. As I was walking back to the table, the manager approached me to ask how they could help me with my shirt, and offered to clean it and replace it. By the time I returned to the table, the waiter had cleaned up the mess and replaced the carafe of wine. A few minutes later they quietly gave me some cash to buy a new shirt. So really, even with the unfortunate circumstances, the staff handled it very well, and luckily for me, I was able to get my shirt clean just by soaking it overnight in a little laundry detergent - so in the end we came out ahead!

Even with the spill and the wait, I was really happy with this meal, and I'm sure I'll be back the next time I'm in the mood for some good seafood. There's lots more on the menu that I'd like to try, and plenty of what we had, I'd order again.

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