Review of Aegean Cove by Seth S.
Greek restaurants in Astoria are like Starbucks in Manhattan; you seem to find on just about every block. With that said, there are many very good or great Greek restaurants in this area. There are bunches I haven’t yet been to, and there are also a few that I have named as my favorite at any given moment. There is the most well known and most highly acclaimed Taverna Kyclades, Bahari Estiatorio (formerly Stamatis…same owner, different name), and fan favorite Agnanti. Not to mention my favorite gyro joint, BZ Grill (to be discussed at a later date and time). I could probably name about a dozen more, but for the sake of getting to the point the restaurant that is my current favorite would be Aegean Cove.
Aegean Cove sticks to the same basic formula that other delicious Greek restaurants in Astoria follow, however Chef Christos Christou takes this formula of traditional home made flavors and mixes in his gourmet experience from his time at a variety of establishments in Manhattan. The food is served in a more formal style which is matched by the phenomenal service. This may be what separates Aegean Cove from many of the other Greek restaurants in Astoria. There are times when you visit one of the aforementioned restaurants and feel like you are intruding on the server’s free time. Here, you are warmly welcomed from the moment you walk in the door and gratefully thanked by the owner and his waiters as you leave. The décor is also very warm and inviting, and you can tell the owners put a lot of effort into it.
When I go to a Greek restaurant I tend to order the dish I feel the Greeks do best: grilled whole fish. In this case I started off the meal by sharing a Greek salad with high quality feta cheese, ripe tomatoes, crisp cucumbers and onions. The Greek salad is superb here and large enough to share as an appetizer.
We also ordered a plate of taramosalata, the delicious creamy fish roe spread that comes with warm pita.
For the main course we ordered a whole Tsipoura (Mediterranean porgy), perfectly grilled with olive oil, lemon and capers. The fish comes with a side item of your choosing. For us this meant the perfectly roasted lemon potatoes. The potato wedges have a perfect slightly crisp edge and a moist, soft middle with a well seasoned lemon flavor that doesn’t overwhelm the taste of potato.
We decided to add horta (boiled dandelion greens with olive oil and lemon) to round out the plate. The freshness of all the ingredients is magnified by the high quality olive oil that brings a real brightness to every bite.
Prices at Aegean Cove are perhaps slightly higher than at some of the other Greek spots; however the service and quality is impeccable. I enjoy the little things like the fresh, homemade hummus and warm pita when you first sit to eat, and I especially enjoy free dessert like the plate of Greek yogurt with sour cherries, honey and walnuts that was served to us after we finished our meal. The restaurant is a little out of the way so public transportation may be tough to use, but if you find yourself in a car or taxi and want superb Greek food and equally superb service, make a stop here and you won’t regret it.