Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 09/10/2013
Lamb chops. Photo: Andre Baranowski
31-29 Ditmars Blvd., 718-777-2187, Astoria, Queens
Chef Michael Psilakis has reinvigorated the Greek dining experience in Astoria. The bi-level space is urban and classy with floor-to-ceiling windows; in no physical way does it summon clichés that owe their provenance to the Aegean or Zorba. The music tends toward rock in the brewpub-like downstairs bar, which is lined with high tables. Upstairs is quieter, where dressy couples bond over ephemeral ricotta dumplings with spicy lamb sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts and feta. Few items sound more soothing and approachable than Grandma's meatballs, but there's a peppy kick to the five fat orbs served on a crowded black skillet, crusted like falafel and served with tangy tzatziki and pita triangles. To drink are craft beers, shelves of topflight whiskeys and a smart selection of Greek, Portuguese, Austrian and French wines. By-the-glass pours are as generous as the portions of food.