If you haven’t had the pleasure of dining at Taverna Kyclades in Astoria, you’ll no longer need to schlep to Queens to make it happen. The family-style Greek-dining destination is opening an East Village outpost in two to three weeks at 228 First Avenue, near 14th Street.
Owner Caterina Skenderi says Taverna Kyclades 1st Avenue will be “exactly the same” as the original location, complete with outer-borough prices, a hearty but traditional menu by chefs Thomas Fotoura and Ardian Skenderi (her husband and partner), and greens from Hunts Point Produce Market in the Bronx.
There will be some small differences: expect the décor to be “a little bit fancier to fit the City,” and the space itself (which briefly belonged to Tepito) to be moderately bigger, with a full bar and seating for 60. That means you might not have to wait for over an hour as happens in Astoria, but it also means the experience might lack the same sense of adventure. In Queens, a trip to the bathroom requires wiggling around tightly packed tables, dodging hustling waiters and walking through the front end of the frenetic kitchen, infused with a thick aroma of fresh seafood. It’s like being plopped in the middle of a big fat Greek celebration.
“We want you to feel as if you’re in Greece in just an hour’s escape,” says Caterina. “I guarantee you that the chefs cook with their hearts, and everything that we serve, we would eat ourselves and feed to our families.” East Village, get excited to join the Skenderi’s Greek fold.