Meat has met its match at Christos Steakhouse, a hidden Astoria eatery where the cuisine is captivating and the service spectacular.
Tucked away on 23rd Avenue, far from the buzz of Steinway Street, the building’s façade is easily unnoticed amongst a row of residences. It isn’t until you catch a glimpse of the valet parking attendant, a luxury not often seen in New York City, that you know you’ve arrived.
The interior was warm and inviting with low lighting, classic wooden fixtures and beautiful table settings. In the corner sits a tank swimming with live lobsters, for diners looking for an “interactive” experience.
Staff members were hospitable and kind, armed with their top suggestions and a wine list that included several Greek selections. Executive chef Mina Newman, a kitchen veteran, executive chef at Manhattan’s Edison Ballroom and winner of Food Network’s “Chopped,” stepped out of her workspace to chat about the restaurant’s latest happenings.
After sipping on a glass of California Pinot Noir, we sampled the house’s clams casino and octopus appetizers. The clams were large morsels topped with seasoned peppers and bacon in traditional “casino” style. The octopus, served charred over a salad of roasted red peppers, capers and fresh greens, drizzled in a red wine dressing, was salty and tangy with a texture unlike that of any other fish.
For our main course, we selected one of Christos’ famous cuts of steak — the T-bone, served with an assortment of sauces including béarnaise, a red wine and shallot reduction and the house’s original steak sauce. Tender and flavorful, the steak was some of the best we had ever tasted.
We also ordered a seafood special — Chilean sea bass over a bed of spinach and tomatoes. The fish was delicate and light, a nice juxtaposition against the heaviness of the steak.
It was impossible to not try some of Christos’ hand-cut French fries and flavors of mashed potatoes. Our server suggested the bacon and blue cheese mashed potatoes and the fries with Parmigiano cheese, truffle oil and chives. Both dishes were excellent complements to the meal, taking the tried-and-true staple of “steak and potatoes” to the next level.
Sadly, we did not save room for dessert, even though the “Baked Astoria” — cookies and cream ice cream with red velvet cake served flambé style —– sounded incredible. We plan to make it back a second time, however, just for something sweet.