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BY MICHAEL X. HARTOFELIS

On a recent Thursday afternoon, my friends and I decided to have lunch at Taverna Kyclades. We chose the Bayside location on that particular day, but Kyclades also has locations in Astoria and Manhattan. 

We opted to eat “meze’ style, which is the Greek work for appetizer. It basically means, rather than each of us ordering a “main” meal, we all collectively picked various appetizers to share. I find this style to be much more social, intimate and fun. I was joined by a few friends, so we ordered for five bruisers — we are all big and bigger eaters!

Here’s a rundown of what we ordered:

  • Gigantes (giant beans in tomato sauce)
  • Horiatiki Salata (peasant salad, no lettuce)
  • Prasini Salata (Greek salad, romaine lettuce)
  • Spanakopita (spinach pie)
  • Loukaniko Psito (grilled sausage)
  • Two portions of Octopodi (broiled octopus)
  • Two portions of Kalamari (Grilled Squid)
  • Two portions of Potatoes sto fourno (Greek lemon potatoes) 
  • Two portions of Rizi  (rice)
  • Bakalikarakia (fried whiting)
  • Patzaria (sliced beet salad, garlic/olive oil)

The meal was absolutely fantastic, and was followed up by some dessert (always on the house and sinfully tasty).  No coffee is the rule at Kyclades, so do not expect any.

The service was excellent and the atmosphere certainly reminiscent of a Greek taverna anywhere in Greece. We received a special treat when Andrea (Skenderi), the owner, showed up after lunch. He did not know we were there, so his and our reaction upon seeing each other was refreshingly sincere. We have known Andrea for many years, and we spent the last 10 minutes of our lunch hugging and high-fiving it out.

Ultimately, we had a great time, eating a great meal, with great friends. Taverna Kyclades is highly recommended.

Taverna Kyclades is located at 39-28 Bell Blvd. in Bayside on Monday through Thursday from 12 to 10 p.m., on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. 

Gigantes, Prasini Salata, Greek lemon potatoes, Fried Whiting (Photo by Michael X. Hartofelis)

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