Zenon Taverna

 

You know in My Big Fat Greek Wedding how they own a Greek restaurant and Toula has to work there with her entire family until she finds a Greek lover? I think we just found the real life version of that restaurant. With Papou and Yaya stuffing grape leaves by hand, Zenon Taverna will satisfy all your Greek movie fantasies. Located in Astoria, Queens--the food of the Gods is just a hop, skip and a subway away from Manhattan. 

We started off with a trio of dips accompanied by crusty bread and warm pita. The tzatziki, hummus and eggplant dip we're so fresh you should probably just eat them with a spoon after you run out of pita. Your secret is safe with us.

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The Greek salad was nice and light and had feta for days. My mom doesn't like olives so she always picks them out and leaves them on the side for me to eat. If you don't like olives, text me.

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The chicken Sovlaki with roasted lemon potatoes was so frickin juicy and tender but also felt really healthy and protein packed so after one bite I basically looked like Cindy Crawford circa the original Pepsi ad.

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And since this wouldn't be Dining with Skyler if we didn't throw an octopus dish in there, we recommend getting it char-grilled style.

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A definite must is the pastitsio (Greek lasagna) layered high with cheesy, noodle-y goodness. Most restaurants freeze their lasagnas so that when they cut into it the layers come out prettier. But the Zenon chef kept it real with us, saying that he'll always sacrifice beauty in the name of non-frozen freshness. 

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Speaking of beauty... if you're a real authentic Greek foodie, you're no stranger to the ways of branzino aka the eyeballs and all.

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Aside from the pastitsio, you should definitely order their hand rolled koupepia too (stuffed grape leaves). The filling is made fresh each day and consists of rice, chopped pork, tomato paste, mint, onion, parsley and lemon juice.

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They also offer pocket pitas that put the halal carts to shame. I take that back. I love my 3:00am halal street meat, extra white sauce, hold the onions. But these are damn good too and can be stuffed with pretty much anything: pork, chicken, lamb, vegetarian etc.

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And for a little phyllo sweetness...

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