"The Buppie Foodie"

Ovelia is a modern Greek eatery on 30th Avenue in Astoria. The restaurant has a cool bar/lounge vibe, which attracts a younger Greek/American crowd. When the weather is good, this is the perfect spot to sit outside and “people watch” in Astoria. The Brunch menu is extensive, which notably includes a plethora of creative vegetarian options such as the “Beet Omelette”  (beet infused, stuffed with goat cheese, dill and scallions or the “Revitho-Benedict” (chickpea croquets, two poached eggs, hollandaise, over riced saffron cauliflower)

The food is fresh, tasty and of ample portions. The prices are reasonable as well, with each brunch entrée including one complimentary brunch cocktail.

You must try the Fried Feta Cubes, (sesame crusted feta drizzled w/ Greek honey), which is the perfect sweet & savory combination. The Baklava Pancakes are also an interesting Greek spin to pancakes and are worth a try as well.

While Ovelia won’t top the list of the best Brunch spots in Astoria; the atmosphere, service and food makes it a solid brunch pick in Astoria.


Fried Feta Cubes – (Sesame crusted feta drizzled with Greek honey)


Steak Sofrito – (two eggs any style, warm sofrito over our Greek coffee skirt steak, on multi grain country style bread)


Baklava Pancakes

*Photo via Ovelia/Twitter


Ovelia (Astoria)

Cuisine: Modern Greek

Must Try (for Brunch): Fried Feta Cubes, Baklava Pancakes

Website Here

Ovelia Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

If you’re anything like me, when you think of Greek food, you’re mostly drawn to the typical Gyros and fries offered at the standard fast-food Greek restaurant in NYC. However, at Avlee Greek Kitchen in Carroll Gardens,  they are serving up more than just the typical Greek fast food. Instead, this intimate, 25-seat restaurant offers an elevated, modern Greek menu with a wide range of options to please every palate from vegetarians to gluten free diners and beyond.

I was truly impressed with my dinner at Avlee last week. For starters, the food was both flavorful and fresh thanks to Andrew Poulos, the owner at Avlee who is also a Carroll Gardens native. One of Andrew’s mission at Avlee is to serve fresh and authentic Greek food. To do just that, Andrew ensures peak freshness of everything offered on the menu by making daily 3:00 am trips to the fish and vegetable market because using frozen ingredients at Avlee is a big “no-no”.

While my entire meal was fantastic, it was especially highlighted by the Yemista, which is lucky tomatoes, stuffed with rice, veggies, and herbs. My dining partner really enjoyed the Spanakopita, which is spinach with three cheese, cremini mushroom in phyllo and we both agreed that the cold spreads were also delicious, with the Tirokafteri (feta cheese, bell peppers, jalapeno,) being my favorite. Despite being completely stuffed, we managed to try a couple of desserts with the Baklava being our favorite.

If you’re ever in the area, I recommend that you definitely give Avlee a try.

Check out some pictures from my visit to Avlee Below.

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Cold Spreads served with warm pitas and sliced cucumbers.

Fava Mani – Chick pea, garlic, lemon, tahini, cumin

Tirokafteri – Feta cheese, bell peppers, jalapeno, cayenne

Tzatziki – Yogurt, cucumber, dill, garlic


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Dolmathes – Hand rolled grape leaves, rice, vegetables, herbs, spices


avlee greek kitchen

Keftethakia – Beef pork meatballs, pan fired with tomato basil sauce


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Spanakopita – Spinach, three cheese, cremini mushroom in phyllo


avlee greek kitchen

Yemista – Lucky tomatoes stuffed with rice, veggies, herbs, spices


avlee greek kitchen

Lemon Potatoes


avlee greek kitchen

Spanakorizo – sauteed spinach, rice, onion, dill


avlee greek kitchen

Gigandes – White beans basked in an onion tomato dill sauce


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Galaktoboureko  – Vanilla paste semolina layered with phyllo

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Baklava – Walnuts & almonds wrapped in phyllo, honey syrup


Avlee Greek Kitchen

Where: 348 Smith Street

Cuisine: Greek, Casual

Cost: $25 per person AmEx, Disc, MC, V

Cross street: between Carroll and 2nd Sts

Opening hours: Mon-Thurs: 11am-10pm Fri-Sat: 11am-11pm Sun: 11am-9pm

Menu here

Recommendations: Cold Spreads, Greek Meatballs and the Spanakopita. Also, sample the Greek wine, beer or sodas with your meal. Also order some Greek fries!

*While my meal was complimentary, the opinions expressed herein are 100% my own.

Avlee Greek Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Avlee Greek KitchenAvlee Greek Kitchen

Named after the owner, “Jimbo’s” is a Greek restaurant in Astoria, serving up authentic Greek food in a casual, relaxed setting.

Jimbo’s philosophy is to cut out the middleman and offer quality food with large portions, at reasonable prices. To ensure freshness, the restaurant goes to Fulton fish market at 3:00 a.m. daily, to buy the first catches of the day. Additionally,  every two months, the restaurant sends over barrels to Kalamata, Greece to get pressed olives from the fields so that Jimbo’s customers get genuine cold pressed olive oil. (tasty)

I had the opportunity to visit Jimbo’s last week and I must admit, I enjoyed myself. My dinner was highlighted by the bite-sized Keftedes (Greek meatballs), which were very well-seasoned. The Greek Salad and Grilled Shrimp were also among my favorites and my dining partner really enjoyed his Rib-eye steak.

The most interesting dish we tasted was the Arni Youvetsi, which was lamb baked in a bold tomato sauce along with herbs and orzo. The combination of the thick tomato sauce with the slow-cooked, tender lamb was fantastic.

Overall, Jimbo’s is a good place to grab a drink and a bite to eat. If you’re ever in the Astoria, give them a try!

Check out some pictures below:

Jimbo's Greek Restaurant and Bar

Greek Salad


Jimbo's Greek Restaurant and Bar

Pita Bread (served warm)


Jimbo's Greek Restaurant and Bar

Calamari


Jimbo's Greek Restaurant and Bar

Greek Meatballs


Jimbo's Greek Restaurant and Bar

Grilled Shrimp


Jimbo's Greek Restaurant and Bar

Grilled Calamari


Jimbo's Greek Restaurant and Bar

Rib-eye Steak- served with Fries & Broccoli (not pictured)


Jimbo's Greek Restaurant and Bar

Lamb


Jimbo's Greek Restaurant and Bar
Baklava


Jimbo’s Greek Restaurant (Astoria)

Where: 30-05 Astoria Boulevard, Astoria, NY 11102

Cost: Average $50 for two people

Recommendations: Grilled Shrimp, Steak, Arni Youvetsi

*Please note: my meal was complimentary but the opinions expressed herein are 100% my own.

 

Jimbo's Restaurant & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Jimbos Restaurant and Bar

Ranked as one of the top 10 NYC restaurants and Kim Kardashian’s new favorite restaurant in Manhattan, Nerai is a modern, upscale and “non-tipping” Greek restaurant in the Midtown East neighborhood.

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From the moment you enter Nerai, you will immediately notice the beautiful décor and upscale ambiance of this cozy bi-level restaurant. To compliment the stunning décor, Nerai is filled with art exhibitions from young, up and coming artists of Greece hit by the crisis.

The main dining room, where I dinned, has a nautical feel and a casual spirit that make it perfect for business lunches, informal meetings, or meetings for cocktails at the bar.

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Spearheaded by all-star Executive Chef, Chris Christou, (formerly of Per Se, Ai Fiori), Nerai’s Seafood based menu, in the best Greek tradition, offers the freshest seafood flown in daily — Lavraki from Greece, Mediterranean Dorado, Black Tiger shrimp from the Pacific, Live Langoustine from Scotland, Fagri from Greece and Live Lobster from Maine.

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I had the opportunity to dine at Nerai for a casual weekend lunch and I truly enjoyed everything about this restaurant. The décor was breathtaking and the food was fantastic, fresh and healthy; highlighted by the Tuna Tartare and Lamb Chops. All of the food was exceptionally well-seasoned and the Greek flavors and Mediterranean influences make for a unique meal.

Nerai is definitely a “must try” for an upscale lunch and/or dinner this summer in NYC. As a foodie, who just so happens to be an attorney, I also recommend that you put Nerai on your short list of restaurants to host your next business lunch, dinner or event in Manhattan.

Check out some of the food I ordered at Nerai below:

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Crispy calamari with red pepper marinara. (Perfectly fried, well-seasoned, chewy and fresh).

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Yellow tail tuna tartare, tarama espuma and potato kataifi (This was a meal highlight.  The Yellow Tail tuna was extremely fresh and the potato kataifi added a wonderful texture contrast to the dish)

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New zealand baby lamb chops with rosemary jus. (This was a meal highlight. The lamb chops were grilled perfectly, and cooked “medium” as ordered . The chops were tender, flavorful and juicy.) IMG_1347

Whole lavraki mediterranean sea bass, grilled with wilted greens. (Perfectly grilled and well-seasoned).

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Shrimp santorini linguini with roasted red peppers & feta cheese

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Kataifi ekmek mastiha custard with  honey / pistachios /cinnamon. (This was also a meal highlight. This was one of the best custards I’ve ever tasted).

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Baklava with chopped nuts and honey

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Orange filo-sponge cake with chocolate sorbet

NERAI

Where: 55 East 54th Street, New York, NY

Cuisine: Upscale Greek

The Cost: Fine Dining, average $75 Per Person

Recommendations: Tuna Tartare, Lamb Chop (both pictured above)

Perfect for: Date Night, Business Lunch/Dinner

Lunch Menu Here

**Please note that my meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed  are 100% my own

Nerai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Nerai

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I had the opportunity to visit Psari in Astoria, courtesy of a wonderful Groupon. The deal was for two lobsters, sides, soups or salads, and two glasses of wine or champagne. I will admit that I was a bit skeptical of going to Psari because of some of the bad reviews I  seen on Yelp. Nevertheless, I went ahead and gave the Groupon a try. I was not disappointed. I thought between the fresh lobster and the decent glasses of champagne, the deal was worth it. The sides were admittedly a bit bland but overall, a pretty good Groupon deal worth trying.

The Service: The service was excellent, very attentive and welcoming. Sometimes when you do a Groupon deal, some of the restaurants can treat you differently or even skimp on portions. However, I actually thought the service was some of the best I’ve had using a Groupon. In fact, the Lobster was served as advertised and was tastefully seasoned.

Psari on Urbanspoon