Restaurants
Mar 24, 2010

Judith Hearts Zenon Taverna – Homemade Greek Food with Soul

There are so many wonderful Greek restaurants found in our Astoria that it’s often hard to choose a favorite.  While my enthusiasm for Astorian Greek restaurants is great, not many (…)

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There are so many wonderful Greek restaurants found in our Astoria that it’s often hard to choose a favorite.  While my enthusiasm for Astorian Greek restaurants is great, not many compare to my near and dear favorite, Zenon Taverna.

Located on the pretty, tree-lined 31st Avenue and 34th Street, Zenon attracts clientele of all types – families with children, couples, groups of friends, you name it.  Its comfortable dining room is casual and welcoming to everyone who steps foot in it.  The vibe is happy and boisterous – especially on Thursday nights when Zenon features live Greek music.

Owned by the Papageorgiou family, Zenon emanates with warmth, hospitality and charm.  Once you become a regular here, you’ll know that the gracious waitstaff is a part of this family, and they’re vested in providing you with a great experience.  I love that, and for this reason the staff is always knowledgeable and warm to customers, in no time treating them like family of their own.

Now let’s get to the food!  Aside from having excellent flavor, using homemade techniques, it’s really more than that.  This food has soul.  Recipes are founded on deeply seated family traditions with the matriarch, Dora in charge of what comes out of that fantastic kitchen.

Dishes I HEART:

Greek Pastichio – Nicknamed “Greek Lasagna” you won’t be able to turn down this indulgence, which boasts the creamiest bechamel sauce I’ve ever tasted.

Cyprus Meatballs (Keftedes – pictured above) – Wow are these good! Made with chopped pork and shredded potatoes, they feel really light and are delicious when dipped in tzatziki.

Mezedes – Zenon’s small plates shouldn’t be missed – my favorites include the cool tzatziki, chunky eggplant dip (pictured above) garlicky scordalia, red caviar dip and also grilled halloumi cheese (pictured above).

Coffee – I urge you to try a nice, strong Greek coffee to help you digest this meal–it’s served in a sweet little espresso cup.

Besides the amazing food, the value at Zenon is incredible.  Portions are generous and large enough to take home for seconds (and thirds), and the prices couldn’t be friendlier.  One great way to try a bit of everything is to indulge in Zenon’s sampling experience.  They offer three different types of sampling options including: Cyprus meze, a fish meze and a vegetarian meze.  You won’t believe me when I tell you that these include an average of 15 different plates for a modest price of $17.95 – $21.95 per person.  If that sounds too good to be true, I hear you.  But unlike most too-good-to-be-true things in life, this is actually the real deal.

WHA Tip – If you’d like to order wine with that meze, I highly recommend Zenon’s house selection. It’s reliable, tasty and inexpensive.  A large carafe can quench the thirst of 5 people.

34-10 31st Avenue, Astoria.  718.956.0133
www.zenontaverna.com

Which Greek restaurants do YOU heart?

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