Astoria, Tastoria's Astoria Aug 22, 2012 Tastoria’s Astoria: Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna- come for the ship’s wheel chandelier, stay for the food Get excited, Astoria! Today’s post marks the first in a NEW We Heart Astoria series, “Tastoria’s Astoria,” a column about unknown and perhaps under appricated food gems right here in (…) Share this Scoop by Mackenzi Farquer total shares! Twitter Facebook Email Print Get excited, Astoria! Today’s post marks the first in a NEW We Heart Astoria series, “Tastoria’s Astoria,” a column about unknown and perhaps under appricated food gems right here in (…) by Mackenzi Farquer Share this Scoop total shares! Twitter Facebook Email Print Get excited, Astoria! Today’s post marks the first in a NEW We Heart Astoria series, “Tastoria’s Astoria,” a column about unknown and perhaps under appricated food gems right here in our very own neighborhood. For those not familiar with the stylings of Tastoria, let me introduce Sue Yacka, a non-profiteer by day and lover of all things food, beer, Twitter, and Astoria by night. Please help us in giving Sue a warm WHA welcome! -Mackenzi Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna is not the type of Astoria restaurant that you just stumble into. An unassuming establishment located a few blocks west of 23rd Avenue’s larger, better known Greek restaurants, Gregory’s is the kind of place you hear about from a friend, or from a friend of a friend. This is exactly how I learned about it three years ago, through my girlfriend’s co-worker, a Queens native who was living in Astoria at the time. Truth be told, I am not sure I ever would have stopped in were it not for her recommendation, and I have been grateful for it ever since. Arriving at Gregory’s feels like arriving at someone’s home. Very likely it is the home of a beloved uncle or grandmother who has brought so much of their past here with them to Astoria. Outdoors there is a small seating area filled with folks eating and talking leisurely, for hours on end, seeming entirely at home. The inside is brightly lit and the walls are adorned with large-scale seascape murals that give the otherwise tiny restaurant the illusion of vast expansiveness, a context of long histories and transnational lives. In the center of the ceiling, a beautiful ship’s wheel chandelier steadies and centers you back in the present moment: you are hungry, you look around for a menu, it’s time to eat. For the longest time, my go to meal was their delicious beef gyro platter, a heaping build-it-yourself marvel that included grilled meat and pita, salad and feta, and Gregory’s phenomenally fresh, crisp tzaziki. Eventually I came to love their Keftethes, Greek meatballs made with ground beef, prepared with an uncommonly moist center and a slightly crispy outer crust. Gregory’s achieves this same perfect texture in their fried crab cakes, another favorite dish. An unabashed carnivore, I recently had the pleasure of having dinner at Gregory’s with friends, some of whom have vegetarian and pescatarian diets, and the meal was no less satisfying. We particularly enjoyed the cold appetizer platter which has three vegetarian offerings and one dish containing fish roe. These included a smoky, garlicky shredded eggplant salad that I have been dreaming about ever since; Tirokafteri, a mildly spicy, spreadable feta cheese mezze flavored with red peppers; the aforementioned sharply fresh Tzatziki; and delicious, creamy Taramosalata, a traditional Greek appetizer made with salted, cured fish roe. We also tried the Saganaki, a pan seared Greek cheese whose modest presentation (no flaming platters at Gregory’s) belies a perfectly prepared dish, a slightly crisp shell and soft, salty interior. There is no doubt you will have an excellent meal if you visit Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna, but for me, most importantly, the place gets to the heart of Astoria’s food culture. Like so many places in Astoria, fresh ingredients, large portions and reasonable prices rule the day at Gregory’s, as do epic flavors and kind service. It is a place that attracts old and new residents of the neighborhood alike, and a place whose popularity spreads quietly by word of mouth but has a long-standing, well-established reputation for excellence. And it is a place where no matter how tumultuous your day has been, a suspended ship’s wheel chandelier will help set you on the right course. Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna 2602 23rd Avenue, Long Island City, NY (718) 777-5511 Twitter Facebook Email Print Gregory's 26 Tavernasue yackaTastoria 6 Comments The way we used to eat: a case for ignoring Yelp for a while | tastoriaqueens October 30th, 2014 […] At that time, word of mouth was key. Places recommended to us by long time residents and friends who already knew the neighborhood. In fact, that’s how I found my favorite restaurant in Astoria, Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna. […] Reply On my favorite Astoria restaurant: Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna | tastoriaqueens February 26th, 2014 […] ready to call it: my favorite restaurant in Astoria is Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna. I’ve sung the praises of its menu on We Heart Astoria, and I’d put their grilled octopus (a highly effective Greek restaurant litmus test) up […] Reply Astoria Welcome Wagon: a new way to get to know your new neighborhood | tastoriaqueens July 17th, 2013 […] The recommendation for my very favorite restaurant in Astoria came from someone whom I had never met. It was shortly after my girlfriend moved to Astoria (and a year before I was even living here) when one of her coworkers, a Queens native and longtime Astorian, told her about an inconspicuous little Greek restaurant at the corner of 23rd Avenue and 26th Street called Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna. […] Reply New Cypriot restaurant opens in New York | Parikiaki January 4th, 2013 […] just within a couple of blocks. Both Telly’s Taverna and Stamatis are nearby on 23rd Avenue; Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna is four blocks away; Elias Corner is a block and a half away. Nearby are both Artopolis and Lefkos […] Reply Kopiaste Taverna opens in Astoria | Queens NYC January 2nd, 2013 […] just within a couple of blocks. Both Telly’s Taverna and Stamatis are nearby on 23rd Avenue; Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna is four blocks away; Elias Corner is a block and a half away. Nearby are both Artopolis and Lefkos […] Reply A Year of Excellent Eating in Astoria | tastoriaqueens December 26th, 2012 […] in love with when I first moved to the neighborhood about three years ago. Chief among these is Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna, my favorite Greek restaurant in a town famous this cuisine. Many thanks to We Heart Astoria for […] Reply Jen Makulowich August 23rd, 2012 I really like Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna — I live around the block and it’s a nice staple to have nearby when craving some Greek cuisine! Reply Leave a Reply to Jen Makulowich Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment * Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.