Keystone, Symposio Offer Good Food, Good Times
A landmark diner has paired up with a little-known gem of a bar and nightclub to create a comfortable neighborhood place for the entire family. The Keystone Restaurant has been serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to the Astoria community since 1953, and is still committed to the neighborhood it calls home. The Symposio Bar, adjacent to the Keystone dining room, is a popular nighttime venue in which to enjoy a more upscale menu and cocktails, with live music on the weekends.
The Symposio Bar décor includes murals of still life as well as a gallery of historic photos of Astoria from the 1900s. You’ll get an interesting glimpse of historic Astoria while you sip a cocktail, beer or fabulous wine from Symposio’s fully stocked bar. On Fridays and Saturdays, live music fills the air with dulcet notes from an acoustic guitar and bouzouki. The classic music provides a pleasant backdrop to an evening with friends and family. Families with children are especially welcome here, and you don’t need to dress up to enjoy a night out. Best of all, the prices are reasonable and there is no extra charge for the music.
On Fridays and Saturdays, a special menu complements the music and overall Mediterranean feel at Symposio. Start with a platter of hot appetizers which include homemade Greek style sausage, grilled on a charcoal fire. There are lots of tender, crunchy calamari rings, as well as juicy keftedes, seasoned Greek style meatballs. Slices of fried eggplant and zucchini make for a wonderful selection to share among friends and family. Cold appetizers include taramosalata, a red caviar dip and melitzanosalata, a grilled eggplant dip for spreading on triangles of warm pita bread.
Symposio’s owners stress that everything is made fresh each day on the premises and is never bought processed. Their policy means diners’ short wait for a meal to arrive will be rewarded with freshness and flavor. Entrees such as grilled baby lamb chops and rib eye steak cooked over charcoal will melt in your mouth. Oven roasted lamb with lemon baked potatoes or roasted chicken with stuffing will make any night a special occasion.
Mediterranean cuisine relies heavily on fish and seafood and you’ll be impressed by the freshness of Symposio’s ingredients and their painstaking preparation. I devoured a generous filet of fresh scrod broiled with lemon and butter that was just delicious. Fish of the day often include filet of sole, salmon filet or scrod. A seafood combination provides generous helpings of fresh fish filet, jumbo shrimp, juicy scallops and stuffed baked clams, all at a popular price. The Symposio version of surf and turf serves up lobster tails and filet mignon. Vegetables are crisp and fresh and everything is made to order.
Now is the best time to visit the Keystone Restaurant, since the menu has been completely revamped and improved to include only the freshest of fish, seafood, meat and vegetables, all prepared on the spot. The menu at the Keystone has whatever you desire for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Among the dinner specials is London broil, sliced thin and served with mushroom gravy, for $10.95. Filet of sole prepared to the diner’s liking is served with cup of soup, salad and vegetable for $11.95. Sautéed dishes such as chicken or veal piccata, marsala or francese are served with a crunchy salad and homemade soup including chicken, lemon orzo or hearty lentil.
The Keystone’s Tex/Mex menu is very popular. A grilled quesadilla, oozing with cheese or a shrimp enchilada with all the fixings can be ordered for lunch or dinner. Ranchero steak served with grilled onions, beans and jalapeno peppers is also popular.
At lunchtime, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. a number of specials are served and free delivery to home or office is available. Choose from an array of hot or cold sandwiches for less than the cost of most fast food. Homemade spinach pie, grilled chicken, turkey or roast beef club sandwiches, homemade tuna salad and diet platters are also among the lunch items offered. For only $5.50 you can enjoy a juicy cheeseburger with French fries and Cole slaw
Stop in any time of day or night, beginning at 6 a.m. when breakfast specials are served, starting at just $1.25. Farm fresh eggs and omelets cooked to order are served with bacon, ham or sausage with steaming cups of fresh brewed coffee to start the day off right. What’s more, you can order breakfast at the Keystone any time of day or night. On Saturdays and Sundays, people wait on line for the Keystone’s brunch, served from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Irish breakfast is very popular for its variety of sausages and bacon. Enjoy a complimentary beverage along with pancakes, French toast or eggs benedict.
For breakfast, lunch, dinner or weekend brunch, visit the Keystone Restaurant, open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to midnight. Symposio Bar is open every night for cocktails and conversation. Visit on Friday and Saturday evenings for live music, fine dining and conviviality. There’s something for everyone at the Keystone Restaurant and Symposio Bar. Visit this landmark that makes Astoria a great neighborhood where good food and good times go together.