2006-04-26 / Restaurant of the Week


by Rose Anna

P OPULAR MEZZO MEZZO at 31-29 Ditmars Blvd, in Astoria, has not yet reached its tenth anniversary but has gained so many fans that one is led to believe it has been around for decades. Owner "Charlie" Kourakos is a master of making sure each and every patron is treated like a family relation returned home. From families with youngsters in tow, Senior Citizens enjoying Mezzo's Early Bird Specials, to people of all ages out for romance or fun, Mezzo Mezzo seems to fill everybody's plate. Mr. Kourakos designed and actually had a hand in the building of the space. "I designed something to make people feel like I felt when I was at home in Greece in my favorite Taverna," he explains. "To those who do not know Greece, they tell me it is like a cozy ski lodge." The effect is created with a design using rustic stone and wood including logs as beams in the ceiling. With an extensive Greek Mediterranean menu each waiter happily explains the Greek and Italian entrees to unfamiliar newcomers, helping each to choose a meal sure to please the palate. A perfectionist when it comes to quality, Charlie goes to the fish and meat market himself to assure the freshness and quality of his offerings. An extensive wine menu is offered to complement any meal. And for parties of ten or more, Charlie's daughter Maria will invent a new drink (based on the liquor requested) created especially for your table or occasion. "When Jet Blue had a company party here, I created a blue and white drink called 'The Take-Off' symbolizing the sky and clouds - they loved it!" Maria told us.

UPSTAIRS at Mezzo Mezzo you will find two rooms perfect for private parties, weddings, receptions etc: one is a cozy back room filled with plush chairs and sofas perfect for a casual, comfortable get together or an intimate drink and the front room which seats 60 people and has a working fireplace, sound system and theatrical lighting.

SENIOR CITIZENS are offered a special "Early Bird" menu 7-days a week between the hours of 4:00pm to 7:00pm where seniors can order entrees including soup or salad for $8.00 to $13.00.

FOR ENTERTAINMENT, Thursdays through Saturdays Mezzo Mezzo features musical entertainment in the upstairs room beginning at 9:00pm finishing anywhere between midnight and 2:00am depending on the mood of the crowd. On

Thursdays and Saturdays professional Belly Dancers perform to a live Greek band and patrons join in on the fun after the show. Friday nights Mezzo Mezzo expands its musical offerings beyond the Greek tunes to those of American Top 40 including music from the '30s to current, such as: standards by Cole Porter, Sinatra, Disco, Latin favorites, Musical Theater and recent tunes. Friday's hosts Forever Fields and Susan Scannell generously offer up the mic to audience members who would like to sing (accompanied by Mr. Field).

NOTABLES such as Telly Savales, Anthony Quinn, Governor Pataki, Senator Onorato, Assemblyman Gianaris, Council Member Vallone Jr, and others have frequented Mezzo Mezzo. In his "give back" attitude toward the community, Mr. Kourakos has hosted the American Cancer Society and donated his other venue The Cave (located at 31-32 Broadway) to the Astoria Performing Arts Center for their youth program "Summer Stars." Mezzo Mezzo has received Four Stars from the Daily News, appeared at the request of Borough President Helen Marshall on the Today Show representing Queen's Restaurant Week, and has been singled out by Time Out Magazine and Dish du Jour. Info & Reservations: 718-278-0444, Prices: $7-$24, www.mezzomezzony.com, Hours: Sun-Wed 11am-midnight, Thurs-Sat.11am-?

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