2016-03-09 / Restaurant of the Week

Exo Café

“Whether it’s conversation over coffee and dessert, a weekend brunch with friends, after-work drinks, or a romantic dinner-date, Exo Café will make it an experience to remember.” That’s what their menu states and I couldn’t agree more. Celebrating 5 years on Austin Street in Forest Hills, Exo Café is an easy choice for casual dining seven days a week, serving lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Happy Hour gets underway Monday to Friday from 4-7pm with $4 wine, $5 beers and $6 cocktails. Half price appetizers go down easy at this friendly, multi-level café. Owner Peter Kambitsis, manager John and the staff make everyone feel welcome here. The service is friendly and the prices are in reach to all.

Let’s begin with Saturday and Sunday brunch at Exo Café served from 10:00am to 3:00pm for just $14.95 per person, including a brunch cocktail. Their Greek village omelet with feta cheese, tomato, and oregano is served with hand cut fries and will keep you going all day. Exo’s quesadilla omelet, French toast a la mode, or Belgian waffles and chicken are also excellent and very satisfying. There are great salads and burgers to choose from as well, and a Mimosa or Bloody Mary cocktail makes the perfect accompaniment to this weekend brunch that is so very popular. Exo Café has great lunch specials too served on weekdays from 11am to 4pm. For the same price as some fast food chains, you’ll get homemade soup or salad, an entrée and beverage for just $11.95.

Start with one of their signature cocktails such as the mango mojito, margarita or martini and relax at a comfortable table on one of the 3 floors for dining. A selection of frosty craft beers will please even picky beer aficionados. Exo Café uses only the finest ingredients for all their dishes and everything is prepared on the spot, to order, and served hot and fresh on beautiful white platters. The array of appetizers at Exo Café is so impressive, you could make a meal out of them and they are nicely portioned for sharing. We started with mini crab cake bites which are loaded with sweet crabmeat and mild seasonings, served with three delicious sauces: mango salsa, chipotle sauce, and wasabi cream. We also shared some tender dumplings that you can order steamed or fried, and are filled with chicken and vegetables with soy sauce and hoisin sauce for dipping ($9.95). The stacked chicken quesadilla is one of their most popular items, loaded with fire roasted chicken, Monterey jack cheese, sharp cheddar, onion, avocado and jalapenos, with sour cream and salsa for dipping. At the bar or at your table, no one can resist Exo’s Mighty Meaty wings, served with your choice of mild, hot, BBQ, or teriyaki sauce ($10.95). Kobe beef sliders are made with exceptionally good beef, gently grilled with cheese, lettuce, tomato and pickle on mini buns ($13.95 for three). Get an order of warm spinach and artichoke dip for the table, served with crispy corn chips for everyone to dip into.

For dinner, Exo Café has whatever you’re in the mood for. The grilled steak salad is very popular for the toss of mixed greens and slices of tender, blackened steak, fresh mozzarella pearls, cherry tomatoes and julienne of red peppers with a creamy roasted pepper dressing ($18.95). You can top a salad with grilled shrimp or chicken too, or go meatless for a satisfying vegetarian option. Normally most people wouldn’t think of a sandwich for dinner but once you try one of Exo Café’s grilled, warm “handwiches” you’ll be hooked. Starting with freshly baked ciabatta break, the Exo Handwich is generously filled with freshly grilled chicken breast, red roasted peppers, creamy goat cheese, field greens and roasted garlic sauce, then pressed on the grill for irresistible crunch and melted deliciousness. My BBQ chicken jalapeño handwich had melted Gouda and a nice bite from the peppers. Handwiches are served with your choice of Belgian style, hand cut fries, beer battered onion rings, or field greens. For $1 more you can have sweet potato fries.

Entrée platters are equally as impressive and include a healthy grilled salmon filet with house made, crunchy cole slaw and freshly chopped mango salsa, which my friend really enjoyed. Juicy, grilled Cowboy steak is a T-bone that’s been marinated in herbs overnight and grilled to order and served with mushrooms, onions, creamy mashed potatoes, and Merlot demi-glace. Ribs and rings include a half rack of fall-off-the-bone pork ribs bathed in honey teriyaki sauce over their famous beer battered onion rings ($21.95). Blackened steak and shrimp fills your surf and turf needs, while the fish and chips go perfectly with your favorite beer or ale.

Don’t forget Exo Café’s fabulous Black Angus Burger cooked to order and topped with lettuce, tomato, onion and blue marble jack cheese. You’ll also love the Hawaiian burger topped with grilled pineapple, the smoked BBQ burger, and vegetarians will love the garden burger or ‘beefy’ Portobello burger.

Desserts include the warm chocolate lava cake, Bailey’s cheese cake, triple chocolate dome and the adorable cannoli mini burgers. Exo Café offers private party packages at very reasonable rates, making this a great place for a birthday, shower, or graduation party. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are coming soon so bring the family to Exo Café where they strive to make it an experience to remember.

70-20 Austin Street, Forest Hills
718.261-6162

www.exocafe.com

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