2017-06-28 / Restaurant of the Week

Exo Café

Exo Café is your ‘go to’ eatery for casual dining for lunch or dinner, and a great weekend brunch. With the Forest Hills Stadium Summer Concert Series in full swing, Exo Café couldn’t be a better choice for a pre-concert or post-concert meal, drinks, dessert, or snack. Stroll in for Happy Hour which runs Monday to Friday from 4-8pm, with $4 wine, $5 beers, $6 cocktails and half price appetizers. New menu items make Exo Café more magnetic than ever and the service is friendly and efficient. We even had a blast at Tuesday night Trivia, which offers prizes for the winners. Wine down Wednesday offers half price bottles of wine and Thirsty Thursday offers pitchers of beer, sangria, or cocktails for just $15 to share with friends.

On a hot, steamy night, cool down with an icy mug of Exo’s own lager, made in NY, or a variety of wheats, ales, and stouts to please even the pickiest beer drinker. Flights of beer are available too, so you can find your favorite. Their signature cocktails cool and delight you, such as the spa martini with cucumber vodka and fresh lime juice, or the lychee martini with a juicy lychee fruit at the bottom. Pear vodka martinis, mango mojitos, and traditional or spicy margaritas set the mood for a relaxing meal. There are three floors to dine on and they make the perfect setting for your next private party. Exo Café is perfect for showers, birthdays, and baptisms, with packages starting at just $24.95. Exo Café has consistently delicious food, made with fresh ingredients, beautifully presented on white platters. I’m excited to tell you about some new items on the menu which we found to be excellent, with kudos for the blue crab cake appetizer. This generously sized crab cake is replete with sweet, lump crabmeat mixed with mild seasoning and pan seared to a golden finish, topped with a dollop of house made tartar sauce ($13.95). White truffle oil Mac and Cheese is not overly heavy, flecked with bacon, and topped with toasted bread crumbs, served in a ceramic crock ($9.95). Big Texas grilled cheese combines four delectable cheeses on hefty bread that is grilled to a golden hue. Sweet plantains called “maduros” are gently fried and served with salsa verde for some kick. Classic appetizers such as Mighty Wings with your choice of sauces, steamed or fried dumplings, citrusy shrimp ceviche, or cold Greek style dips are still as popular as ever. Best of all, these appetizers are big enough to share.

Keep it light with freshly tossed salads, topped with grilled shrimp, buffalo chicken, grilled steak, or just greens that are vegetarian-friendly. In fact, there are several vegetarian options on the menu, including citrus field green salad, Greek salad, Spinach and artichoke dip, and the new guacamole garden burger.

There are exciting, new entrée items on the menu too, such as Mediterranean salmon grilled with butter and garlic sauce, served with grilled vegetables ($24.95). A half chicken is rubbed with garlic, lime juice, and spices then roasted to juicy perfection and served with maduros and salsa verde ($19.95). Spicy Mardi Gras chicken is another new item, basted in sriracha barbecue sauce and bourbon, served with mashed potatoes and wasabi cole slaw. The Milano schnitzel is a twist on the classic Austrian dish. Exo’s version is made with a tender chicken cutlet, chopped tomato, red onion, parmesan cheese and balsamic glaze with a crunchy tri-color salad. T-bone steak with blackened shrimp gets a kick from the spiced rub on the shrimp, blackened and served atop a juicy Tbone, cooked to order for a hearty meal. Linguine pasta is topped with juicy tomato sauce, sautéed peppers, onions, sweet basil, and spicy sausage. Exo Café favorites such as ribs and rings, fish and chips, and the classic grilled cowboy steak are still on the menu, dueto their popularity. For lunch, dinner, or late-night munching, Exo Café’s grilled, warm “Handwiches” are just the best sandwiches in my opinion. Starting with freshly baked ciabatta bread, the Exo Handwich is generously filled with freshly grilled chicken breast, red roasted peppers, creamy goat cheese, and roasted garlic sauce, then pressed on the grill for irresistible crunch and melted goodness. My chimichurri steak Handwich was outrageously delicious, and the steak was so tender. There are new Handwiches to try, like the Louisiana Po Boy filled with sweet and spicy shredded pork on Texas toast, the Italian Job, filled with sweet sausage grilled peppers and onions, tomato sauce and mozzarella, and the classic chicken Parmigiano topped with smoky bacon. All Handwiches are served with your choice of Belgian style, hand cut fries, beer battered onion rings, field greens, or sweet potato fries. The same is true for Exo’s burgers, served sizzling hot off the grill and topped as you like.

Weekend Brunch at Exo Café is served from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm for just $14.95 per person, including a brunch cocktail. Their Greek village omelet with feta cheese, tomato, and oregano is a great choice, as are the quesadilla omelet, berry Nutella toast and sweet potato pancakes. Exo Café has great lunch specials too served on weekdays from 12 to 4pm. The low price of $12.95 includes homemade soup or salad, an entrée and beverage and you’ll be served quickly and with a smile. Take out for lunch and dinner is available for delivery.

Desserts include warm chocolate lava cake, Bailey’s cheese cake, crème brulee, and the clever mini cannoli burgers, which look like little beignets with chocolate chip cannoli cream inside. Owner Peter Kambitsis, manager John Marino, and the staff make everyone feel welcome here. “Whether it’s conversation over coffee and dessert, a weekend brunch with friends, after-work drinks, or a dinner-date, Exo Café strives to make it an experience to remember.”

70-20 Austin Street, Forest Hills


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