2018-05-09 / Restaurant of the Week

AKROTIRI

Finally, it’s warm enough to eat outside and Akrotiri is the place to go for modern Greek inspired cuisine and cool breezes. Akrotiri is perfectly situated on a breezy corner just across from Athens Square Park. On a recent sultry evening, we dined al fresco while wispy white curtains flanked the doors to the beautiful, Mediterranean dining room decked in white tables with blue place settings, evoking the Aegean Sea. In fact, Akrotiri gets its name from a ruin on the island of Santorini that dates back 2,000 years. The expansive bar is backed by exposed brick, a sleek mirror, and lit by a clever arrangement of industrial style pendant lights.

Owner Chris Kovaros opened Akrotiri in March, featuring the fine cuisine of Chef Nicholas Poulmentis who puts a very modern touch on the finest fish and seafood on the market. Our entertaining waiter, Stefanos, provided excellent service and merriment and made some great suggestions for us. We soaked in the delightful ambience while we sipped on cocktails and glasses of cool, crisp, Greek white wine. The bar staff mix up exotic cocktails such as the “Akrotiri” made with Greek grappa, cinnamon and clove infusion, and citrus. “El Joven” mixes tequila with pineapple juice, ginger, and lime, and garnished with paprika and salt rim.

Akrotiri’s Raw Bar offers a seafood tower with fresh oysters, clams, and shrimp cocktail meant to be shared and enjoyed either at the bar or at your table. Charcoal grilled octopus is tender and tasty, served over black eyed pea relish and roasted red peppers. We loved the octopus balls, a uniquely delicious starter, served in a puddle of creamy yogurt parsley sauce ($14). Sashimi quality raw tuna is marinated in ginger and lime, served with avocado and eggplant puree. “Tarama” is a classic caviar dip that gets a twist from squid ink and truffle powder that you must try. Tiger shrimp are seared in a cast iron skillet and served with red quinoa, tomato puree, and aged feta cheese. Handmade Greek sausage called “loukaniko” are charcoal grilled and so flavorful, along with the artisanal bread made with flour brought from Greece, dipped in fine olive oil. Shepherd’s salad called “horiatiki” is tossed with tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, kalamata olives, red onion, and aged feta cheese for the perfect accompaniment to your meal. The cabbage slaw is a generously sized salad tossed with mustard seeds, walnuts, and apple slices.

If you love fish, Akrotiri prepares some of the finest around. The whole fish are perfectly cooked over charcoal, basted in lemon and fine olive oil for a light and satisfying dish. Choose among black sea bass, branzino, red snapper and the fish of the day. A mound of octopus ink linguine pasta is topped with plump, juicy scallops, King prawns, mussels and a spicy yellow pepper sauce. Flaky, fresh perch is cooked in parchment paper to seal in all the juices, served with seasonal vegetables ($20). Organic salmon is rich and tender, served with yogurt and beets. Baked swordfish is placed over warm pita bread with seared fennel, snow peas, and red pepper sauce. Akrotiri offers fine meats as well, including juicy Australian lamb chops, seared pork chops, a juicy burger, or NY strip steak that can be ordered with a lobster for an indulgent dinner of surf and turf. Brick oven roasted organic chicken is the perfect comfort food, served with wild mushrooms. Side dishes include the “must have” sizzled Brussel sprouts, served in a basket, roasted potatoes, gigandes beans, chilled beets and fresh cut fries.

For dessert, we shared the light and fragrant orange cake, and there’s also home-made baklava, and a chocolate cookie log. All dishes are beautifully presented and nicely portioned, and the vibe here is very relaxed, so take your time and enjoy the moment. Enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner at Akrotiri, seven days a week, while soaking in the lovely, Mediterranean d├ęcor, and people-watching. Soon the summer concerts in Athens Square Park will begin, making Akrotiri’s corner location even more festive. Stop in after work for a Happy Hour drink and raw bar any time. Visit their website for beautiful photos that will make your mouth water, and while you’re there, you can book a table online. Akrotiri accepts small group parties so call for details. Get outside and walk over to Akrotiri Seafood Taverna for fine fish and more, all with a clean, modern touch. Yasou!

29-20 30th Avenue, Astoria
718.726.2447

www.akrotiritaverna.com

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