2007-09-19 / Restaurant of the Week


32-10 36th Ave., Long Island City 718.786.6015
by Teresa Barile

          Seafood lovers have been coming from near and far to Greek Captain on 36th Avenue in Astoria for the past 14 years. While the amiable Yanni Vullis is the new owner of this fine restaurant, "The Captain", Angelo Skentzos, still runs the wholesale fish business, as he has for the past 40 years. The Captain travels from Long Island to Maryland each week to purchase the finest fish and seafood and sells it to restaurants all along the Atlantic coast. Yanni has renovated this nautically-themed restaurant and continues to serve up the best the Captain has to offer. Feel free to bring your own beer or wine until the new liquor license is approved.

Greek Captain's dining room has a clean, nautical motif with whitewashed walls, Grecian blue trim and seafaring items on the walls. Handsome woodwork is reminiscent of a ship's cabin. Service is fast and friendly and best of all, the tip is included in the price of the food, making Greek Captain a real bargain. Greek Captain now accepts major credit cards and free delivery will be available shortly.

One could make a meal of the appetizers alone. We devoured oysters and clams from the raw bar. These tender mollusks were so fresh and brimming with sweet, salty brine from the ocean. Resting atop platters of cubed ice, just a squeeze of lemon or a dollop of the zesty cocktail sauce makes these oysters and clams go down so easily.

Grilled octopus is one of my favorites, owing to its tender texture and vinegar and oil dressing. There are also crispy baked clams and plump shrimp cocktail, practically the size of small lobster tails. The Captain made it a point to tell us that the crab cakes are made with Maryland jumbo lump crab meat, and not the imitation kind. One taste and you will notice the sweet and tender crab meat, seasoned with herbs and spices. A dab of tartar sauce makes them taste even better. Hearty fish soup was a special that night brimming with calamari, chunks of fish,

octopus, clams, carrots, potatoes and celery in a rich seafood stock. Rich and creamy shrimp bisque goes well with the fabulous warm, crusty garlic bread brought to your table.

Entrées run from $12.99 for golden, crispy fried whiting fillet to $24.99 for the special Greek Captain combination. This is by far the most popular dish and I defy you to finish this huge platter of steamed crab legs, lobster tail, shrimp stuffed with that wonderful crab meat, clams and scallops. The broiled combo teams up salmon fillet, flounder fillet, plump shrimp and broiled scallops. Choose a whole fish such as porgy, red snapper or black sea bass, grilled and filleted table-side, if you wish. Sea bass, sole, swordfish or halibut can be grilled over charcoal or broiled, for around $18.99. All entrées are served with a bountiful Greek salad full of fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, and creamy feta cheese, and your choice of seasoned rice, baked potato or French fries. Even the tip is included in the price, so Greek Captain is an economical way to enjoy top-notch fish and seafood that is fresh from the ocean, and never frozen.

Who can resist the crunch and flakiness of fried fish? Greek Captain prepares light and crispy fried shrimp, snapper, fillet of sole and scallops and tasty fish and chips. The fried calamari are so tender to the bite and crispy on the outside. Order a bunch of gigantic King crab legs and give them a crack along with melted butter and lemon ($24.99)

The secret of Greek Captain's success is simplicity. Only fresh fish and seafood is served. Dinners come complete with salad and choice of potato or rice and the tip is included in the price. Now, major credit cards are accepted, making a meal here even more pleasurable. Greek Captain is proud to offer an Early Bird Dinner, served Monday through Friday from 3pm to 6pm with $10.99 entr es. Lunch specials are offered Monday through Friday from 11am to 3pm for just $9.99.

Our lovely waitress, Violetta, provided fast, friendly service and will help you decide among all the delicious choices. She even brought a slice of house made custard cream cake for dessert.

Greek Captain is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, from 11am till midnight. Families and large groups are always welcome. Valet parking is available on the weekends or just take the N train to 36th Avenue. Free delivery is coming soon.

Enjoy an endless summer with the finest, freshest fish and seafood at Greek Captain, where the fish is always fresh and the service is always fast and friendly.

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