2010-01-13 / Restaurant of the Week


darouso’s is a sleek, new Eurostyle eatery that marries the cuisines of Italy and Greece, two cultures with a lot in common, especially when it comes to good food and family. Located on

Northern Blvd. on the Flushing/Bayside border, Darouso's is a family affair that serves delicious home style Greek and Italian dishes and fantastic pizza in a beautifully decorated dining room. The glass entranceway allows you to see the light wood wainscot, honey-colored walls and cool ceramic tile floors. Tidy wood tables allow you to dine comfortably, even with the whole family. There's free delivery too, if you prefer to eat at home, and the phone rings off the hook with orders to go.

Darouso's is the newest venture for Stephanie and Thanasis Koutsothanasis, a couple who has put their hearts and souls into this restaurant which opened just one month ago. Thanasis is a third generation baker from the sunny island of Mykonos who specializes in breads, bagels and pizza. He has managed several baking businesses in Manhattan and has now settled into his own venue. Wife Stephanie, an enthusiastic cook in her own right, prepares her famous avgolemono soup for all to enjoy, as well as many other dishes on the menu.

We couldn't resist a slice of their pizza, with all ingredients made inhouse. There are years of experience in the dough alone, rendering it crisp and tender and the sauce is house made with just the right amount of herbs. Try the pepperoni pinwheels or broccoli and spinach pinwheels, chicken rolls or garlic knots. With 18 varieties of pizza, you're sure to find your favorite and there's fast delivery to your home or office. Next, Stephanie's avgolemono soup took the chill out of an arctic night with its extra helping of TLC. The Darouso Salad is a spring mix laced with dried cranberries, walnuts and olives, dressed with balsamic vinaigrette. Appetizers on the menu include crispy calamari rings with the house made marinara sauce that rivals grandma's. Stuffed grape leaves are tender, filled with rice and they go well with an order of saganaki, sautéed Greek cheese ($6.50). Have your Super Bowl party catered by Darouso's and enjoy their spicy Buffalo wings, chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks and a platter of sandwiches or hot entrées.

Entrées include Italian and Greek favorites, but there's a twist here…all dishes are made from scratch and nothing comes from a can or is delivered premade. For example, Thanasis prepares his own souvlaki meat for the rotisserie, with a gentle blend of seasonings and salt. When sliced thin, this juicy blend of pork and lamb melts in your mouth and can be piled onto fluffy pita bread with lettuce, tomato, onion and tzatziki sauce, or served on a platter with Greek salad, warm pita, French fries or rice. For an extra special treat, you simply must try the Mykonos sausage, made by hand with recipes from his native island. Also noteworthy are the French fries served here. They are made in house, hand-peeled, cut, fried to order and sprinkled with salt and a touch of oregano for extra flavor. I'll warn you that these fries are addictively delicious! The classic Greek style lemon potatoes are also great. I'd like to point out that all dishes are gently seasoned with herbs and spices and little salt is used in the preparation, leaving the dishes light and flavorful, never heavy or greasy.

On the Italian side of the Aegean come the delicious pasta dishes, made fresh to order with house made sauces. Classic spaghetti and meatballs is Italian comfort food and I just love their shrimp marinara, made with plump shrimp and zesty sauce, served over perfectly cooked spaghetti or linguine ($14). Penne with broccoli, garlic and oil is one of my favorites, but I also enjoyed the spaghetti carbonara with bits of ham. Chicken parmigiana is served bubbling from the oven with a side of pasta ($12).

At lunchtime or anytime, the juicy burgers can't be beat and they even offer the Greek style burger, called bifteki, with special seasonings. Wraps are filled with grilled chicken, Greek salad and feta, vegetables, tuna salad and more. Hero sandwiches are filled with sausage and peppers, meatballs parmigiana, potatoes and eggs and more, so there's truly something for everyone, no matter where you grew up.

Sweeten your palate with the family recipe rice pudding with a dusting of cinnamon, or flaky baklava, tiramisu or strawberry cheesecake. Darouso's is a family restaurant, so you'll feel very welcome here with your family and friends. They are open seven days a week and there's free parking behind the shop, with the driveway's entrance on Northern Blvd. Darouso's will cater your business or private event as you like so call now to put in your order. The Koutsothanasis Family welcomes you to Darouso's where good food is shared by families and friends. Yasoo!

196-17 Northern Blvd., Flushing
(across from St. Nicholas Church)

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