2018-12-05 / Restaurant of the Week

Telly’s Taverna

For nearly 30 years, Telly’s Taverna has been a fixture on 23rd Avenue in Astoria, serving up some of the finest, most authentic Greek cuisine in the neighborhood. Diana took over from her enigmatic mother “Nana” some years ago and is always innovating and renovating to please the regulars and provide a spectacular dining experience for all.

The rustic dining room with white washed tables and woven straw chairs resembles traditional tavernas found all over Greece. The friendly service, fine food, and wine make Telly’s Taverna a local favorite. There’s a charming outdoor patio in the rear which is a delight in warm weather and is heated by gas lamps in the cooler weather. Located just a few steps from the Ditmars Blvd. station, Manhattanites can easily reach Telly’s too, and private parties of up to 100 can be accommodated so make your holiday reservations now!

The smooth, marble-topped bar is a nice place for a glass of wine, a cold Mythos beer, or your favorite cocktail while you wait for friends to arrive. Katerina sat us at our comfortable table which was topped with butcher paper stenciled with their signature “fish bone” logo.

We settled in with a carafe of house red wine and some of Telly’s Taverna’s freshly made dips, served in a ceramic trio that included tzatziki yogurt dip, skordalia, which is a puree of potato and garlic, taramosalata caviar dip. Each was perfect slathered onto slices of warm country bread and grilled pita. Next came a platter of perfectly charred octopus, tender and tasty with its marinade of olive oil and vinegar. Grilled octopus is another great choice to start with, or even as an entrée. Families love to share the fried zucchini, eggplant, and peppers, or the tender zucchini croquettes, crisp on the outside and served with fluffy tzatziki. Handmade grilled sausage called loukaniko or Greek style meatballs called keftedes with delicate herbs are also popular here. My lovely friend and I mopped it all up and shared a cool “Nana” salad, composed of tossed finely chopped lettuces and fresh dill with a light, lemony dressing and bits of creamy feta cheese.

Whether you crave meat, chicken, or fish, the expert chefs at Telly’s Taverna make everything on the spot. The refrigerated case shows off the fresh catches of the day, lamb chops, steaks, and more. Choose among fresh porgy, branzino, black sea bass, swordfish and salmon, and swordfish kebabs. Try a shrimp kebab, shrimp scampi or baked shrimp with feta cheese and tomatoes.

Tender baby lamb chops (paidakia) are succulent and juicy after a quick pass over the coals. Rib-eye or T-bone steaks, and Greek style hamburgers are juicy and delicious, served sizzling hot off the grill. Entrees are served with their famous hand cut French-fried potatoes, lemon potatoes, or rice.

Try as you might to save room for a Telly’s treat of loukoumades, tender balls of fried dough, like zeppoles, and drizzled with honey. The hunk of baklava was like ambrosia and goes well with Greek or American style coffee and an after-dinner cordial.

Visit for lunch and enjoy a juicy chicken kebab and a salad, burger, a wedge of homemade spinach pie, soups, seafood entrees and more. Telly’s Taverna is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner from 11:30am to 12:30am. The warm ambience, friendly service, and great food make Telly’s Taverna so very popular. Visit their website for the menu and GIFT CERTIFICATES which make ideal gifts for your family, friends, and employees.

28-13 23rd Avenue
Astoria  718.728.9056


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