A Meal Fit
The Greek Gods
S'agapo: 34-21 34th Avenue, Astoria , 626-0303
Hours: 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., daily
Cuisine: Greek, Cretan
Credit Cards: yes
Handicap Accessible: yes
I spent Monday
evening dining like a God on Mt. Olympus, well, actually dining like a God at
Astorias SAgapo restaurant.
Nestled at the intersection of 34th St. and 34th Ave.,
SAgapo is ideal for outdoor dining aficionados. Its open air seating is hidden
behind a veil of over five feet high bushes and greenery, which ensconces one in a truly
The restaurant is owned by Kostas and Barbara Lambrakis,
who serve a cornucopia of Grecian delights whose ingredients, such as extra virgin olive
oil, hail directly form the island of Crete and surrounding region.
We began our meal with a selection of cold and hot
appetizers, first indulging in the pikilia orektikon, a variety of six spreads, ranging
from eggplant mousse to a spicy puree of roasted sweet peppers.
All were delectable, but the taramasi, a carp roe mousse
with a smooth, salty flavor which hearkens of the isle, was truly tremendous. We freshened
our palate before the next indulgence with the final two dips, tzatziki, made from yogurt,
cucumbers and herbs, and maintanouri, a fresh parsley dip made only by SAgapo.
Next was a small plate of delicate quail and sausage, and
as my dining companion rolled her eyes and mumbled deliriously of the quail, "now I
know what all the fuss is about," I promptly excused myself from my vegetarian status
to sample the grilled, woodsy flavored sausage, which is home-made by SAgapo
Our server, Takis, complained that we were neglecting his
favorite, the manitari saganaki gigantic portobello and saganaki cheeses broiled to
golden brown perfection, with a light touch of herbs. He was right it must be
After sampling the wonderfully varied greens of the salad,
delighted by the unexpected find of purslane (a succulent yet crunchy addition) we moved
on to our finale, the garides saganaki, jumbo shrimp and kefolotiti cheese, and wallowed
in the balance between the almost sweet shrimp and twangy goat cheese.
All of these we accompanied with a semi-dry but lightly
fruity flavored Greek wine, recommended by our server.
SAgapo also offers a panorama of desserts ranging
from fresh fruit to halva, all made personally by Barbara.
All hot and cold appetizers most suitable for a
summers meal are $11, while entrees range from $11-31.