Now that we live in Long Island City, we’re sure to be exploring Astoria more. The funny thing is, Lon and I both lived in Astoria for a short time before, but that was over 10 years ago. A lot has changed, expanded, and diversified. Still, one of the biggest draws is the abundance of Greek restaurants. Lon’s family came to see our new place yesterday, so we took advantage of our group size (so we could order more) and chose Akti Seafood Restaurant 34-19 30th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11103.

Loukaniko, souvlaki, and steamed wild greens

At first I thought their ordering system would be fun. It’s a large menu with an erasable marker. You just mark your orders on it. It sounds simple but the logistics don’t work out because only one person can read the menu at a time and orders with choices or duplicates get complicated. Each entree comes with a choice of side, which caused us to draw lines linking sides to their entrees. We made little notes everywhere and then tried to explain it to our waiter.

Olive oil and vinegar

Warm bread and pita is served with a nice olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Things started a tad slow, but once appetizers started, there was a good flow of food coming.  As you can imagine, the ordering system caused some confusion and we got a duplicate of the Tzatziki and Melitzanosalata. They just told us to keep both because it was their fault. I didn’t love the salads though, the Tzatziki was rather salty and too much cucumber to yogurt ratio. The eggplant had a nice smokiness but was under-seasoned. The marinated beets seemed to be just plain beets. It wasn’t bad, just forgettable.

Taztziki, Melitzanosalta, beets

On the flip side, the Grilled Octopus is to die for. The thin crisp edges of ultra tender chunks, simply delicious with just a little salt, lemon and oil.

Grilled Octopus

The Sardeles,  four large whole sardines, was another I’d rave about. Just superbly cooked fresh fish.

Sardines 2

The salads were also wonderful, crisp and vibrant vegetables. The first had great olives and feta, holding up expectations of a Greek restaurant.

Prasini

The Pantzarosalata was a generous mix of beets, cabbage, cherry tomatoes, romaine, eggs, potatoes, and green olives. It’s perfect for sharing.

Pantzarosalata 2

We didn’t really like the seafood salad, another in the more average than great category.

Psarosalata

The Saganaki was different than what I’ve had before, with more of a breading. Of course, I still loved it. You can’t go wrong with Kefalograviera cheese and it was served nice and hot.

Saganaki

By the time we finished appetizers, most of us were close to full. We still had huge entrees coming. It’s kind of a good thing because all the meat was over-cooked: no matter sausage, pork loin, souvlaki, or lamb chops. I kind of want to slap my own hand and say, “Why did you order meat? This is a seafood restaurant!” Seriously, between the time that I made the reservation and coming here, I totally forgot that it was a seafood restaurant. (The process of moving has a way of scrambling your brains.)

Lamb Chops with Greek Fries Lountza, Loukaniko, and Greek fries

As for sides, I was totally excited about the Greek Fries, described as fries with oregano and grated cheese. It was a let down, rather soggy fries with just one teeny pinch of cheese and I only saw one fleck of herb.

Greek Fries

The roasted lemon potatoes were excellent and so were the steamed wild greens. All the portion were very generous, and when they put the sides on the wrong orders, they just gave us more sides so the right side order could be near the person who ordered it. Seriously, they’ve gotta change their menu system, but they do make every effort to fix anything at their expense.

Though there were some mishaps and some forgettable dishes, I’d definitely go back now that I know what to order. Way too much food for six people was a little more than $150 (not including tip). Stick to the seafood, especially the grilled octopus and sardines! Order some salads. You’ll get great service and their happy to deal with groups and children.

posted by jessica at 11:25 PM Filed under Mediterranean, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.