Ovelia – Greek Spotlight in Astoria, NY
While it has been a popular spot on Astoria’s 30th Ave for a number of years, this Greek restaurant has done what many others in New York City have failed to do. Most Greek restaurants fall under two categories. The first is traditional with blue and white tablecloths and a wait staff made up of the local church’s youth group. The second is the upscale kind that tries to be more Anglo and accessible. The problem with the latter is that they are often not authentic and frequently have a fair share of Italian items on the menu.
Ovelia is a new type of restaurant that speaks well to the character of the neighborhood. It is located in Astoria, Queens, which has been gentrified in the past few years, driving rents up and many residents further into Queens. This restaurant blends the old Greek character of the neighborhood with the new contemporary architecture and hip vibe that Astoria is now known for.
First and Foremost, they have an excellent drink menu (with happy hour from 5-9pm) that uses mixology to create cocktails from American mixers with traditional Greek liquors. I had a Sikitini, made with figs and metaxa, before my friends and I snacked on a plethora of tapas. I highly recommend their MELITZANOSALATA, a delicious eggplant spread made with tomato and parsley. They also have the traditional tapas that everyone likes, such as tzatziki, skordalia and saganaki.
For my main course, I had a vegetarian mousaka, which is a spin on a traditional potato and beef dish. Instead of using a meat substitute, the restaurant uses tons of yummy and fresh cooked vegetables. While we were all too full to eat dessert, I can highly recommend their loukoumades, or fresh homemade Greek donuts.
Our meal was about $40 per head with cocktails, wine and tip/tax. Ovelia is located off New York City’s N/Q subway trains at 30th Av and is about 25 minutes from Midtown Manhattan. http://www.ovelia-ny.com/
Guru Insider Tip: While out in Astoria, you can pick up lots of fresh produce at the markets along 30th Ave or visit the historic Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden.