A delectable experience in Astoria, Queens and about as close to the Greek Islands this side of the Statue of Liberty. Bright, airy and with a super friendly staff greeting everyone who enters — welcome to Nisí Estiatorio. The immediate vibe feels like you are joining a family reunion. The lunch and dinner menus range from classic spreads, fresh pita bread, various seafood and vegetable appetizers to a vast selection of fresh salads, inspired burgers and their famous branzino and grilled lamb. The chefs keep up the Greek tradition with a flair for contemporary technique and today’s tastes. I recommend you call them for a reservation and to hear what’s cooking on the Restaurant Week Menu.
Restaurant week is not only about taking advantage of a good offer but broadening our palate with cuisine some of us have never tasted or are too stubborn to even try. That’s the best part of the week that lasts an entire month! That being said, I chose Tanoreen in Brooklyn for this Middle Eastern family affair dining experience. According to the proprietors, “Tanoreen has varied in its fusions, but never deviated from its roots, a blend of classical Palestinian & Middle Eastern cooking with delicious multicultural aromas stirred through. The cuisine celebrates tradition & embraces change. It’s like dining in our home.” I was fortunate to grow up in a very diverse neighborhood in Pennsylvania. This was the best kibbe I’ve ever tasted since my childhood. Call them. Book a table. Prepare for a dining euphoria. Say hello to Rawia, Jumana, Mr. Wafa and the entire family/staff.
I must divulge that I am a grande fan of Socarrat. I’ve reviewed their several locations over the years. I do not know the owner but he knows me well enough to say “¿Como estás, Tio?” and shake my hand. I recommend this restaurant for several personal reasons. I lived in Spain and understand/appreciate the cuisine. The kitchen consistently delivers excellence. Finally, if you haven’t ever had regional cuisine from the various parts of the Iberian Peninsula, now is the time! You must taste the authentic gazpacho or perhaps croquetas. Select one of their famous paellas — I suggest the one named after the house. “¡Buen provecho!” All locations are honoring the special menu but call in advance to reserve a table.
Please note that Saturdays are excluded and Sundays are optional. Be sure to check with the each restaurant for hours of operation, menu updates and scheduled closures.
Picture credits: Establishments and P. K. Greenfield