Restaurant Review: Loukoumi Taverna

Details: Official website is http://www.toloukoumi.com/.  Located at 45-07 Ditmars Blvd., Queens, NY.

I thoroughly enjoyed eating at Loukoumi Taverna, a Greek restaurant on Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria.

Service was great. The staff was very friendly. This might have been because one of us was a regular who spoke Greek, so the staff were very cordial.

As for what we ate…

We started with wine and some hot appetizers; the Tirokeftedes (fried cheese balls), the Ouzokeftedes (meat balls meant with Ouzo), followed by the Grilled Calamari. I thought about taking pictures, but I feel like it’s pretty rude unless everyone else at the table is participating.

The food we received looked exactly like the pictures from their website, except that the grilled calamari was chopped, not whole. It was all delicious. I love cheese and anything deep-fried, so the cheese balls were great. The meat balls were good with a little melted cheese drizzled over them and a sauce made with fruit, apple I think. The grilled calamari was also very good and tasted of lemon in addition to the olive oil.

We then split two entrees: the Bifteki (ground lamb mixed with herbs, spices and cheese) and the Solomos Ampelofyollo (Salmon with herbs, and I think mushrooms and some kind of fruit, wrapped in grapevine leaves and roasted.

No picture for the fish unfortunately.

Both dishes were delicious. The bifteki was well seasoned and moist. The fish though was tender and had a surprisingly tasty fruit flavor to it. I’m unsure if it was the grapevine leaves or something they wrapped with the fish when they roasted it, but it was very good. I also ate some of the leaves, which were also good.

After all the food we were stuffed and refrained from dessert. We were served the complimentary namesake of the restaurant: Loukoumi. From what my friend explained, loukoumi is a confection, a flavored gel made mostly of sugar. It can be flavored like anything, from orange, to tree sap, and even rosewater.

The one we received was flavored with rosewater. An interesting thing, it tasted how potpourri smelled.

Score: 8/10 Loved it. Can’t wait to come back and try the grilled octopus and loukaniko (grilled sausage).

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