Under The Sea Celebration: Three Top Seafood Spots to Honor Greek Independence Day
By Betsy Morales
It’s no secret that Astoria’s predominant non-English/Spanish language is Greek. This becomes more apparent than ever every March, when we watch the celebrations take off throughout the neighborhood honoring Greece’s Independence Day. March 25th commemorates the start of the War of Greek Independence in 1821 and coincidentally, also marks the celebration of the Annunciation to the Theotokos, when Archangel Gabriel announced that the Virgin Mary will be the mother of Christ.
This date falls during Lent, a period where traditionally, no meat or fish is eaten. However, there are two days during lent when one can consume seafood, one of them being March 25th. That being said, some popular dishes eaten on Greece’s Independence Day include bakaliaros, a deep-fried, salted cod, and skordalia, a garlic and potato dip. Though the annual celebrations may be a little different this year, we can still pay tribute to Greece by indulging in seafood galore.
Aliada is a Greek and Cypriot cuisine-serving restaurant. If you so choose to dine in, ordering a fish meze is highly recommended ($45/person). Aliada proudly advertises that they offer “the heart of Greek and Cypriot culinary culture; a vast selection of gastronomic delicacies, consisting of hot and cold appetizers, with an emphasis on fresh, local and imported ingredients.” Pictured here is their delicious Octopus Salad: this char-grilled octopus is dressed in a delectable oregano vinaigrette and accompanied by capers, red onions and tomatoes ($22). Another order that will not disappoint is their Branzino: a fresh Mediterranean sea bass ($26). Don’t fret if you can’t dine in for any reason; Aliada is available on most delivery platforms!
29-19 Broadway | 718.932.2240 | @aliadarestaurant | aliadarestaurant.com
Opened in 1990, next, we have Telly’s Taverna. They have since then expanded and opened a location in Portchester, NY. For more seafood delight, we recommend their Grilled Seafood Combination for Two ($52). This complete Greek dinner includes salad, dip, salmon steak, flounder fillet and jumbo shrimp. Dip choices range from hummus, to tzatziki to kafterie, a spicy feta delight. And as if these options weren’t enough, they also serve the fan-favorite, skordalia ($7)! Check out their website for their very extensive menu and convenient delivery services.
28-13 23rd Ave. | 718.728.9056 | @tellystaverna | tellystavernagreekgrill.com
Last but certainly not least, you cannot go wrong with Taverna
Kyclades. In addition to their Astoria location, they have restaurants in both the East Village and Bayside. Take our word for it, you have to try the “Kyclades” Special ($39.95). This plate comes with stuffed clams, stuffed shrimp, lobster tail, fillet of sole and scallops and is accompanied by a choice of rice, fried potatoes, beets, lemon potatoes or horta.
33-07 Ditmars Blvd. | 718.545.8666 | @tavernakyclades | tavernakyclades.com