Before we get down to brass tacks on Greek Islands, it’s imperative that you know one thing:
It’s in Little Neck (Queens), and if you don’t have a car, it might be a bit of a pain to get to.
Ok two things:
They don’t deliver. AHH. But don’t worry, I urged them to look into that immediately. If I moved back to Bayside, I would probably make people sign a petition or some shit to get that moving. The food was GREAT and I’m picky about my Greek food; I’m half Greek by way of Astoria, so…I think that qualifies me as an expert, right?
But I digress. If you’re someone who likes to put on pants and go to an actual restaurant, it’s worth the effort! The space looks like it fell right out of Santorini and onto Northern Blvd, with it’s blue and white checkered table cloths and deep blue accents – it’s very inviting. And the service was lovely as well; friendly but not overbearing, and the owner draws out the specials board every day (complete with cartoon prawns, if you’re lucky).
Onto the best part, aka the food. First off, they make this wonderful chickpea salad in olive oil as a starter with pita bread, given gratis to every table. So good. I think I would have ordered a bowl of those chickpeas to go if I could.
Greek Islands - Bayside, Queens
- Cheese Pie Triangles. These are flash-fried pillows of phyllo dough and cheese. If I’m being honest, I never liked tyropitas until this moment. Seriously. Spanakopitas (spinach and cheese pies) were always my favorite, but at Greek Islands, they drizzle the cheese pies with honey and sesame seeds. So simple but HOLY ZEUS what a game changer.
- Cold Spreads. I loveeeeee these. I always get tzatziki (Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic), taramosalata (fish roe mousse), melitzanosalata (eggplant), and tirokefteri (spicy feta). These were all great, but my favorites were the tzatziki and the tirokefteri. These are also the safest bets for folks who don’t do a ton of seafood, as tarama can be a little fishy.
- Kolokithokeftedes. Need help with pronunciation? Here you go: ZUCCHINI FRITTERS. My friends said that we ate a boatload of these when we went to Mykonos, but I don’t remember that at all. Probably because I spent 90% of my time in Mykonos either drunk or hungover. BUT I DIGRESS AGAIN. These were fried perfectly and served over skordalia (imagine really garlicky mashed potatoes). I wouldn’t plan on kissing anyone after that dish though, fyi.
- Kalamarakia. Pronunciation again: CALAMARI. You can never really go wrong with perfectly fried calamari, can you? The Greeks always know what’s up when it comes to seafood. To that end…
- Levraki Ceviche. Ummm this was amazing. The fish is branzino, soaking up all those lovely citrus notes, with flecks of red pepper and scallions. It was sliced so neatly, that it actually still looked like one big piece of fish. So fresh and delicious. I vote to move that to the regular menu asap.
- Pastitsio. I’m taking a big risk here, but I have to say it. This pastitsio almost rivaled my moms. I’M SORRY MOM I STILL LOVE YOU. I have tried pastitsio in many places, and I usually take one bite, scoff a little, and push it away like an asshole. But, this one was real close. It’s essentially a Greek lasagna, but the main differences are a thick layer of cheesy bechamel sauce in between the meat and noodles, and the meat is usually seasoned with a touch of cinnamon. It’s weird, but when it’s done right, it’s delicious.
- Lamb Chops. This is the other thing you don’t want to challenge the Greeks on: lamb. These baby lamb chops were perfectly tender and seasoned just right, but I was so full by that point I barely finished one. I wanted to take the bones home for my mom so she can chew on them, but everyone thought I was kidding. If there’s ANY meat whatsoever on the bone, she will clean it to the point where you could make a flute out of it.
Also, I didn’t get a picture of this since I was battling a severe case of food coma, but they had BAKLAVA ICE CREAM. What?! It was SO good – if you like baklava and cinnamon, I recommend a scoop of that.
Oh and you always finish your meal with Greek coffee or a frappe.
Greek Islands – Website
253-17 Northern Blvd
Little Neck, NY