Brother’s Taverna is a hidden gem I stumbled upon recently. Their menu is seemingly Greek, as one would expect in Astoria, but the owner and chef is actually from Albania. So among the typical Mediterranean fare, you’ll also find authentic and intriguing Albanian dishes.

2-IMG_9523

The interior is adorably decorated with a mix of modern and rustic aesthetics. One side of the restaurant is lined with floor-to-ceiling windows perfect for people-watching, and the other side has a beautiful brick facade.

Also note – every Wednesday there is live music (you can sort of see in the background), which is both fun and relaxing. If you’re lucky you might get an authentic Albanian ballad sung to you as well. 

4-IMG_9537

We started off with the assorted dip platter. The hummus, tzatziki, and tirokafteri came with a basket of bread and pita for dipping. Tirokafteri, which I can’t pronounce properly for the life of me, is a spicy and salty Greek feta spread.

6-IMG_9544

Rarely do veggie dishes blow me away, but these zucchini chips were unbelievable. The breading was so light but also crispy, something hard to achieve.

9-IMG_9556

We got a round of cocktails from the bartender that I have no idea what they were. Some type of alcoholic snow cone it appeared to be.

12-IMG_9572

Not your average pickled veggie platter that’s for sure. I was told that some of these guys were fresh off the boat from Albania. Absolutely loved the spicy pickled peppers stuffed with cheese.

15-IMG_9581

I think this dish is called “buke misri”, but not positive. It’s basically an Albanian cornbread with some type of special milk/cheese. No joke, the bottom of the bowl has some type of legit dairy that is super hard to find in the states.

11-IMG_9570

Not a bad start for just the appetizer round. Clearly this was the beginning of a doggy-bag situation.

17-IMG_9599

This gorgeous dish is the Grilled Octopus. Unlike typical Greek-style grilled octopus which is plated simply, this came topped with capers, tomatoes, olives, and onions. It’s set atop a pile of mashed fava beans which was a great bed to catch all the briney seafood juices.

18-IMG_9604

One of my favorites everrr – Pastitsio. It’s a baked dish consisting of some type of ground meat, tubular pasta, and covered in a bechamel sauce and baked until bubbly.

21-IMG_9619

Think: Greek style lasagna. The perfect mix of savory and creamy. Exactly what my dreams are made of.

24-IMG_9635

I usually pass on grilled salmon entrees at restaurants since they can be so one-note. But after a bite of this grilled salmon over couscous and spinach, I can never go back.

32-IMG_9670

Even though the salmon was perfectly tender, it was the couscous that surprised me the most. It was bright and acidic and held its own weight against the salmon and spinach.

30-IMG_9662

Still not done eating, nope. This enormous mixed meat platter had more than enough food for two diners on a normal night. It was chock full of bifteki, chicken, and pork souvlaki. It also came with sliced sausage, veggies, tzatziki, and pita bread. And holy crap was it good.

33-IMG_9677

Dessert #1 was this orange flavored phyllo dough dish. Softer than baklava, and luckily less sweeter than it too. It was my favorite of the two desserts we had, and the pinch of citrus was a nice touch.

35-IMG_9688

Dessert #2 and the last bite of the night before a full on coma was this walnut cake. It was lightly sweetened with honey and a had a good amount of firmness to the tooth. A perfect ending to a perfectly (full) night of eating.

 

Website: brotherstavernanyc.com

Address: 23-01 Steinway St, Astoria, NY 11105

Posted by:Talei Rukstad

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s