Corfu in Queens Gazette
Corfu Grill offers casual Greek dining in a sliver of Forest Hills. Nestled on the upper level of the popular shopping center on Austin Street, Corfu Grill welcomes couples, families and friends to their petite dining room furnished with charming antique lanterns, barrels, and lovely seaside paintings mounted on classic Grecian blue walls. In this balmy weather, you can opt to dine outside on the patio and people watch as you nibble on Greek ‘meze’ appetizers, both hot and cold.
Owner Georgios “George” Aspiotis opened Corfu Grill nearly a decade ago and maintains a steady clientele who come for authentic Greek dishes. If you visit Monday to Friday between 4pm and 8pm, you can avail yourself of two-for-one drinks and $3 bar appetizers such as chicken or souvlaki sticks, spinach pie or hand cut French fries. We started with a glass of the house sangria and a mojito from the bar. Frozen margaritas and daiquiris are also available as well as Cosmos and other fruity cocktails.
Cold appetizers with an array of dips that include skordalia, a creamy potato puree with lots of garlic, melitzanosalata eggplant salad, hummus, and tzatziki yogurt cucumber dip, all meant to be spread on warm triangles of pita bread. Order some stuffed grape leaves or feta cheese and olives to nibble on with your cocktails. We shared a crunchy Greek salad with creamy feta, olives, and dolmades. Hot appetizers include tender grilled octopus or calamari, drizzled with olive oil and vinegar, crispy rings of fried calamari with marinara dipping sauce and saganaki; pan-fried haloumi cheese finished with a splash of brandy ($7.50). We shared a plate of shrimp saganaki with half a dozen plump, tender shrimp cooked in tomato sauce with a touch of feta cheese and ouzo liqueur and soaked up all these delicious flavors with some bread. Both adults and kids will like the chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks or zucchini sticks, served crunchy and hot.
Corfu Grill has entrees from the land and the sea, as well as plenty of pasta and vegetarian options. They’re well known for tender chicken kebabs and these were great, accompanied by a Greek salad, lemon potatoes and rice ($14). There’s also a souvlaki plate made with cubes of tender pork, beef or lamb kebabs as well. Loukaniko are handmade Greek sausages that pack a lot of flavor, as does the bifteki, which is a mildly spiced Greek hamburger. Classic gyro platter or sandwiches are available too. In fact all of these grilled meats can be piled onto fluffy pita bread with lettuce, tomato, onion and creamy tzatziki sauce, all for about $10 and make a great lunch or dinner.
Homemade Greek dishes at Corfu Grill are delicious, such as mousaka, a layered dish of fresh eggplant, seasoned ground beef, mashed potatoes, and béchamel sauce ($14). Pastitsio is a baked macaroni dish with ground beef and béchamel sauce that baked up with a crunchy crust. Beef stew, lamb chops and rib-eye Angus steak make choosing difficult so you’ll have to come back for more.
A nice selection of fresh fish and seafood is always on hand at Corfu Grill. Ask about the whole fish of the day which will be char grilled and basted with olive oil and lemon juice. Flaky tilapia can be fried or sautéed with garlic and wine. Salmon fillet or sea bass fillet are prepared simply and served hot. Jumbo shrimp are golden fried, broiled in garlic and white wine, or laced onto skewers. Top your pasta with vegetables, carbonara sauce with smoky bacon and onion, or rich meat sauce.
Corfu Grill is a great place for lunch, offering great sandwiches, juicy burgers, and lunch specials for $6.99 that include chicken oreganata, kebabs, burgers, and pasta served with soup or salad. Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday until 3pm with omelettes, apple cinnamon French toast, pancakes, sandwiches and brunch cocktails. For dessert, the baklava is flaky and nutty, sweetened with honey. There are other Greek confections as well as ice cream and good coffee. Corfu Grill is open seven days a week for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. They will deliver to your home or office and can cater your next event. Visit their Web site for menus and photos.
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