Taverna Kyclades

Ever since a friend of ours brought us to a restaurant that served traditional Greek food, we’ve been having constant cravings. And we’re not even craving the typical Greek dishes like souvlaki and pita. We’ve been craving the goodies like grilled octopus and lamb chops! So on a plan-less Friday night, we did a quick Yelp search and headed over to Taverna Kyclades in the East Village to try to satisfy our Greek food cravings!

We arrived around 6:30pm and was seated right away. The dining room was about half full so it was a tad noisy. No big issue but we did have to lean in a bit to hear each other. We were given menus to look over and offered tap water almost immediately after sitting down. We spent a few minutes with our menus before asking our waiter for a bit of advice on ordering. And I have to say he was spot on with his recommendations!

To start, we ordered their Traditional Greek Salad ($8.95), which had a small amount of romaine lettuce, large tomatoes, small cucumbers, olives, onions and a huge slab of feta cheese. Our waiter told us that a small portion is more than enough for two people and we’re glad we listened to him. The small portion is more than enough for two people to share! The feta was amazing, the veggies were fresh and I absolutely love that they use tiny cucumbers! I’ve always thought that large cucumbers were troublesome to eat and whenever I make salads, I also use smaller ones.

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While we were making our way through our salad, the Charcoal Grilled Octopus ($17.95) arrived. Our waiter cut our octopus up for us, which I thought was nice. Everything was in bite-sized pieces for our pleasure! The octopus was fantastic! I think I’ve had better before – but it was really satisfying. The octopus was fresh and I love how simple the dish is – lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. You can really taste the octopus this way without a heavy sauce to cover it.

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Next up was our entree choice. We opted to share the Galeos, or Fried Baby Shark ($15.95). They offer the dish grilled or fried so we asked our waiter for his recommendation. He told us that he wanted to say grilled since it’s healthier but the fried is definitely tastier. We listened to his advice and went with the fried and boy was it good! Neither of us have had shark before so this was a new experience for both of us. It was surprisingly good – each piece has a large bone in the middle but otherwise it was very easy to eat. The meat was tender and very soft. It tasted amazing with the garlic dip on the side!

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Each entree comes with a side of your choice between rice, fries, lemon potatoes and horta. We went with the lemon potatoes and they were so good! I think these are the best lemon potatoes I’ve ever had in my life – the potatoes were warm and had just the right amount of lemon flavor. It wasn’t too overpowering and had just the perfect tart taste.

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After our dishes were cleared away, our waiter presented us with a complimentary dessert! It was a generous portion of a type of custard wrapped in phyllo dough. It was very tasty and just the perfect finish to a very savory meal. I especially loved the custard part!

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I thoroughly enjoyed my meal at Taverna. Everything tasted super fresh and I loved that besides the fried shark, everything was light and refreshing. Our waiter was attentive and gave such spot-on advice. And the complimentary dessert didn’t hurt either! I can’t wait to be back to have more octopus and maybe try the lamb chops next time!

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