A Joyful Feast: Astoria Restaurants Offer Plenty to Celebrate

A New York neighborhood can be defined by its restaurants and in this way, Astoria is a place like no other. Now with the holidays and cold weather approaching, Astoria restaurants have plenty to offer those looking for ways to make their special occasions festive in this time of social distancing.

Chris Karalekas, co-owner and sommelier of Sanfords on Broadway, reminds us they carry
one of the best whiskey lists in NYC. And the cooler weather is the perfect time to order a glass! Karalekas accommodates the changing times by offering whiskey in one-ounce pours. The idea to switch to a smaller size comes from a past trip to Scotland.

“The U.S. gives you one and a half to two ounces but converting to one-ounce pours enables you to try different kinds,” he said. “That’s how they did it in Scotland and I thought this was a good time to try it here.”

Additionally, Sanford’s o ers brunch seven days a week, featuring ve different varieties of eggs benedict. “You can have a Bellini here every day,” Karalekas says. “Doesn’t have to be Sunday.”

Taverna Kyclades Greek cuisine is revered in a zip code already well-known for standout Greek food. But seafood is the star of this restaurant whose name pays tribute to the Cyclades, a set of Greek islands known for their beaches and fresh sh. Favorite dishes include their grilled octopus and calamari.

Taverna Kyclades also has a Dorata, Branzino, and the Kyclades Specialty, a platter of stuffed clams, stuffed shrimp, a lobster tail, salmon, and scallops.

With doors open in Astoria since 1973, the beloved, family-owned Italian restaurant Piccola Venezia welcomes the holidays. Featuring two large dining rooms, the restaurant has plenty of space to accommodate people who seek fine dining in a safe environment. Piccola Venezia is happily accepting reservations for Christmas Eve, one of the biggest nights of the year.

Co-owner Chris Vlacich said, “Families have been coming here for thirty years to celebrate the holidays. We have three generations of the same families that come here on Christmas Eve. It’s their tradition. People are so happy we’re open again.”

Piccola Venezia’s expansive menu includes their Bucolloni, a dish of hand-made tortelloni stuffed with Osso Buco is their number one dish- a specialty one won’t nd anywhere else!

“I love watching people’s reactions when they have it for the first time,” Vlacich says. “People come from Long Island, Manhattan, Connecticut, and New Jersey… They’ve remained loyal and keep coming back because it’s worth the trip.”

Pao De Quiejo o ers a knockout holiday takeout menu that proves very popular year after year. Customers can choose from a variety of Brazillian food entrée options, including the popular Salpaccio, a chicken Hawaiian salad, the Pernil Assado, a roasted pork leg with vegetables, and Arroz a Grega, the Brazillian version of Greek rice with raisins and vegetables.

Owner Karina Guimareas grew up in the countryside about two hours outside Sao Paulo, so Pao De Quiejo is her way of bringing the food she grew up with to Queens. She says their turkey entrée, Peru Assado, and Batatas, is “different from a roasted turkey here but people really love it. It’s Brazilian style, stuffed with oranges, which makes it juicier.”And for dessert try their Flan, a year-round big seller!

Celebrate your holiday meal with one of these staple Astoria restaurants.