The greatest discovery any foodie can make is finding a local restaurant where you just know when you sit down at your table that anything you could order on the menu will be delicious. This is not the same thing as having a favorite restaurant where you really love the Cheese Enchiladas or the Green Coconut Curry. I’m talking about a dining establishment that not only serves your favorite dish, but a place where the quality of what you already know you love is so amazing that you’re encouraged to try things you might not have otherwise. It is from such circumstances that true Food Adventurism is born, and that just makes life more enjoyable. Because dining out is awesome.
We recently went on a food adventure (outside the borough of Manhattan, even) to a wonderful Greek Steak House called Christos, where we ate the Best Steak of Our Lives, and also enjoyed various other delicious foods that put us into a satisfying food coma. We are going to share that experience with you now. Please settle in.
Located in Astoria Queens, half a mile from very last stop on the Q or N line, Christos is everything a classic steak house should be while also offering a distinctive Greek touch to their dishes. The interior is warm and unpretentious and you can choose to have your meal in the front room, well lit with natural light from the street, or a more intimate area towards the back, which would probably be good for a larger, private party. If you’re on your own, or prefer a more casual seating area, there’s plenty of space and extra tables in the bar area.
Service is friendly and very accommodating, so you really feel welcome and that your patronage is appreciated. The menu is quite extensive and as long as you have brought along your heartiest appetite you should find it challenging on what to choose, as every item looks so amazing.
Christos has the Surf and the Turf fully covered. For fans of Oysters, there’s an impressive Raw bar, and their menu of Signature Appetizers, (Priced $10 – $19) includes a wide variety of seafood options including fried or grilled Calamari, Charred Octopus, Mussels Aegean (White wine, garlic, plum tomatoes, feta) and two varieties of Baked Clams. Diners can also sample smaller portions of Christos‘ specialties by choosing the Trio Appetizers ($15), to mix and match three selections from a generous list of meat, vegetable and seafood delicacies to whet your appetite. With a wish to be adventurous while leaving room for big a fat steak, we chose a sampling of tiny Crab Cakes in lemon remoulade, one fillo wrapped minced Lamb Cigar with roasted pepper yogurt sauce (the best lamb cigar we’ve ever tasted) and the barely-battered crispy Fried Cauliflower. The flavorful and meaty crab cakes are fried in clarified butter at a high temperature that makes it possible to use virtually no breadcrumb coating (this is one of chef Mina Newman’s secrets, which we are sharing with you now!)
We quickly decided on Christos’ 10 ounce Filet at $36 (a 14 oz is available for $45). All of Christos beef (except for the filet) is carefully dry aged for 21 days in their temperature controlled cold aging room to achieve peak flavor and supreme tenderness. Steaks can be paired with select sauces or crusts to further enhance the flavor ($6 – 8). My dining companion chose the Roquefort Cheese and Red Wine Garlic Sauce, while I opted for a sauce of Wild Mushrooms in port wine sauce called Mavrodaphne. The Port reduction added a distinctive sweetness to the rich sauce that I really enjoyed, though it might not be to everyone’s taste. Most importantly, the filet was absolutely perfectly cooked medium, with a pink center and crisp sear, melt-in-the-mouth tender, juicy and flavorful. Best. Steak. Ever. That is all.
Sides are out of control and include twelve different, mouth watering vegetable dishes (we could not do without the Creamed Spinach, cooked to perfection and topped with crispy fried onions, $8) and nine varieties of mashed potatoes, all $8.00 and portioned for sharing (our selection: Sour Cream & Chive). Truffled French Fries with Parmesan Cheese were an off-menu special that night, so we had to have them as well. Because, Truffle Fries.
There is little chance that anyone will have room for dessert after indulging in such a feast, but we forced ourselves to order the Baked Astoria, a take on the classic Baked Alaska created by Christos by sandwiching cookies and cream ice cream in between layers of chocolate and red velvet cakes, covered with Meringue peaks and flambéed — a over-the-top ending to a magnificent meal. We shall be returning to Christos for further Food Adventures.
Christos is located at 4108 23rd Ave, Astoria, New York 11105 (Take the N or Q Train to the last stop, Astoria/Ditmars, turn left on 23rd Avenue and walk 10 blocks up to Christos – so easy!). Visit Christos on the web at This Link to view the complete menu or to make reservations.