- Snack Taverna
63 Bedford Street, 212-929-3499
It’s still possible to hop on the N train and wind up somewhere in the vicinity of Ditmars Boulevard deconstructing a whole grilled fish and dipping commercial pita into the usual array of tangy, salty spreads. But why bother, when Snack Taverna has unleashed an original, creative take on traditional Greek food in a cozy, stylish West Village setting? Chef John Fraser channels his upscale-restaurant training and French technique into a menu that reads Greek but looks and tastes altogether new: the saffron-scented crushed-almond sauce bolstering stuffed grape leaves; the caramelized romaine and dill-scented verjus adorning roasted monkfish; the intense flavors of oven-roasted tomatoes and fresh mint enlivening braised lamb shoulder—all of which are perfectly complemented by the affordable Greek wine list. There’s even a superior souvlaki at brunch, if you’re homesick for Athens—or Astoria.
Best Astoria Alternative
From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).