Sweep up the stairs and into the spacious dining room to begin your tasting menu of short plates from Cyprus.
Astoria newcomer Kopiaste (“Come in and sit down”) Taverna presents the Greek cooking of the island of Cyprus, which is much closer to Turkey and Syria than to the other Greek islands. You won’t be surprised to hear that the cuisine has all sorts of Turkish and Middle Eastern elements, making it one of the most interesting in the Mediterranean. The best way to experience it is with Cyprus Meze, a tasting menu that presents 17 dishes for the incredible price of $22 per person, along with toasted pitas and French bread. Here is the selection on a recent evening–you won’t go away hungry.
Read the entire Counter Culture review of Kopiaste Taverna here.
First to arrive was Pantzaria, a marinated beet salad.
Next, Salata Kipriaki, a chopped cabbage salad flavored with lemon and cilantro
Accompanied by plenty of warm toasted pitas, a trio of dips: hummus, tzatziki (with mint!), and taramosalata
The dishes are piling up! Next to arrive is a bowl of firm Green Olives drenched in olive oil.
Lountza, smoked pork loin
Contrary to type, the stuffed grape leaves called Koupepia are stuffed mainly with ground pork.
Usually served grilled or fried, halloumi is a Crypriot goat’s milk cheese.
Afelia is a pork stew marinated in red wine and powdered coriander.
Pourgouri is a salad of cracked wheat, vermicelli, and tomatoes.
Cypriot meatballs called Keftedes
Sheftalia: grilled pork sausages flavored with onions and parsley
Chicken kebab (Souvlaki Kotopoulo)
Heaped with chopped onions and parsley, the pork kebab (Soulvaki Hirino)
Loukanika, a wine-laced beef sausage
Finally, a pair of desserts, Baklava and a semolina pudding called Kalo Prama
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 8, 2013