Dish no. 65: Grilled octopus from Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna, (26-02 23rd Avenue, Queens, 718-777-5511)
Tucked away on a quieter corner of 23rd Avenue, Gregory’s is slightly under-the-radar in a neighborhood brimming with quality Greek. Here, the kitchen serves rustic dishes atop checkered tablecloths, and long-time Astorians linger over retsina on the front porch. You can make an excellent meal out of dips, salads, and other small plates, but be sure to try the grilled octopus, which comes charred to an appealing pinkish hue, and then drizzled with olive oil, lemon, and a touch of salt. It’s meaty and tender and it will be the star of your spread — you’ll hear many locals say it’s the best in Astoria.
In advance of our 2014 Best of NYC issue, we’re traipsing through the boroughs and divulging our favorite dishes of the year. They’re presented here as a countdown, but we’re listing them in no particular order. Consider this a guide to what’s good to eat in this town right this very second.