Monday, April 21, 2008

Akti - Worth the Wait

Akti Restaurant - 34-19 30th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11103
N/W Train to 30th Avenue

I've been following Akti's big opening for quite some time and after much waiting (a year!), this new Greek eatery is finally here. I had the chance to sample their exquisite dishes last week and have to say that I will definitely return--and soon. Aside from my own experience, a group of my friends also tried Akti this past weekend and were very pleased.

Akti's decor is modern and clean. You'll notice lots of royal blues, symbolizing the ocean--this is after all a seafood restaurant. A really cool feature that goes along with the theme is the waterfall window at the front of the house--kind of psychedelic, it makes you stare in amazement.

Outdoor seating is available on nice days and I had the pleasure to experience it. While it's pleasant to enjoy the warm breeze and observe the happs of 30th Ave, I thought that the tables were a bit small--especially for larger parties. Akti's patrons vary in age but I definitely observed a predominantly young and trendy crowd.

Fresh, interesting and delicious are words to describe Akti's cuisine. The seafood, which is the specialty here is fantastic and I definitely recommend trying at least one fish entree. The fun thing about the menu is that you get one per table. It comes with a dry-erase pen, you mark your choices directly on the menu and then hand it over to your waitress. I really enjoyed this new way of ordering, especially because of the direct interaction with the menu and with my dining companions. And here's what we chose:

Tyrokafteri (Roasted peppers and feta cheese spread) - This dish had tons of flavor and spice but it didn't feel heavy. We started spreading it on our toasted pita and even continued to eat it with other dishes such as zucchini croquettes.

Haloumi (Grilled goat cheese with tomato in pita bread) - Wow! Another beautiful dish! The cheese had gorgeous grill marks and the combination of the tomato and the lemon gave this starter a zesty and refreshing bite. Because the cheese is filling, it's nice to share this with at least two other people.

Kolokithokeftedes (Zucchini croquettes with tzatziki sauce) - These were the best zucchini croquettes that I've had on 30th Avenue--hands down. I'm sorry to say but they beat Ovelia's version, which is pretty damn good. Akti's are crispy on the outside and deliciously hearty on the inside. They're seasoned beautifully with oregano and parsley and when dipped into fresh tzatziki, they're your mouth's best dream. This dish is a must!

Oktapodi Sta Karvouna
(Grilled octopus) - I'm a fan of grilled octopus and it was done well here. It had nice char marks from the grill and was cut into bite-size pieces, which was convenient. While I enjoyed it, it wasn't my favorite grilled octopus because it was a bit chewy.

(Porgy) - We ordered this entree to share between the three of us and it was definitely enough. Presented in its full glory with the head, tail and bones in tact, this gentle tasting fish was grilled to perfection. Despite the bones, it was really easy to take apart and after we spritzed some lemon on it, it reached a whole new level of freshness. Our porgy came with a side dish of choice--the Patates Tiganites (Greek fries). Seasoned with oregano and grated cheese, they were definitely a step up from American fries. My only wish was that they could've been crispier.

The Wine:
Akti has a wonderful selection of Greek wines, which are easy on the wallet. And since we didn't know too much about them, we asked our waitress for a recommendation. We ended up getting a sweet white wine with fruit undertones, which was so gentle on the senses and enhanced the flavor of our food and especially the fish. A bottle was only $24, giving us 2 full glasses each.

Service and Cost:
The waitstaff was especially attentive during our visit probably because Akti is so new. Our waitress was lovely--smiling and always ready to give us her helpful 2 cents. My only complaint was that it took a really long time (half hour) to get the check. I'm not sure if the staff was just letting us chat away leisurely or if they forgot about us.

The prices are definitely wallet-friendly, especially given the large portions. A full dinner with a bottle of wine, appetizers and an entree only set us back $32 each. Starters range between $6-$13, fish entrees are in the neighborhood of $17-$21 and wines generally range in the mid $20's. My friends who came here in a larger pack said that dinner for 5 was only $160--again, $32 each!

3 Mmmms


  1. Mmmmmmmm...Akti! My mouth is watering just reading this. As a member of the other "pack" that tried Akti this past weekend, I couldn't agree more with your assessment of the cuisine. The quality of the food was exceptional, and one member of our party (100% Greek living outside of the city) said he would definitely make the drive to Astoria to hit up Akti again.

    It seems you were a little more fortunate in terms of wait staff; ours was very "green" and definitely needs a lesson on how to properly serve wine (not to sound elitist...). We also had a Greek white, and apparently it's somewhat difficult to find the particular bottle we selected, so more kudos to Akti!

  2. Sounds great! Would the menu also be vegetarian-friendly?

  3. Hi Michelle,

    They definitely have a veggie friendly menu (i.e. hummus, eggplant salad, zucchini croquettes, beet salad and plenty of cheese options). Try it out, it rocks.


  4. I should have said hi! I was the redhead in the white jacket sitting outside with the hubs...we LOVED our food. We got a nice bottle of red, some tzatziki, and we shared the whole red snapper. It was outrageously delicious. We will definitely definitely be hitting that place up again. :)

  5. Anonymous03 May, 2008

    My wife and I along with another couple ate at Akti last week. The service was outstanding and the seafood was excellent. shrimp santorini and the red snappers were delicious. the appetizers were also very very good. we had octapus, salad, saganaki and bread. this place is a great seafood restaurant. you will not be disappointed. Kudos to the owners! They know the business well.

  6. Ate here for the first time recently. The snapper was out of sight. Seasoned fries were tasty as well.
    Calamari was a little on the greasy side, but hey, I'm not complaining.

    Will definitely go back.

  7. I love the snapper too. Give the calamari another try. When I had 'em they were awesome and super crispy!



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