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May 13, 2021


Greek restaurants line the Astoria area offering a cuisine that features menu items such as moussaka, spanankopita, pastitsio, gyro and baklava. Thanks to Mina Newman, an innovative Executive and Consulting Chef, Christo’s Steakhouse, a former private home located at 41-08 23rd Avenue, Christo’s Steakhouse has recently become and American steakhouse with touches of Greek cuisine.

Steaks such as the signature 48 oz. Porterhouse are dry aged on the premises. Specially selected USDA Prime or Sterling Angus aged for 21 days and charbroiled with course sea salt and dried mountain oregano. Classic Bearnaise, Red Wine Shallot and Christo’s Steak Sauce are available to accompany both the steaks and seafood.

If you’ve never tasted a Steak Tartar appetizer, this is the place to sample it. Kobe beef is used. Mixed with a Dijon mustard sauce it is served with capers, chopped onions and a raw quail egg sitting atop in its shell. Or perhaps you’d like to sample Veal Sweetbreads, sautéed in Lemon Assyrtiko Sauce. Very rich, but I did enjoy it.

Continuing on appetizers, two specific seafood items are a delight. Shrimp Dolmades are grilled head-on jumbo shrimp wrapped in grape leaves. Two varieties of Christos baked littleneck clams are offered. It’s the “Oreganato” that is a bit different as they are baked just enough to be steamed so that they are not chewy.

If the butcher case displaying the cuts of meat (for retail as well) doesn’t meet your eye as you enter, then perhaps the tank of lobsters ranging from 2 to 5 pounds might tempt your taste. Broiled, Steamed or Spicy Baked.

Choose from desserts like: Six Layer Lemon Cake with Wild Berry Sauce (I highly recommend this one); Chocolate Layer Cake with Pistachio Sauce (This one was great); Milopita Oatmeal Apple Crumb & Vanilla Ice Cream; Poached Pears with Mavordaphne Sauce and a different ilk of cheesecake, Greek style with Warm Mountain Honey (Okay, I also liked this one, too). Oh, yeah, you can get Fresh Seasonal Fruit for two, if you wish.

No problem with parking…valet. Just off the Grand Central Parkway. For reservations, call them at 718-777-8400.

Beethoven, Liszt and Prokofiev almost put me to sleep, thanks to the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. I personally find it difficult sitting in a comfortable seat relaxing to the sounds of classical music and not falling asleep. But this time I tried concentrating on picking out the instruments.

The New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts had a great concert lineup. Kurt Masur was conducting and Louis Lortie was at the piano. Masur, who has been conducting orchestras for over 50 years, was music director of the NYP from 1991-2002 and Canadian pianist Lortie can run his fingers on the piano with the best of them. It’s all in how the concert comes off.

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, “Pastoral” was the opening selection. It was a Liszt meets Beethoven with Fantasy on Motifs from Beethoven’s “Ruins of Athens” for Piano and Orchestra followed by Liszt’s “Totentanz” for Piano and Orchestra that showed off Lortie’s great skills.

Then came Prokofiev’s “Scythian Suite” with sounds of evilness. I could not nod off. I was afraid of having a nightmare. Nevertheless, it’s a treat to be at a NYP concert at Avery Fisher Hall.

A 3-week celebration of Mozart’s 250th birthday is the center of the Magic of Mozart Festival going until February 14th. For tickets call the box office at 212-875-5656 or go to www.nyphil.org.

“Cravings Baked Goods are meant for immediate enjoyment”. That was the message attached with the 3-tier box of goodies. I’ll never know who sent this to me, but it’s obvious that someone must be thanking me for something! Three blue boxes with silver circles had the Cravings insignia. Inside there were lots of pretty shredded wiggly paper and individually wrapped cookies, brownies and whatnot. I thought that I would get at least an email from the sender, but nothing. I’m a bit choosy when it comes to this sort of stuff, hoped for the best and have a feeling that it came close to it.

Brownies: chocolate and blond with chocolate butterscotch chips. It did not require much chewing. Each time I walked past the table that I laid the boxes on, it drew me to tasting another morsel of treats. Chocolate chip cookies, Chocolate Chocolate chip cookies, M&M cookies, Oatmeal Raisin cookies (sorry, but I still have leftovers of this…hey, there’s no chocolate!), Peanut butter cookies, and Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies.

There were two huge nonpareils (vs. pareils) and the largest peanut butter cup I’ve every laid my taste buds on. Small and large M&Ms are used in the products. Pretzels covered in dark, milk chocolate and milk chocolate with M&Ms. A few Nut Oysters with Caramel Center might have been good, but I was only interested in the chocolate that covered them. If that wasn’t enough, a large chocolate truffle probably did me in on chocolate, sugar and calories. Cravings doesn’t make the indulgence, just puts the gifts together. Do I hear Valentines Day? Call them at 978-887-1131 or www.cravingsgift.com.

February 02, 2006 - Queens Times


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