Restaurant: Ovelia – 34-01 30th Avenue at 34th Street, Queens, New York
Ovelia, a Greek restaurant in the heart of Astoria, boasts, in my opinion (and @haileyapt‘s) one of the best brunch dishes in the city – stuffed french toast with Greek yogurt and honey whip. Having been to Ovelia numerous times to indulge in this brunch, I visited this restaurant last night to sample its dinner menu.
The dinner menu at Ovelia is fairly extensive. Luckily, we had a great waitress that took the time to walk us through the entire menu, her recommendations and the “must haves.”
After quite a while (and a glass of wine), we decided on the following:
- Grilled Halloumi: cheese served over a bed of prosciutto topped with roasted red pepper
- Lamb Fig Kebab: sweet and savory lamb cubes skewered with candied fig, yellow squash and cherry tomato
- Lamburgini: ground lamb burger topped with sauteed Crimini mushrooms and Feta sauce served on house baked Bretzel bun along with hand cut french fries
- Pumpkin Galaktoboureko: layers of phyllo dough surrounding a custard infused with pumpkin puree and simply syrup
I’m going to save the entrees for last as the appetizer and dessert were the highlights of the meal.
The Grilled Halloumi was delicious. I had never had halloumi cheese before and it had a salty flavor as well as a slight crunch thanks for it’s time spent on the grill. The flavor of the cheese worked perfectly with the prosciutto and roasted red peppers and I found myself devouring this dish. I definitely will be ordering this again.
For dessert, the Pumpkin Galaktoboureko was a twist on traditional baklava. Anyone with a sweet tooth needs to get this dessert. It had a very strong pumpkin flavor and the syrup on top along with a hint of cinnamon topped off a perfect combination of flavors. Yes, it was as big as it looks in the picture, and yes, we finished the entire thing.
The entrees, Lamb Fig Kebab and Lamburgini, were good, but did not impress as much as I had hoped. In particular, the Lamburgini was heralded as one of the favorite dishes on the menu. However, at $22, I failed to see what the hype was about. Not to say that it wasn’t good, but it had its ups (incredibly tasty bun with a nice salty flavor) and downs (way too many mushrooms that overpowered the dish). If I’m looking for an overpriced burger, I’ll go to a burger shop.
The appetizer and dessert at Ovelia bookended entrees that, while good, failed to deliver the “wow factor” I was looking for. However, I do plan on visiting Ovelia again for dinner to try some of the other dishes on the menu. Each dish was very flavorful and the food is clearly prepared with a careful and caring eye. From the looks of the dishes at surrounding tables, there are lots of other great items on the menu. Based on the prices, this restaurant is probably best for a date or when your parents are in town.