4312 2nd Avenue
An authentic Aegean bistro, this family owned neighborhood restaurant is a great casual find. Decompress in the garden in the back under a sprawling tree where mezes, either the Turkish or Greek sampler are a great way to begin. Enjoy generous sized portions of lemony fava bean puree, smoked eggplant, tzatziki, hummus with the sesame-flecked Turkish flatbread served hot from the oven. The staff is friendly, the prices are reasonable and the classic dishes couldn’t be better. There’s Turkish chorizo, grilled octopus, fried calamari and a great zucchini fritter. Fresh whole fish simply grilled is offered daily. Try some of the traditional dishes such as tasty spanokopita (spinach and feta pie) and kefte (beef and lamb meatballs.) The seafood, tiny mussels in a classic white wine and garlic sauce deserve a repeat visit.
Just beyond the garden, a new indoor dining room has been added to accommodate the overflow Mandolin’s great popularity creates.
This charming 1940’s blue and white house reminded me of a seaside tavern on the Aegean Coast. The lantern- laden back garden makes you forget the undistinguished neighborhood. The friendly service brings you back.
Monday – Saturday: 12 pm – 11 pm