Perched over the BQE as it merges on to the Triborough Bridge, the elevated N train station at Astoria Blvd. in Queens offers some spectacular views of city traffic. It’s also your gateway to these three excellent eateries.
Peter Katsiaris first stumbled on the empty storefront that would become hisSVL Bar while looking for grub after a night out at Astoria bars. He now returns the favor, staying open to serve Greek specialties like souvlaki, gyro and kebabs — all three available as a $7.15 pita sandwich stuffed with hand-cut French fries, or as a $12.95 platter — till 6 a.m. on weekends.
The year-old restaurant is a daytime hangout too, one whose animal-print walls and condiment-stocked communal tables (there’s both good olive oil and real red wine vinegar) were all designed by Katsiaris himself. The self-taught chef and former caterer, who’s been working in kitchens since he was 14, spent months in Greece eating at gyro spots “on every corner.”
SVL Bar, says Katsiaris, serves mainly traditional foods and flavors with his own take on presentation and decor. The sampler of Greek dips ($14) — like garlicky tzatziki or a chili-laced version of the feta spread called tyrokafteri — come on a metal tray, for example, or you can get a $17 sampler of four mini sandwiches Katsiaris calls “shots.”