It was the middle Nineties when entrepreneur George Mandilaras decided to open his restaurant on Ditmars Boulevard. He intended it to be a seafood haven where you could have a great variety of excellently prepared fish and crustaceans at humble prices. He named his restaurant Kyclades Taverna and soon his establishment had an unbelievable impact in the neighborhood. Guests poured in not only from the immediate area in this part of northwestern Queens, but from the rest of the boroughs in New York City, from Long Island, and New Jersey as well.
One of the first to discover this rising star of gastronomic pleasures was Tim Zagat, then the owner of Zagat Survey. He walked in out of the blue one evening, checked out its wares and prices and wrote a wonderful review in that year’s Guide. Many critics followed in his footsteps, each giving due credit to the fledgling eatery making it one of the most successful in its era. The restaurant became synonymous to seafood and low prices.
Eight years or so later, Mandilaras, whose children were still of school age, overwhelmed by the pressures of the restaurant business decided to turn the responsibilities over to his chef Adrian Skenderi and in doing so he kept the exclusivity of the trademark so he can use it in the future when his sons were old enough and trained in the food industry, which is the present.
Equipped with the know-how and past successes, Mandilaras is now ready for a comeback with the new Kyclades Taverna, this time in Englewood, NJ at 51 East Palisades Avenue. Just like the original Kyclades Taverna, this new establishment across the Hudson River from New York City, will be a seafood sanctuary with Greek/Mediterranean influences. It will seat about 80 guests and will feature a bar that will introduce a great variety of Greek wines among its gallery of international spirits. Target date for the new restaurant’s opening is March 2014.