Opening of Taverna 38

38 Hillside Avenue
Williston Park, New York 11596

Taverna 38 made its debut to the Williston Park dining scene in May 2016 in the space formerly known as Xarello. With industry veterans and owners, John Alexopoulos and Claudio Peralta at the helm and Executive Chef Fotious Markou leading the kitchen, the new concept offers guests traditional Greek home cooking with an emphasis on seafood. The concept was coined with one word in mind – filoxenia – that loosely translated means turning a “xeno,” or stranger, into a “filos,” or friend.
The white-brick storefront features French-style double windows, a dark blue awning and welcoming blue door to match. The space presents a light and airy ambiance, integrated with bright whites and soothing blues, boasting a cross between Greek Islands and Yia Yia’s kitchen. White satin banquettes offer ample seating for large groups at the corners of the dining room, while the surrounding whitewashed tables provide a more intimate experience. Picture windows adorned with sheer white and blue curtains divide the restaurant in half, creating a tranquil dining environment, while concurrently uniting with the bar area. The Santa Cecilia granite bar is roomy and inviting, with two flat screen TV’s overhead and the variety of available liquors on display.
The menu offers traditional Greek cuisine with an emphasis on seafood. Cold appetizers range from $4.95 to $10.95 and include melitzanosalata, roasted eggplant, feta and a garlic spread ($4.95); and dolmades, stuffed grape leaves with rice, herbs and lemon ($6.95). Hot appetizers range from $5.95 to $13.95 and feature spanakopita, chopped spinach, feta and dill ($5.95); oxtapodi, grilled octopus, capers, red onion and red wine vinaigrette ($13.95); and loukaniko, Greek sausage, onions, peppers and tomato ($6.95). Entrees range from $13.95 to $31.95 and highlight items from the land, from the sea, and “from Yia Yia’s kitchen.” From the land, selections include the soutsoukakia smyrneika, homemade lamb and beef sausage with fresh herbs, cumin and light tomato sauce ($15.95); from the sea – grilled whole fish, chef’s choice daily (MP); and “from Yia Yia’s kitchen,” arnisio kotsi, lamb shank braised in mavrodaphni wine, tomato and orzo ($19.95). Desserts cost $6 each and showcase the feta mousse with kataifi, rosemary, caramel and pomegranate.