Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Corfu Grill
70-17 Austin Street, Forest Hills, NY

Review by MaceVindaloo

We tried this place years ago right after they first opened. The food then was not great, but durable and it was always open and conveniently located. After the first visit, we referred to it, when asked, as "the burnt seafood hut." Not only because this was what was presented to us, but it seems a lot of Greek places do the same stuff, seasoned with the same things: lemon, oregano, salt, and olive oil. And that's about it. It can be done well, but if the style is "burnt seafood," it's hard to have that too often.

Recently, when the extended family were in town and wanted a post-movie dinner to accommodate many dietary issues, they chose Corfu. I balked at the idea, and even tried to swerve the popular thinking to suggest another location. I failed to affect their choice, but went with them, so as not to be a stick in the mud.

Remembering past experiences, I ordered some safe items: zucchini sticks and spanokopita, which they referred to as the more generic "spinach pie" for appetizers and a combo plate of gyro and souvlaki for an entrée dish. The latter came with a Romaine lettuce salad topped with red onions, tomatoes, feta cheese, and a wine vinegar and olive oil dressing and pita wedges with tzaziki — the cucumber yogurt dipping sauce. To my astonishement, the food looked totally different than I recalled. Things here had really changed!

The presentations were far better, and I noticed the space had been renovated, too. Gone was the grill with the "look up and order" menu, and the decor included what looked like the contents of a very tidy flood and shipwreck. Beams were put into the ceiling and draped in muslin to mute the glare of the standard fluorescant lighting. Bongo drums, barrels, and the like were decorating plate racks near the ceiling. The place was clean and sported a small bar; the bathroom was clean and roomy. Out front, a week-day happy hour advertisement featured half-price drinks and $2 tapas.

The portions were huge and very reasonably priced, too. I was so impressed with the changes that I brought a date here a few days later to take photos and review the place again. We ordered the zucchini and spanokopita again, and also more classical things like the taramasolata, and grilled halloumi. They new dishes were both very, very good, and the topping of olives on everything was very appealing ont eh taramasolata. The grilled halloumi was not at all rubbery, but delicious and meaty. The spanokopita — presented as turnovers in a puff pastry / filo pastry was as good as the other night, but the zucchini was overcooked. Still, it was delicious, especially dipped in the taramasolata or the tzatziki. The grilled pita wedges and tzaziki was delicious and plentiful to eat with everything, adn the salad was pleasantly acidic without being too tart.

We also added a dish of "homemade sausages" as an entrée, and tried the galaktobouriko for dessert, a milk custard encased in puff pastry or filo. It was all very tasty, but neither of us liked the entré side dishes much — lemon potatoes, rice pilaf, and sort of a fava bean stew. Maybe we were just too full, but we ended up not eating those starchy sides at all. Why? They didn't taste or feel different from one another. And it all seemed overcooked and kept too long. But the meats and appetizers were excellent, and we hope to be able to order the meats a la carte next time, with just pita and tzatziki as accompaniment.

The galaktobouriko was served with spray cream, a maraschino cherry and drops of blueberry sauce. Very odd, we were hoping it might be pomegranite juice, to make it somehow more Greek? The custard was grainy, which is not inconsistent, but it's not as good as in other places. Still, we were very full from all the other food we'd eaten, so it could have just meant we were too full.

When did they get this good? I have no idea. I feel hurt and shame that I may have been avoiding this place for years for no good reason at all, and I should have come back sooner!

Disclaimer: The opinions and observations noted are the property of the author. Neither Wookieehut nor any associates makes any claims or lucre from the posting of this report or review. This webpage is presented by Wookieehut.com. Enjoy!