Tag Archives: Taverna Kyclades

‘Money Monster’ starring George Clooney to film in Astoria on Thursday


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo via Instagram/tavernakyclades

Astoria, get ready: you might catch a second glimpse of George Clooney, this time on set of his new movie “Money Monster.”

According to signs taped along Broadway in Astoria, the film, starring Clooney and Julia Roberts, will be shooting scenes on Thursday in the neighborhood.

“Money Monster,” directed by Jodie Foster, is a thriller that follows television personality Lee Gates who stars in his show “Money Monster” giving Wall Street tips to viewers, according to published reports. However, things go south when one discontented viewer take Gates hostage while on air, and the whole scenario takes place as the cameras continue to roll.

It is not clear if the scenes filming on Thursday will include Clooney, but the award-winning actor had previously been filming at Kaufman Astoria Studios. The production of “Money Monster” has since left that location, according to sources.

Last month, Clooney was spotted enjoying some Greek food at Astoria’s Taverna Kyclades restaurant with Bill Murray, who the day before had lunch at the same eatery with Sofia Coppola, who directed “Lost in Translation.”

Photo via Twitter/@AstoriaBaker

Photo via Twitter/@AstoriaBaker

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George Clooney, Bill Murray and Sofia Coppola stop by Astoria’s Taverna Kyclades


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos via Instagram/tavernakyclades

BY CRISTABELLE TUMOLA AND ANGY ALTAMIRANO 

Updated 2:55 p.m.

Astoria is becoming the next Hollywood hot spot.

Bill Murray brought some of his famous friends to Astoria’s Taverna Kyclades restaurant this week, including George Clooney, who was just spotted filming his latest movie in the neighborhood.

Murray must be a fan of the eatery, located at 33-07 Ditmars Blvd. and known for its fresh fish and Greek fare, because he stopped in twice with his film buddies.

On Monday, he came by during lunchtime with Sofia Coppola, who directed Murray in “Lost in Translation.” They were also accompanied by a man who appeared to be her brother — writer, director and producer Roman Coppola — and a group of four to five people. They stayed for about 30 minutes, according to waiter Nikolaos Tsarouhas.

He said the staff was surprised when Murray walked in and so were the customers.

“I saw him and I remembered him from the movie ‘Ghostbusters,’” he said. “He was really nice, very kind and quiet.”

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

The following day, during lunchtime again, according to the restaurant’s Twitter, Murray “loved [Taverna] so much he brought a friend.” And that friend was Clooney, who is in town to shoot “Money Monster,” co-starring Julia Roberts, Page Six reported.

Clooney is filming scenes for the Jodi Foster-directed thriller at the nearby Kaufman Astoria Studios, according to the Daily Mail.

The Oscar winner recently directed and acted with Murray in the 2014 WWII drama “The Monuments Men.” Murray even gave a toast at Clooney’s wedding to Amal Alamuddin last fall.

This is the first time that any of the actors have been to the restaurant, Tsarouhas said.

But star sightings in Astoria and other areas of Queens are becoming increasingly common as more TV and movie producers are choosing to film on local streets and at area studios such as Kaufman Astoria and Silvercup.

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From the basketball court to the ocean floor


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Bradley Hawks

A lunchtime crowd gathers amid a vibrant hum of conversation beneath the grapevine-draped awning outside Taverna Kyclades. There is even a waiting list on this rainy Tuesday afternoon. Kyclades doesn’t take reservations; this 95-seat restaurant does not need them. It is always buzzing, even as neighboring establishments along Ditmars Boulevard scramble for business.

The first Michelin-rated restaurant in Queens, which has also topped Zagat’s lists, has no gimmicks. When asked to reflect on the secret of his longterm success, chef and owner Ardian Skenderi lights up.

“I cook with my heart,” he said.

The former pro point guard from Athens stands six-and-a-half-feet tall, but wears a smile that could melt titanium. He knows several customers by name, many of whom dine at Kyclades multiple times a week, sometimes twice in the same day.

“When I give [someone] a dish, I can always say, ‘This is the very best I can do,’ and if they tell me I can do better, then I am going to learn,” Skenderi said.

Room for improvement would be difficult to find. The sole chef, Skenderi is in the restaurant daily. He also gathers seafood before sunrise at the Fulton Fish Market in Hunts Point two to five times a week.

“We have no specials on the menu,” boasts the beloved chef, “because everything here is special.”

Flame-kissed swordfish kebabs skewered with peppers and onions duet with glistening beets or Spanish-style saffron rice. Whole red snapper is prepared to juicy perfection, carved tableside and accompanied with a ramekin of warm lemon oil.

Challenging dishes like Spanish octopus served with olive oil and red wine vinegar, and even steamed horta (dandelion greens), are exceptionally tender at Kyclades in Astoria. Whole branzino is simply prepared in extra virgin olive oil and sea salt and filleted tableside.

In fact, Taverna Kyclades exhausts nearly 20 cases of olive oil each week. Portions are the size of Skenderi himself, but the price point, remarkably, is lower than his Manhattan competitors’.

Is the meal worth the inevitable wait time? You bet it is. The multiple generations of families who gather here regularly for special occasions — or just for some of the best selection and preparation of seafood in all five boroughs — would enthusiastically agree.

The complimentary galaktoboureko (syrup-soaked phyllo layered with warm Greek custard) is baked daily — and runs out daily, to0.

Taverna Kyclades
33-07 Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria
718-545-8666
Open daily for lunch and dinner

BRADLEY HAWKS

 

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