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Curlz

Stamna

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Having read about Stamna here, I knew I had to give this place a shot. WOW! Great, clean flavors, very fresh seafood, and reasonable prices.

The five of us started with the cold dip platter (tarimosalata, tzatziki, skordalia, and an eggplant dip I can't recall the name of) which came with tasty hot pita bread, and we also had a dish we thought was truly fantastic--makarounas (sp?), which is a whole wheat pasta with a ton of caramelized onions, cheese, and olive oil. We were going to order the halloumi, but our waiter told us that the other cheese was his favorite, and it definitely didn't disappoint. Sorry I can't remember the name of it!

For entrees, we had a greek salad, the grilled (whole, head-on) shrimp/calamari/octopus platter, and a whole fish that was described as "white snapper." The grilled seafood was exquisite; simple, grilled beautifully, and as sweet as can be. The octopus tentacles were particularly tender. The fish was filleted tableside and a lemony (light) sauce poured over it. It was flaky, very fresh, but fairly tasteless. Hard to say it was a disappointment per se, but I'd much rather have the grilled seafood or try one of the other entrees next time! We rounded things out with sides of greek potatoes and 'greens' that turned out to be dandelion leaves. They were wonderful and dressed simply with olive oil. We didn't have dessert, but that was due to a niece screaming for ice cream, because she had seen Holsten's up the block. Next time I'm definitely going to try dessert at Stamna.

The restaurant is BYO, was packed to the gills :raz:, and prices were reasonable (apps mostly in the $8-10 range; entrees $15-high 20s for seafood specials) so I do suggest a reservation for a weekend night. They have some al fresco seating as well.

Overall I just kept saying "This is such clean, simple food...and I could easily eat it every day!" Service was very friendly (in the best way possible). I suspect this will become a new regular spot for me.

They don't appear to have a web site, but I pulled this info off of Baristanet:

Stamna Greek Taverna

1045 Broad Street

Bloomfield

(973) 338-5151; open for lunch and dinner; closed Mondays.

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Sounds WONDERFUL!!!!! Will definitely add this to my "gotta get there" list. Thanks for the great review and good info!

Marge

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We ate at Stamna about a month ago and it 's great. We also had the whole grilled white snapper. I think that it was the fish called fagri in Greece. We'll be back. Curlz is on target with her review.


Edited by scarlet knight (log)

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...we also had a dish we thought was truly fantastic--makarounas (sp?), which is a whole wheat pasta with a ton of caramelized onions, cheese, and olive oil. 

That line certainly got my attention! I could eat caramelized onions all night. I need to try this thing.

Googling on makarounas & the variant macarounas just yields a bunch of family names. No reference to a pasta dish that I could find.

Since "makaronia" is pretty much what it sounds like, I wonder if that's the term they were using & this is just their particular house version of the classic Greek dish?

I'm skeptical that, overall, the place can be better than After Athens right here in Rutherford, but I haven't encountered heaps of caramelized onions there. Looks like I need to get over to Bloomfield & do my own comparison.

Thanks for the post!

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Oh, yeah, it's amazing. I won't go into everything we overindulged in except to second the makarounis suggestion (they're amazing) and also highly endorse the grape leaves, which made me realize I have never had actual, freshly made stuffed grape leaves before. This menu is very unusual--unlike any other Greek restaurant I've been to. Much more extensive and ranging far beyond standard Greek restaurant fare. Definitely make a reservation. We went on a weeknight and had to wait a good half hour at least.

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This place is drop dead good - Chengdu #1 good - have the grilled octopus app; *oh my god* good...

I really look forward to eating thru this menu...

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Well, the secret's out of the bag. We've been going to this joint probably twice a week since the week it opened, and I've been scared to death the whole time of what would happen once the inevitable occurred and it got discovered. I'm happy to report that quality has not dropped even a little bit, in spite of lines out the door and onto the street most nights. It's a gem.

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We went to Stamna Greek Taverna last night. I have to preface this post by stating that I am half Greek and I lived in NY (Astoria) for 20+ years. My family is/was in the restaurant business, but I have no affiliation with Stamna. My parents still live in Astoria and I visit and dine there often. I am just a transplanted New Yorker in desperate need of finding great Greek Food this side of the Hudson. Well I must say I no longer need to go to Astoria for excellent Greek food. Although, I have noticed that most Greek restaurants have really strayed from traditional Greek homemade comfort food and have opted for grilled meats and whole fish. It's rare to find a place that serves Arni Kokkinisto (Lamb Youvetsi) just like Yia Yia made. But Stamna Greek Taverna has restored my faith in good old fashioned Greek cuisine.

We arrived at 6:10 and the place was packed. The hostess offered us the only table in the place which was by the door. Our wine was opened promptly as we received menus and water. A small plate of herbed bread and olives arrived.

As I discussed and explained the menu to one of my friends (we were a party of 3) the waiter poured our wine and offered help with the menu. We decided to try an assortment of appetizers (mezze) as Greeks typically eat.

We had for appetizers:

Tzatiki served with warm pita triangles

Taramosalata served with warm pita triangles

Gigantes

Halloumi

Assorted hot vegetable platter (grilled and fried zucchini and eggplant with skordalia)

We sat and lingered over appetizers before the waiter asked if we wanted dessert. I guess he assumed we had enough! But we pressed on.

By this time the line of customers was out the door waiting. Several people had reservations and were seated promptly.

For main course we had:

Moussaka with lemon potatoes

Soutzoukakia

Arni Kokkinisto with a side of Horta

Even though I was pretty full from the appetizers I could not stop eating the Arni. It was so good that I had waves of nostalgia. All of the entrees were exceptional. As busy as they were, we never felt rushed. The only negative thing I can say is that since we were sitting at the table by the door we were subject to a lot of gawking, finger pointing (what's that) and loud conversation. But I could deal with it as long as people weren't blatantly rude. I was happy to see people interested in learning about Greek Food beyond souvlakia and gyro.

We had our leftovers wrapped and proceeded to dessert. I had my heart set on the homemade Loukoumades, but they were not available (more about that later). All of the desserts are homemade by Angela the owner. By this time Angela had come over to talk with us and she was delighted to spend time with us. I think we must have talked for about 15 minutes. We talked about Astoria, evolving Greek cuisine and how proud she is of her desserts and her business. She excused herself for a moment and came back with a complimentary piece of Galaktoboureko just as we were ordering a piece of that, baklava and Nescafe Frappe.

The desserts were amazing. You could SO tell they were homemade. All that overly sweet syrup was missing that often masks the flavor of the custard and nuts. Angela uses no fillers in her baklava (some people use Zweiback or bread crumbs). It was layers upon layers of walnuts, almonds, and phyllo.

Angela had said that she has sometimes run out of dessert and tried to substitute with desserts from Titan Foods in Astoria (the cook comes from Astoria) with her own, but she just couldn't do it. Not that Titan sells an inferior product, it's just not in the same league as homemade. Angela apologized for not having the Loukoumades, but she said it's just not possible when the kitchen is so busy. As a matter of fact, she may take them off the menu when they reopen after vacation because so many customers ask for them and she has to say no.

Angela is worried about closing for vacation but feels she needs to stick to her normal routine for her family's sake. Her concern is that will the customers come back? I assured her they will. No question. There is a sign on the door about being closed for vacation. I think it is August 6-28th. Angela asked about how I found out about Stamna and I said egullet! She was not aware of this website, but has heard of Baristanet. I wrote it down for her and told her I would post something. Angela if you are reading this and I don't see you before August 6th, I hope you have a great vacation. You and your family deserve it. And don't worry the hungry masses will be back. Your restaurant, food and hospitality are too good to miss. Kalo Taxidi! :smile:

They do have a website:

stamnataverna.com I could not get the menu to open by clicking on the pictures. The menu can be viewed by clicking on the left teaser menu.

I can't wait to go back and try everything else.

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Great Report!

They will be on vacation from Aug. 11-28th.....

I just booked my 40th Bday party there. Can't wait

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My, my...look what I started! :rolleyes:

Seriously, I'm thrilled; I thought the place was terrific, and am looking forward to being a regular. Please do post reports if you go!

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I guess the cat is finally out of the bag! This place ROCKS!! I have eaten their food many, many times. I live about2 2 blocks away, but usually do take-out. I have brought many family members and friends here as well. Pretty much EVERYTHING is good. From the Greek salad with grilled octopus to the Greek style meatballs and burgers.

I have not eaten anything I haven't enjoyed; Plus, the people that work there are super nice. I can't say enough good things about Stamna. I place a take-out order almost every Friday.

The dips are great. The gyro is top notch. The pasta w/ caramelized onions and greek cheese is also great. The stuffed peppers rule!! As you can see, I LOVE this place. You really can't go wrong no matter what you order.

I spent 2 months in Greece and this is as close to the real thing as you are going to find!

2 other things: They are closed Mondays and are a BYO with a liqour store about a block away which is open until 9pm Tuesday-Saturday and 5pm on Sunday.

If you like Greek food, GO NOW!! You won't be disappointed.

-Al

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i saw stamna a while ago but kept forgetting to ask if anyone here had ever been. i finally got there last night with my greek friend.

we ordered the assorted dips and a small horiatiki salad to start. my favorite is the taramosalata, and it didn't disapoint. the other dips were good, too. the salad was good -- no lettuce -- which is correct. ;-) all very authentic and yummy.

my friend ordered the paidakia (lamb chops) with the horta (dandelion? greens -- sometimes it's some other green). she said they were excellent. i don't like lamb (i know, how can a greek not like lamb), so i didn't try it. i ordered the karpathian makarounes (pasta w/onions and cheese), and i have to say... eh. kind of tasteless and the pasta was overcooked. not terrible, but not that great. this is not something my family makes (we are from the north mainland), and i wanted to try it. i want to try the soutzoukakia next time. yes, i will definitely go back. my friend, too.

we ordered frappes (oh, how i miss frappes!) and the waiter surprised us with a plate of baklava and a plate of galaktoboureko. both were really tasty, but we were really full.

i'm so excited for a real greek restaurant near me! now i don't always have to go to astoria or uncle nick's. greek delights is really good, but stamna has that extra (and obvious) authenticity.

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... just to add my 2 cents. Went there with my wife a couple of weeks back, and I must say it was a great experience. Food was well prepared, service was very hospitable, and, on that night, we didn't have to wait for a table.

Our regular 'greek' spot is Greek Delights in Montclair, however Stamna has a great range of authentic dishes that I really look forward to exploring....

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My office is right down the street from Stamna, and I was apprehensive about a new restaurant coming to that area.

There have been several restaurants to occupy that location since I started working there, and most have been poor, and several have failed.

Patients have raved about it, my friend who lives on the upper level of my office and is quite the stellar cook himself proclaimed it as excellent. With all of the stellar reviews, I had to try it for myself.

I have to say that this is the best new restaurant in the area, and is right up there with Brookside Thai as the best restaurants on Broad St. Admittedly, I have not gone for dinner yet, but have gone several times for lunch and each time it's been excellent.

The staff is helpful and friendly, the restaurant is clean and well decorated, and the food is fresh and delicious. The prices are reasonable as well.

Unlike the other restaurants that have occupied this space, the restaurant is crowded for lunch and dinner--just about every day that it's open.

BTW, Septemberdog61, that was a stellar review!

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Curlz, thanks for the recommendation!

I was in Montclair today, and went to Stamna for a late lunch. I've never had such tender octopus! Not only was the grilled seafood platter good, and enough food for another meal (or 2), but the service was just right. I got the side of cooked dandelion greens, too, and the grilled cheese appetizer, which was served on sliced tomatoes. Not only did the food taste good, but it looked good (too bad my camera is in for repairs or I would post a pic of the octopus, squid, & whole shrimp), and it smelled fabulous.

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I stopped by for lunch today and had the Shrimp in a stew of tomatoes, peppers and feta cheese (Garides Santorini) along with a side order of lemon potatoes.

I found the stew and the shrimp to be underseasoned, but thought the feta that they used was top notch even though it failed to rescue the dish from the ranks of mediocrity.

However, the lemon potatoes absolutely rocked!

Given the excitement that this place has generated on the boards I would like to return again in a group, so I can sample a larger cross-section of the menu. There were many appetizers that looked tempting, but time didn't lend itself to sampling such a large offering.

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Despite the dearth of posts on this board, I feel certain that many of you are still dining out, so I just had to give another shout-out for Stamna. Had dinner there again last night, and it's JUST. SO. FREAKING. GOOD. I strongly recommend making a meal of a LOT of the app choices (unless you're wed to the idea of a whole fish) because then you at least get to try a LOT more with each visit! The taramosalata and grilled calamari were terrific, and I can't wait to eat the rest of the Greek sausage and makarounes! The horta (sauteed greens, which have been sweet dandelions every time I've gone) is not to be missed, nor is the baklava. I just love this place...can you tell? :laugh:

Note that they only take reservations for two-tops "up to a few days" before the weekend; after that, put your name on the list and stand in the teeny tiny waiting area and drool while you wait. Highly recommend a reservation regardless of the size of your group if you're planning (ahead) to go on a weekend night.

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  I strongly recommend making a meal of a LOT of the app choices (unless you're wed to the idea of a whole fish) because then you at least get to try a LOT more with each visit!  The taramosalata and grilled calamari were terrific, and I can't wait to eat the rest of the Greek sausage and makarounes!  The horta (sauteed greens, which have been sweet dandelions every time I've gone) is not to be missed, nor is the baklava.  I just love this place...can you tell? :laugh:

I am going tonight. I can't wait. It's been too long. I think I might just have apps, but that may change as soon as I walk through the door.

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I had another amazing dinner last night. I had called Monday and left a message to see if I needed to make a reservation. They called me back Tuesday morning and I made a reservation. I'm glad I did because the restaurant was crowded when we arrived at 6:45.

We were a party of four, so we decided to start with several appetizers and work from there by reading our menus as we devoured all of the mezze.

We had for appetizers:

Assorted cold dips (Skordalia, Tzatziki, Taramosalata & Melitzanosalata) served with an unending supply of warm pita bread.

Ktapodi-grilled octopus

Karpathaian Makarounes

Gigantes

Grilled Halloumi Cheese

As usual everything was delicious. The skordalia was my favorite and had just the right balance of garlic and potatoes. The makarounes was outstanding. The dense pasta held itself up to the sweet and salty balance of caramelized onions and salty mizithra. The octopus was tender and perfectly grilled. The gigantes are still the best I've ever had. So meaty and soft in an excellent tomato sauce with, I think, just a hint of dill. And the halloumi cheese was not overly salty and it was perfectly grilled and served with the freshest tomatoes. I don't no where Angela gets her tomatoes from, but the freshness of them continued with the large Greek salad one of our dining companions had for main course.

The rest of us had:

Paidakia- 5 beautifully grilled marinated lamb chops with lemon potatoes

Half marinated chicken Greek style with lemon potatoes. The chicken was wonderfully seasoned and moist.

I had the Lavraki (Imported Greek Brussino) filleted tabled side and served with a wonderful lemon olive oil sauce. I would have asked for the fish whole and filleted it myself, however one of our dining companions was squeamish. I made up for it by keeping the head and sucking on it every once in a while.

We sat and lingered over our meals never feeling rushed. Our gorgeous waiter was always available without being intrusive. Angela came over and asked us if everything was OK. She is a wonderful hostess.

I wanted to ask if the Loukoumades were available, but after my last conversation I did not want to make Angela feel bad if they were unavailable. I also failed to read the menu and see that the loukoumades are not available Friday and Saturday. The waiter suggested the just made Galaktoboureko. So we had a piece of that and how could we leave without a piece of Angela's Baklava? We also had nescafe frappe hot and cold and a regular coffee. The coffees were fresh and delicious. And the desserts as usual were amazing. So fresh and homemade. The baklava and galaktoboureko are the best I've ever had. Once you have eaten Angela's homemade desserts you will not be able to eat commercial baklava and galaktoboureko again. Just when we thought we were finished, a complimentary order of loukoumades arrived. Once again, they tasted like nothing I have ever had. They were light and airy without any hint of greasiness which I find to be the main problem with most loukoumades and diples. The loukoumades were so, so, so good with the right amount of sweetness, nuts and spice.

Angela and I spoke for a little while and I was happy to see the restaurant still busy at 9:30PM when we were leaving. She gave us free Greek calendars and showed us a picture of the village in Karpathos. She thanked us for our business and we left.

Once again I encourage you to get to Stamna. It is worth the trip. My birthday is coming up. I think I want my family to experience Stamna and meet Angela. Being half Greek, my dad was born on Andros Island, I want him to experience the food and atmosphere. As I wrote last time, too many Greek restaurants in Astoria and NYC have moved away from homemade traditional culturally rich food. I think my dad will be thrilled to see arni kokkinisto and makarounes on the menu.

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The waiter suggested the just made Galaktoboureko. 

Sdog--is this the rather wet looking round cake? If not, do you have any idea what that dessert is? When we were there, the waiter brought over a plate with 3 desserts on it--the baklava (HEAVENLY-I get it every time), the custardish-filled phyllo one, and a slice of the aforementioned cake. He then literally said "I don't know how to tell you what this is but the baklava is very good." I pressed him a little, but since my friend was dying to try the custard one and the baklava, it wasn't an issue, but I'd sure like to know what it is! The place was still slammed by the time we were leaving so I didn't want to bother Alex or the hostess, but I'll certainly ask next time; just figured you might be able to clue me in. :wink:

I am now going to stop procrastinating and get cooking for tomorrow, but thanks in advance for your help!

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Stamna is written up in today's NJ Dining section of the NYTimes...

Corcoran gave it a Good, but the review reads more like a Very, at least imo. Odd. If anyone understands the logic of how they determine good vs. very, I'd love to hear it!

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Was at Stamna last night for a birthday dinner with 6 friends...as usual, a wonderful meal and a terrific experience; I'm hardly a regular, but the owner and a few staff members always seem to remember my face <grin> and even if they're faking it (don't think so), they make us feel SO welcome every time, which is always a nice way to start.

The food was wonderful, as always. I could just make a meal out of the apps...the cold dips, the grilled octopus tentacles (YUUUUUUUUUM), gigantes, makarounes...well, I do have my favorites there; that's for sure! :wub: The place was packed as usual, and in my conversation with the owner, he said the review I mentioned upthread has only increased traffic--even during the week. There aren't too many restaurant owners who are able to say that these days-that's for sure. If you're going on a weekend night, I'd highly recommend a reservation, and even then, you have to go and know that you might wait--Stamna's a place where you don't really want to leave once you're settled in!

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