Tuna Napolean in Astoria

December 11, 2009 4:08:03 PM PST
Tommy Demaros the owner of Cavo said, "A lot of people said we were out of our minds, because there was nothing here." But, Tommy Demaros took on the challenge and opened "Cavo" several blocks away from busy Steinway Street in Astoria.

The restaurant started small, but now it takes over half the block, offering several dining areas.

A neighborhood resident said, "It's got a great ambiance, Astoria is a wonderful neighborhood and the food is wonderful."

At the helm is chef Richard Farnabe, who is taking the menu in a new multicultural direction.

Farnabe said, "It's a Greek restaurant, modern Greek, French influence, with Mediterranean ingredients."

So you'll see stuffed zucchini blossoms, lots of fish, and seafood.

Also some interesting creations like the tuna napoleon, it's made with tapioca.

Chef Richard takes the pearls, adds water and morels, and boils it. That's spread on a sheet pan and baked.

Pieces are broken off and then fried, that's where they puff up into crisps.

Those crisps are layered with the sushi grade tuna and olive tapenade, a tower accompanied by a feta mouse.

That's where you'll get the flavor of Greece, on your plate. Farnabe said, "I love every dish I put on the menu, I have to love it."

And apparently, the customers love it too.

So while "Cavo" isn't on the main drag, it's become an Astoria staple. Demaros stated, "A lot of people from the neighborhood have known us for years, and they are proud of us, that we accomplished this in our own territory."

Tuna Napoleon Chef Richard Farnabe, Cávo

Feta Mousse

4 leave Gelatin
2 cup heavy cream
6 oz feta cheese
¼ tsp salt

1. Soak the gelatin in 4 tbsp cold water
2. In a 1 quart sauce pan bring the cream to a boil
3. With a hand blender, blend the gelatin into the cream
4. Blend in the feta cheese and salt until smooth
5. Transfer to a clean container
6. Set in fridge overnight.
7. Whisk in stand mixer with a whisk attachment on high speed until it stiffens and holds its shape, around 3 minutes
8. Keep cold


¼ cup niçoise olives, pitted
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 ½ Tbs. capers
1 Tbs. grated orange zest
2 Tbs. anchovies (optional)
1 ¼ cup extra Virgin Olive oil
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Place the olive in a small food processor. Add the lemon juice, vinegar, capers, and orange zest, and anchovies if desired. Process for 1 minute, stopping every 15 seconds to scrape down the sides.

2. With the processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil in a steady stream so the mixture emulsifies. Season to taste with pepper.

Tapioca crisp

½ cup tapioca pearls
1 tbs kalamata olive pitted
1 ½ water
1 pc lemon zest

1. Place all the ingredient in a small sauce in and start cooking slowly
2. When the pearl are cook place them on a Silpat
3. Dry the pearls in an oven for two hours at 250
4. Deep fry the dry tapioca at 400
5. Finished with lemon zest and salt to taste