[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

Mundo, one of Astoria's most charming gems, closed recently, and I'm still not over it. The restaurant's unique, delicious mix of vegetarian-friendly Turkish classics, with some South American dishes thrown in for good measure, is irreplaceable. But on the upside, shortly after Mundo closed, Mezze Place opened in the same space. It has a similar menu—to the point of offering a copycat of Mundo's signature red sonja appetizer—if more strictly Mediterranean in focus.

The best bite of my visit was the Zucchini Croquettes, two small patties for $6 on a bed of Greek yogurt (the citrus salad and Parmesan promised on the menu were missing on this plate). They have a soft, delicate crust, a touch more oily than necessary, but I forgive it for the bomb of flavor within. We're talking feathery zucchini mashed up with molten feta and herbs fresh enough to come from your balcony's garden. It's a case where the portion feels small until you realize how intense those bites are.

Mezze Place won't replace Mundo, but if this dish is an indication of the kitchen's prowess, I'll be back for more meals soon.

Mezze Place

31-18 Broadway (down 32nd Street), Astoria, NY 11106

About the author: Max Falkowitz is the editor of Serious Eats: New York. You can follow him on Twitter at @maxfalkowitz.


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