Must Eat In Astoria/Queens?
I just moved to Astoria at the beginning of Feburary and I'm curious of where the essential digs are? I feel like I've scoped out all the good stuff already... but as I've not been here long figured I'd double check on where the best places for food are. I don't care much what kind of food... whatever you favorite places are for REALLY good food. Price can vary. I feel like I haven't found enough to make my palette happy yet. hehehe...
Trattoria L'Incontro (Ditmars & 31st st) - Excellent Italian, try any of the game specials or the grilled octopus app
Brick Cafe (31st ave & 33rd st) - Nice neighborhood cafe, fresh pasta specials are the best choice
JJ's (31st ave & 37th st) - Best East Asian in the neighborhood, great sushi, small intimate vibe
Thai Pavillion (30th ave & 37th st) - My favorite Thai place, there are a few other recs as well, tons of great stuff here, my favorite are the vegetable dumplings app
El Potro (Broadway & 43rd st) - My top Mexican, very cheap, no atmosphere, loud jukebox but great food, great carnitas and chorizo tacos
Ponticello (Broadway & 46th st) - Very good Italian, not as good as L'Incontro
Piccola Venezia (28th ave & 41st st) - I haven't been but receives much praise here
Le Sans Souci (Broadway & 44th st) - Great French bistro
Ploes (Broadway & 33rd st) - My top Greek in the area, but there are many others
Sabor Tropical (30th ave & 36th st) - Excellent Brazilian, I haven't been to the others but in general I think the Brazilian places in Astoria are top notch
Himalaya Tea House (31st ave & 34th st) - Nice tea house with some Tibetan dumplings and soups, great for after dinner tea or just to relax
Sorriso (30th ave & 44th st) - Italian deli, great cheeses, sandwiches, heros etc, some prepared foods and homemade cured meats
Beer Garden (24th ave & 31st st) - Outdoor beer garden, in the summer they have amazing grilled kielbasa, in the winter its a bar + restaurant
I probably could think of more, but that's all for now, I'll let others chime in
re: Astoria Lurker
Keep in mind that Ali does not make typical, traditional Middle Eastern food. He is a student of all types of food. If you like fresh food with lively taste, especially Mediterranean, you'll find something to like there. Some things are his take on traditional Egyptian, but others aren't.
re: Astoria Lurker
Another missing link on your awesome list
Lil' Bistro 33
They serve awesome... French/Japanese/American fusion food.
We just had brunch there yesterday and it was Scrumptious.
I highly recommend the truffled eggs with salmon in a pastry shell. Though the crab cakes (with goat cheese) were mighty fine as well.
I think lunch and dinner have been pretty thoroughly discussed elsewhere around here. Brunch is relatively new. But don't waste time searching this board - just get over there. It's on 36th Ave and 33rd St.
For some reason Malagueta on 36th Avenue and 28th Street is consistently overlooked as one of the best restaurants in Astoria/LIC. Brazilian food (not churrascaria) lovingly made, with fresh ingredients, reasonable prices, attentive service and a very mellow atmosphere with cool music. And of course there's the passion fruit mousse.
I'm moving to California in one month and pizza and Malagueta are the only two things I will miss. Enjoy Astoria...
On the negative side, I'd avoid Bardolino's on Broadway - after a third bad meal recently I've discarded them from my list - wayyyy too greasy and horrible heartburn afterwards, overpriced and tiny servings - buy a jar of Ragu instead. Brick Cafe is like 2 blocks away and worlds better...
I object to L'Incontro. It's just horrendously pretentious and ridiculous. They put mascarpone on EVERYTHING including shrimp. The murals look like a Greek coffee shop. YUCK.
Piccolo Venezia is very old fashionned...you feel like you've stepped into Donny Brasco, so it's no surprise most diners are in their 50's & 60's. You got to favor red sauce and high prices. The service and host are incredibly nice and the drinks HUGE. Great wine list, just not very imaginative or delicate food.
S'Agapo at 34-21 34th Avenue. A greek restaurant serving the cuisine of Crete. All the movie people go there as well as a great group of local artists and interesting people. It's has a kind of casual South of France, Mediterranean chic about it without putting on any airs. GREAT owner who greets everyone and knows you intimately after 2 visits.
I object to your characterization of L'Incontro and PV. I have eaten at L'Incontro many times and I think I remember 1 or 2 dishes over the entire span that had mascarpone cheese and in neither case did I feel it was in bad taste or "pretentious and ridiculous". Their food is always fresh and well prepared, and they often have interesting things on the menu like ostrich and fresh wild boar sausages that you cannot find anywhere else. In addition, their wine list is great. No, it's not traditional NYC Italian and I like that because it's more true to actual Italian flavors and methods. I'm not going to argue about the atmosphere in L'Incontro, it's not great unless you are at certain tables, but it certainly is much better than a "Greek coffee shop". It seems like you have some kind of personal vendetta against this place after only visiting it once.
As for PV, it is a very poor characterization to call it "red sauce" because it is a very Northern Italian place. They have a few token "red sauce" items on their menu (actually, I challenge you to find me 1 on their menu: http://www.piccola-venezia.com/Menu/P...) but a majority of their stuff is Istrian or Northern Italian in origin. Things like gnocchi with gorgonzola and osso bucco tortelloni would never appear on the menu of a NYC "red sauce" joint. Have you ever actually eaten there?
S'Agapo is good but over-priced, the food at Agnanti is just as good and S'Agapo charges 25% more, without the beautiful location on the park.