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m
MargaritaGirl Mar 19, 2006 09:46 AM

I've recently moved from Manhattan to Astoria. So far, I've tried Uncle Nick's, Neptune Diner, and Dino's for pizza. I've been greatly disappointed. I'm open to all suggestions, but in particular, looking for what people think are the good food "staples" in Astoria. Also, a good wine store? I wasn't overly impressed with the one by the N train and 36th Ave. Thanks!

  1. r
    robinsilver Sep 11, 2008 04:33 PM

    Just wondering why no one has mentioned Trattoria L'Incontro. We drive from Long Island to go there, and consider it at least as good as any similarly priced places we have been in the city. Last time we were there, we met 2 other tables of people we know from LI as well, so we must not be that far off base. They have a broad enough menu, but their list of specials adds a lot to their offerings.

    3 Replies
    1. re: robinsilver
      Astoria Lurker Sep 11, 2008 05:06 PM

      Trattoria L'Incontro may be my favorite restaurant in NYC. There are a few here that like to bash it but I think in general it has a good reputation.

      1. re: Astoria Lurker
        janie Sep 11, 2008 05:57 PM

        What are your favorite dishes there? I've never been. Preferences are shrimp, salmon, steak, chicken----------all vegetables, pastas, etc...

        Thanks..

        1. re: janie
          Astoria Lurker Sep 12, 2008 05:40 AM

          The homemade pasta dishes are excellent. I especially love the pappardelle with rabbit ragu and the chestnut and wild boar sausage ravioli. They are specials so they may not be available all the time, but it seems they usually are. They have a good homemade spaghetti with seafood (mussels, clams, shrimp, langoustines etc) as well.

          For appetizers, anything mozzarella based is awesome (can't go wrong with burrata + prosciutto), and their grilled baby octopus is great as well.

          For main courses, the "Kobe" pork chop is wonderful, either just plain or stuffed with fontina cheese and spinach. I've never had beef steak there but have enjoy elk and venison. They also have a number of other game meats. My favorite meat main course has to be the wild boar sausages, but they seem to only be available in the late fall. If you are a fan of sausages, you must try these. So tender, sweet and with a rich porky flavor that makes the best pork-based Italian sausage taste like chicken breast in comparison.

          For fish, I am sure they have salmon but I've never tried it. I have tried their Mediterranean sea bass (branzino?) with a nut crust, and some kind of sole. Both excellent.

          Their wine list is also quite comprehensive with many options in a wide range of prices.

          The downside of this place is how crowded and noisy it can be. I try to go on off notes for this reason but it can still be overwhelming. They have somewhat solved the problem of waiting by opening a wine bar next door. Now you can go to the wine bar, order a bottle from their full wine list and have a glass while waiting and then bring it into the restaurant.

    2. z
      zemilideias Sep 11, 2008 07:44 AM

      Pizza in back of Rose n Joe's aint' NYC style but it rocks. End of N/W line, 31st ST.

      1. f
        frankie5angels Mar 4, 2008 06:37 AM

        Hi

        Any updated opinions of Jour et Nuit?

        They have reviews on their site but I'd rather hear from you guys.

        Thanks :)

        1. b
          billhill Jan 9, 2007 03:04 PM

          where is Philoxena located? do you mean the one up near the ditmars stop? they closed a long time ago. did they re-open somewhere?

          2 Replies
          1. re: billhill
            j
            jennsch Jan 26, 2008 12:41 PM

            Yeah, Philoxenia is open again in a new location -- 32-07 34th Ave. I went last weekend and it was really good. A friend and I had several small plates and then split a whole grilled fish -- the dips were all top-notch and the whole grilled fish was perfectly cooked. I definitely recommend it.

            1. re: jennsch
              z
              zemilideias Sep 11, 2008 07:45 AM

              Yah, food in newly relocated Philoxenia still a notch or 2 above standard Astoria Greek. But it's somewhat expensive. Can easily go $90 for 2 people
              with a bit of wine...

          2. g
            gliterati8 Jan 9, 2007 02:35 PM

            Wow, I never thought anyone would have trouble finding great food in Astoria! I have gotten very lucky just walking into random places.

            I love Cafe Bar, which is virtually unmarked for some reason, and is across from Kaufmann Studios. Philoxenas (sp?) is also close by, and is delicious for Greek food.

            1. b
              bruciebruce Jan 8, 2007 02:20 PM

              What's going on with Cups?
              Passed by this morning at 8:30am no one was in the place, sign says new ownership?

              1. Brian S Nov 19, 2006 10:54 PM

                Last week I ate in three different restaurants that have sprung up along 28th Avenue, which used to be a culinary dead zone. All were excellent!!!

                Egyptian:

                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/343272

                Brazilian:

                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/334730

                Moroccan:

                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/340820

                1. r
                  Rover Nov 19, 2006 02:25 PM

                  Smudgy, have you been to Ploes since it was sold and the menu changed? I was a huge fan of the precious incarnation of Ploes, but haven't tried it under the new ownership. I just want to make sure we're all talking about the same restaurant.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Rover
                    s
                    smudgy Nov 19, 2006 02:59 PM

                    Rover, I have not been there in about 2 months; so if it had been sold since then I must reconsider my remarks. However, if you are referring to the previous incarnation as being Roumelli Taverna from three plus years ago, then definitely the current restaurant under the chef named Costas (don't know his last name) has my enthusiastic recommendation.

                    1. re: smudgy
                      r
                      Rover Nov 19, 2006 11:59 PM

                      It has changed ownership within the past 2 months, and the menu has changed big time. Same name, though.

                      1. re: Rover
                        s
                        smudgy Nov 20, 2006 10:22 AM

                        That makes me sad. I'll give the new place a shot though.

                  2. s
                    smudgy Nov 19, 2006 01:09 PM

                    Just gotta emphasize Ploes on Broadway and 33rd Street... if you order right, your experience will be celestial. Ploes is not our fathers' generation Greek restaurant; in much of the menu it reflects contemporary Greek and Mediterranean ideas. Also, a good deal of the menu is not just pedestrian comfort food (like many Astoria Greek restaurants) but rather has ambitions toward something haute while remaining unpretentious and earthy and generous in spirit.

                    And you must try Brazilaville Café (or is it "Grill"?) on 34th Avenuue, east of Steinway three blocks (sorry about not being more specific). It is a buffet and churrascaria (spit roasted meats) place. The buffet is always unique and tasty and freshly prepared and the roasted meats are good (not as great as Churrascaria Plataforma in midtown) but nevertheless very good and at literally a fraction of the price. In fact, its probably the best value I have seen anywhere, in Astora or wherever.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: smudgy
                      c
                      chefrogi Jan 26, 2008 10:15 AM

                      99/100 is a fraction. I hope it's not that fraction of the price.

                    2. d
                      divacooks Aug 28, 2006 09:03 PM

                      RE: wine: I live near the 36th Ave stop and now regularly use the wine store near there. The owners are very willing to order anything you particularly like.

                      Grand Wine and Liquors is terrific on the inventory but every time I ask for recommendations their suggestions miss the mark. I'm very specific about what I am looking for, as I was trained as a sommelier when I was in college. If you need a knowledgeable "wine guy/gal" you will likely have to use Manhattan.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: divacooks
                        Brikka Aug 29, 2006 01:24 AM

                        Divacooks: Have you been to Vine Wine in L.I.C.? I've always found their staff helpful and their selection interesting. http://www.vine-wine.com/

                        1. re: divacooks
                          s
                          sagalat Sep 26, 2007 02:26 PM

                          So, please, what is your favorite AUTHENTIC Retsina? The one's I get in restaurants (quatrinos, sometimes) seem diluted, neutered for American tastes.

                        2. designerboy01 Aug 27, 2006 04:39 AM

                          Don't go to that Moroccan restaurant on the corner of Steinway and and 25th Avenue unless you are Moroccan. They have kebabs there served either as a sandwhich or platter. I asked for the platter and he wanted to give me the Merquez Kebab with rice. He didn't give me veggies and for some strange reason he gave me the sandwhich bread. I asked for the salad and then he wanted to chage me extra. I didn't think the food was anything special. I wouldn't go back to this place. If people try to serve me food like that I don't feel they got anything to show off or be proud of. If you want Kebabs I would recommend going across the street to Cafe Kebab (Egyptian). Chef Ali thinks the most important ingredient is care and love for the food and the customer and it shows in his cooking.

                          1. b
                            breadnchocolate Aug 25, 2006 01:45 AM

                            definitely second a lot of the suggestions here and must stress -astoria has great food - don't despair!
                            agnanti on 19th right on the park is fab greek food and a great view of the park/nice walk afterwards.
                            kebab cafe is legendary - on steinway.
                            i like the afghan place on 31st right near the subway - i'm forgetting the name but it's right where you get the N/W and it's on 31st. they're really nice.
                            and the bohemian beer hall is a must!
                            have fun!

                            1. a
                              AstoriaGY Aug 24, 2006 10:07 PM

                              I liked the listed posting above for Astoria food locations...and thoughts I'd add or agree where needed.

                              Fish: Marinos 30th ave 36th street (Definitely)

                              Meat: International meat market 30th ave 36street (Best Lamb for Pascha in Astoria)and also Acropolis Meats on 30th (fantastic souvlakia..great prices) Sorriso's on 30th & 44th...great pork and incredible sandwiches

                              Produce: 30th ave between 32&33rd street middle of block, 30th ave and 35th street...also Top Tomato on 33rd & Ditmars (not stellar produce...but open 24 hours)

                              Greek Products: Mediterranean Foods 34th street south of 30th ave. (another one near Ditmars & 31st) and Titan Foods at 25-56 31st Street

                              Pizza: Rizzo's, Last Stop (under the Ditmars station), Sacs, Michael Angelo's II (also near Ditmars Station...great super-thin crust pizza)

                              Chinese: Golden House on 30th...definitely a solid take-out source

                              Restaurants:
                              Greek: Telly's (the best meze in Astoria...try the Green Salad), Stamatis, S'agapo, Ploes

                              French fusion: lil bistro 33 36th ave 33rd st.

                              Egyptian: Kebab cafe and Mombar both on steinway/25th ave. say hi to owner Ali at Kebab cafe and enjoy.

                              Morrocan:Jour et Nuit steinway between 28th ave and 25th ave.

                              Brazilian: Sabor tropical 30th ave 37th st.

                              Mexican: on 38th st just south of bway.

                              Czech beer garden: 24th ave 30th street. Outdoor beer garden!
                              (Awesome...seriously, but it gets crowded in the summer wknds)

                              Beer/wings: mcanns. ditmars 36th street

                              Pubs: irish rover 28th ave/ 38th st. quays 30th ave 46thst.
                              both no food.

                              Pubs with food: sunswick 35th ave/ 35 street, cronins bway/38th street this one has better food.

                              Thai: Ubol's (hands down...this is great Thai...regardless of prior postings)

                              Liquor/wine: 31st street/30th ave. biggest selection anywhere.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: AstoriaGY
                                JH Jill Aug 24, 2006 10:34 PM

                                I would add Rudar Soccer Club to the list (34-01 45th St, but the entrance is actually on 34th Ave). We just got around to trying it. Loved the crispy garlicky whole branzini, the cevapcici with the wonderful spicy-sweet sauce, as well as the pasta with veal sauce and the crepes. We had to wait quite awhile for our food (order soup or apps), but the waitress was really friendly and it is such an adventure just to find the place in the basement under the door that says Rudar S.C. and looks like the entrance to a funeral parlor.

                              2. m
                                MW Astoria Bureau Apr 21, 2006 08:46 PM

                                A lot of the Astoria landmarks Manhattanites swear by - Elias Corner, or Ubols - were a lot better a decade or so ago. But new, excellent places have cropped up. Sac's is indeed wonderful, and Los Portales, I bellieve it's called - the Mexican taxo joint just West of it on Broadway, on the opposite side of the street, next to Hong Kong Chinese, has the best tacos I've had outside of California & Mexico. (There's lots of fantastic Mexican food in Astoria - one of the best things that's happened to the neighborhood.) Thai Angel & Thai Pavillion are both excellent. Stamatis, just south of Ditmars, is good for fish (though, as a rule, Greek food in Astoria is greasy and underwhelming). There's no great sushi, or Indian (Ghandi & Go Wasabi on 30th are as good as it gets, and both are somewhat iffy, though the Cyprus Deli, on that block makes good sandiches), but Roti Boti - essentially a taxi stand, on Astoria Blvd & 21st street, has exceptional Bengali food - their beef kebabs - which you'll see all the way on your left, in the top rack, when you walk in - are fantastically good. The Columbian restaurant on Broadway & 33rd is very good - esp. the oxtail soup they serve on Saturdays. (The Columbian restaurant on Steinway, just south of Broadway and next to a nightclub that's got the ass-end of a pink Mercedes sticking out of it, is also good.) There are some decent bistros on Ditmars, though the Turkish kebab place - once amazing - is long gone. The Bohemian Beer hall's become a hangout for Billiburg hipsters & (believe it or not, & no one talk about this, but my friends and I have had a number of run-ins) neo-nazi Eurotrash. Plus it's unbearably crowded, esp. on weekends - insufferably so. Still the grill is good. There's a very fancy, and very good, restaurant on 36th Ave, at 35th street or so, but I can't recall the name.... And remember that Woodside, Sunnyside, and Jackson Heights are just around the way, and LIC proper's undergoing something of a revival.

                                1. r
                                  rdc Mar 21, 2006 02:47 PM

                                  Ubol's Kitchen at 24-42 Steinway St. is great for Thai food.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: rdc
                                    t
                                    Tripper Mar 21, 2006 02:56 PM

                                    Maybe ten years ago - Ubol's has been seriously downhill for years - although Thai Angel and Yajai aren't too much better.

                                    Never tried Dow Thong on Broadway.

                                    1. re: Tripper
                                      a
                                      Astoria Lurker Mar 21, 2006 08:40 PM

                                      I'm a fan of Thai Pavillion (30th ave & 37th st). Went to Ubol's once, it was not good and one of my guests got really sick, I will never go there again.

                                  2. t
                                    Tasty Mar 19, 2006 06:58 PM

                                    Welcome to the neighborhood.
                                    What part are you in? that would help people with places in your area.

                                    Staples:
                                    Fish: Marinos 30th ave 36th street
                                    Meat: International meat market 30th ave 36street. also some good places on bway by 36 street?
                                    Produce: 30th ave between 32&33rd street middle of block, 30th ave and 35th street.
                                    greek foods: meditteranian 34th street south of 30th ave.
                                    Pizza and chinese is a real toss up. I personally think that after all these yrs here its more about what you get used to.
                                    Restaurants:
                                    Greek: Agnanti ditmars/19th street, Ploes bway by 34th st?
                                    French fusion: lil bistro 33 36th ave 33rd st.
                                    Egyptian: Kebab cafe! steinway/25th ave. say hi to owner Ali and enjoy.
                                    Morrocan:Jour et Nuit steinway between 28th ave and 25th ave.
                                    Brazilian: Sabor tropical 30th ave 37th st.
                                    Mexican: on 38th st just south of bway.
                                    Czech beer garden: 24th ave 30th street. Outdoor beer garden!
                                    Beer/wings: mcanns. ditmars 36th street
                                    Pubs: irish rover 28th ave/ 38th st. quays 30th ave 46thst. both no food.
                                    Pubs with food: sunswick 35th ave/ 35 street, cronins bway/38th street this one has better food.
                                    Liquor/wine: 31st street/30th ave. biggest selection anywhere.

                                    Good luck.

                                    1. r
                                      RonS Mar 19, 2006 04:33 PM

                                      For sicilian slices (and chicken rolls) Sac's on Broadway and 29th Street rocks.

                                      1. a
                                        Astoria Lurker Mar 19, 2006 01:24 PM

                                        Try Rizzo's on Steinway near 30th ave for pizza. For wine, Grand Wine & Liquor on 30th ave and 31st st is excellent (right at the 30th ave N stop). It's definitely the best wine store in the area.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Astoria Lurker
                                          s
                                          Stuart Mar 27, 2006 12:48 PM

                                          Suggest you move back to Manhattan if you didn't like the wine store under the "L". I guess you mean the one on 31st and 30th Avenue. They have wines from just about every country that produces wines.

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