Mar's in Astoria
Just had to give a brief write up of this gem in Astoria. Mar's opened last year in the old S'Agapo space on 34th Ave/35th St. They have the speakeasy décor and uniformed servers/bartenders which lends a cool vibe. Cocktails, wine, beer and cider list is great. We had an excellent raw bar platter including different varieties of oysters, clams, and cooked mussels, shrimp and crab claws (all were excellent except for the crab which was somewhat bland - probably due to the season). We also had a fantastic root vegetable salad which was incredibly balanced (I was somewhat hesitant to order this because the ingredients - celeriac, beets, carrots, rutabaga, pumpkin seeds - seemed very autumnal). The poached egg and gruyere worked so well with the other ingredients to add a bit of savory and richness to the veggies. It was fantastic. We also had the short ribs, which were a little fatty but in a good way, on top of polenta and served with delicious roasted brussel sprouts (also not very "spring-ish" but delicious nonetheless). Finished with the panacotta for dessert (not mindblowing, but solid). Wines by the glass are a good selection. I particularly enjoyed a dry cider they had on draught. I was under the impression that this space was more focused on the crafted cocktails and raw bar, but it was great to learn that the cooked menu is equally excellent. Everything was of a high caliber and overall Mar's is a great addition to the neighborhood.