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Best Bars, Cafes and Restaurants in Astoria, NY

Best Bars, Cafes and Restaurants in Astoria, NY

Visit some of Astoria's best bars, cafes and restaurants and see what's new and enticing on the menu.

The Pomeroy - Astoria

For over a year, Bo O'Connor had the privilege of touring the world with her childhood friend, Lady GaGa. In the kitchens of five-star luxury hotels and backstage at state of the art arenas and stadiums, Bo prepared healthy and nutritious meals for Lady GaGa along with her musicians and dancers. After all, when you are on stage performing for over two hours, you've got to eat right and maintain that energy. With years of experience working in the kitchens of some of New York'S finest restaurants, Chef Bo could transform even the plainest vegetable into a taste sensation.

But the 24/7 grind of the road is not an easy life. Bo harbored dreams of returning to the city she loved and opening her own restaurant. The door opened, quite literally, when an old cafe space became available in the neighborhood of Ditmars. Bo's dream became reality and after a lot of blood, sweat and a few tears, The Pomeroy was born. Over the past few years, Chef Bo and her team have been treating Astoria residents to a delectable menu of comfort food favorites, made with a contemporary twist. The perfectly seasoned Brussel Sprouts, macaroni and cheese and savory fried chicken are just three of this talented young chef's signature dishes.

But food aside, The Pomeroy is now becoming known for their exceptional happy hour and well-crafted cocktails. When you get the N or W train at the Ditmars Blvd. stop, The Pomeroy is the place you need to be, in order to recharge those batteries before heading home. There's nothing not to like about the happy hour that Bo has brought to the neighborhood. On Tuesday through Friday, from 5 to 7 PM, you can enjoy a carefully curated selection of draft beers for $5 and bottled suds for only $4!

Pomeroy

Specialty cocktails, such as the Astoria Park Paloma and The Pomeroy Old Fashioned go for the affordable price of just $7. Treat yourself to a relaxing glass of Pinot Grigio or Malbec for a mere six bucks. There's even a tasty selection of bar bites such as Bo's famous polenta fries and Arancini rice balls available at special prices. A few months ago, The Pomeroy introduced their much-anticipated Brunch menu. It's been a huge hit with the locals as well as foodies who have discovered Astoria and all it has to offer, especially when it comes to diverse restaurants and bars. The bartender's classic Bloody Mary adds pickles and olives to the usual mix of vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire and horseradish. It's a spicy brew to be sure, but not burn your mouth strong.

The whimsically-named Bugs Bunny cocktail is a blend of carrot juice, ginger, dark rum, cilantro and lime juice. The mix may appear to be a bit odd, at first glance, but the flavors blend well together. By far, one of the most popular drinks here, particularly in the Summertime, is the John Daly, a simple blend of vodka and Arnold Palmer style lemonade and iced tea. The Guava Spritz, with guava puree, Bergamot, lemon juice and soda water, pairs well with almost any brunch dish. A true artist in the kitchen and one of the most down to earth, nicest people you'll ever want to meet, Bo O'Connor keeps re-inventing herself, always exceeding expectations. We here at Aplez.com cannot wait to see what she'll come up with next.

Location and Hours

36-12 Ditmars Blvd.
Astoria, NY 11105
(718) 721-1579
www.thepomeroynyc.com

Hours

Monday Closed
Tuesday to Thursday 5 PM to 1 AM
Friday 5 PM to 2:30 AM
Saturday 10 AM to 2:30 AM
Sunday 10 AM to 12 AM

Off The Hook - Astoria

The cozy and charming neighborhood of Astoria is a foodie's delight. Multi-cultural and extremely diverse, this Queens' community boasts a rainbow of culinary tastes and flavors. If you have traveled anywhere on earth, for business or pleasure, the odds are that you can find that nation's cuisine represented along the streets and avenues of Astoria. That's why it 's a bit perplexing as to the relative paucity of good seafood restaurants here in the neighborhood. Other than Greek restaurants, such as Zorbas, Tellys and Stamatis, where you can find the freshest catch of the day, there are very few places that specialize in Neptune's treasures. Of course, you can always find an excellent fish dish, here and there, on the menu at the more upscale establishments. But it's really hit or miss.

However, when Off The Hook opened a few years ago, Astoria seafood lovers finally had a place to call their own. The ambiance calls to mind a small, unpretentious lobster or crab shack on a Caribbean Island. The decor is colorful and warm. They even have an intimate patio out back where plants flourish and the walls are painted with nautical themes. Recently renovated, Off the Hook is the kind of tavern that the infamous Pirates of the Caribbean only wished they could make their personal port of call. This totally intriguing bar and restaurant has a rum vault that boasts the largest selection of rum in New York City, with more than seventy different choices. There is a multitude of flavors, aromas, proofs, and spices available to tantalize your palate.

Referred to by the old-time pirates as the wicked spirit, rum rules the night at Off The Hook. But whether you are a pirate sailing the deep, blue seas, a hipster couple looking for a fun night out or an IT techie, man and woman do not live by rum alone. Drinking always goes better with some solid food on the stomach. And, they've got some very scrumptious seafood coming out of the kitchen. Everything is fresh as can be. All of their seafood selections are sourced daily from local fishermen and purveyors. The chef and owners have cultivated relationships with fishmongers and seafarers who value sustainable fishing practices.

Off the Hook has a tempting raw bar. The all-in-one platter gives you a trio of oysters, clams and shrimps with made from the scratch cocktail sauce and a nice black pepper mignonette. Some of their premier dishes include fish tacos with mango coleslaw and avocado mousse, as well as a thick, perfectly seasoned crab cake patty and an off the charts lobster roll. If you are feeling especially hungry, then go for the grilled Atlantic salmon that comes with chive mashed potatoes and Shitake mushrooms.

Now, Off the Hook does not have a happy hour per se'. But they do offer a few very interesting weeknight specials. Mondays may be the start of yet another grind at work, but this day is made much more palatable by the fact that you can grab an oyster for a dollar all night long. Every Wednesday, hungry Astoria residents line up for the$20 per person all you can eat mussels and fries, which is available with any drink purchase.

Happy Clam Thursdays feature these succulent morsels from the sea for only 50 cents until 5 PM. After that, the prices go up to 75 cents until 7 PM, but that's still quite a bargain. You can enjoy your clams, raw or steamed, together with your drink of choice. In addition to the usual suspects, beer and wine; the bar has quite a few creative and tasty cocktails with which to indulge your senses. At the top of the list may very well be the Dark Forest, which brings together Agave, tequila, Grand Marnier, mint, and blackberry reduction.

Another super refreshing drink is the bartender's White Rum Punch, made with J.M. Rhum, pear and lime juice, mint, and Damoiseau overproof rum. The Gin Gone Bananas definitely has that wow factor that you're looking for when you order a cocktail. And it just plain tastes great. The mix of Caorunn gin, lime juice, Rhubarb bitters and, yes, banana juice of all things, is right on the mark.

Location and Hours

28-08 34th Street
Astoria, NY 11103
(718) 721-2112
www.offthehookastoria.com

Hours

Monday to Thursday 4 PM to 11 PM
Friday and Saturday 3 PM to 11 PM
Sunday 1 PM to 10 PM 

The Brewery Bar and Kitchen - Astoria

Located on the border between Astoria and Woodside, this charming Irish pub may not be in the most convenient of places, but it is worth going out of your way for. The theme here is fun and good times. The Brewery works as a great place to brunch with the family or the love of your life. It's also the perfect spot to watch the game with the guys or treat yourself to a delicious meal after work. They've got a full line-up of activities, from soccer, the NFL and NBA Basketball to baseball, hockey and UFC fight night.


The traditional pub atmosphere is a welcome break from crowded, trendy cafes and the noise of the city. Tucked away on a fairly quiet street, the Brewery is just what you need when your stress levels start to rise. Their Happy Hour features a $5 beer and shot combo (Brewery Ale or lager and Irish Whiskey), $5 well drinks and $7 cocktails, including Apple Martinis, Cosmos, Manhattans, and Margaritas.
You can also get a dollar off any glass of wine!

Hungry? For only a quartet of singles, you can enjoy a warm, soft pretzel with mustard or house cut chips, seasoned with salt, vinegar and sea salt. The bar hosts a bevy of exciting events and parties throughout the year such as Cinco De Mayo, a ghoulishly entertaining Halloween bash, New Year's Eve, Super Bowl Sunday Fun day and, of course, Saint Patrick's Day. They also have a halfway to Saint Patty's day party, which you do NOT want to miss out on.

The entire neighborhood, (well, almost) gravitates here on weekends for brunch. Hey, it's so good, why not? They've got it all here for you, including French toast with fruit, pancakes of the day, Texas Toast grilled cheese, steak, and eggs along with a hearty, traditional Irish breakfast. The kitchen's home fries are the absolute best and you can indulge in pub fares like Bangers and Mash or chicken pot pie. Desserts range from cobbler of the day with Ice cream and chocolate lava cake to the brewery's very addicting house-made cheesecake.

One of the great things about spending a couple of hours here is the affordability factor. Hey, you never want to skimp on your good times. But, we are all on a budget and it certainly helps when you can order a Screw Driver, Bloody Mary or Mimosa for just five bucks. Attention sports fans! During the NFL season, The Brewery Bar and Kitchen offers some really spectacular deals during brunch. Get the NFL beer and wings or suds and pot stickers special for the unbelievable price of ten dollars.

They really know how to throw a party here.

Location and Hours

49-18 30th Avenue
Astoria, NY 11377
(718) 777-8007
www.thebrewerynyc.com

Hours

Monday through Sunday 11 AM to 4 AM

Plaza Kitchen and Bar - Astoria

Astoria's 30th Avenue is one of the most diverse hot spots in the city when it comes to must-try restaurants, bars and cafes. It's no wonder that this bustling area, situated between Steinway Street and 31st Street has been called Queens' version of Manhattan's legendary Restaurant Row.

On the other side of the 31st Street N and W train station is a more sedate, quieter, residential stretch of 30th Avenue. But that's not to say that this part of Astoria is lacking in great places to hang out. Athens Square Park brings a little bit of Greece to the heart of Astoria. One of the most peaceful spots in the neighborhood, Athens Square is a tribute to the ancient Greek philosophers and Hellenic culture in general.

There's also a bunch of really cool coffee cafes in the area, like Astoria Coffee. But when you are talking about great bars, restaurants, and lounges in which to relax after work and on the weekend, few venues, anywhere in the city, compared to Plaza Kitchen and Bar. With a sensational industrial-chic ambiance and a very chill vibe, Plaza Kitchen and Bar is an awesome place to eat, drink and be merry.

Their outdoor patio wraps around the restaurant and faces the aforementioned Athens Square Park, so you know that the view is always going to be nice. And, as far as people watching goes... forget about it! We all know that Astoria does have some of the most stylish guys and beautiful women in all of Queens. Toast the night with a glass of red or white, champagne or sparkling wine. Plaza's Sangria compares favorably to any bar in the Borough and their frozen Margaritas truly rock the town!

Plaza Lounge

They've also got a couple of liquor-based coffees that you are sure to enjoy. They brew up an excellent Irish coffee complete with Bailey's Irish Cream, Kibeggin Irish whiskey, and homemade whipped cream. The Cafe Plaza special is comprised of cappuccino, Grand Marnier, Bailey's and luscious whipped cream. But the main event here is their signature Cuban-style Mojito. Made with mint, just the right amount of sugar and fresh fruit, these delightful Mojitos are served in a traditional wooden oak bowl. Come thirsty because these drinks are gigantic.

The bites here are just as delicious as the sips.And they give very generous portions, as well. The fondue is out of this world. made with three kinds of cheese,(Gouda, fresh Mozzarella, and Kefalograviera), this pot of cheesy heaven is accompanied by pita triangles. Their dip platter is outrageous and pairs up well with sparkling wine. You get a nice side of pita with which to scoop up the various dips that include Hummus, Baba Ganoush, and spinach.

Another great appetizer is the spinach and feta spring roll with herbs and pesto aioli. The menu has nine delightful salads to choose from. They're all good, but the absolute standout is the Sky Citrus salad, with mixed greens, sliced oranges, honey roasted walnuts, toasted pignoli, and almonds together with mango in a delicious house vinaigrette. Entree options range from rack of lamb, skirt steak and chicken souvlaki to a Cajun Gorgonzola burger. Pasta dishes include whole wheat penne with chicken and their famous butternut squash ravioli. Plaza Kitchen and bar is the perfect rendezvous to connect with friends and family.

Location and Hours

29-20 30th Avenue
Astoria, NY 11102
(718) 726-2447
www.plazaloungeastoria.com

Hours

Monday through Sunday 10 AM to 2 AM

Flo Lounge - Astoria

When you want to impress a first date or business associate, without looking like you are trying too hard, Flo Lounge is your destination cafe for a memorable meal and delicious drinks.

There's a reason why, with all of the competition for your consumer dollar, on 30th Avenue, that Flo Lounge has been a mainstay in Astoria for so many years. Trendy spots come and they go. But a place like Flo Lounge never goes out of style. The ambiance is ultra-sexy and very European. During the day, Flo works as a fashionable brunch and lunch spot. On weekend mornings, you'll most likely spot many of your friends gathered at tables, cheering their favorite soccer team on to victory.

But after dark, Flo is transformed into an elegant lounge with DJs spinning their beats while a young, cool crowd dances and celebrates life. You can enjoy cocktails and a scrumptious dinner inside or outside at their sidewalk cafe and then hit the dance floor. Flo's private event space, situated at the back of the cafe, is an elegant garden room. One wall of glass opens out onto the sidewalk cafe area and space has a retractable roof.

Accommodating up to 40 people, this area is ideal for hosting everything from bridal showers, birthday blow-outs, and christenings to business gatherings. Why not gather up a bunch of friends and family and hold your own private soccer or NFL viewing party here?

Perks include valet parking and the chef and events manager will be happy to work with you to customize a delicious menu. They do know how to throw a party here. Hospitality rules! "At Flo, your guests are our guests." is the management's mission statement. They just love making people happy here. Happiness certainly starts with a delicious, hand-crafted, mood-elevating cocktail. The bar uses locally sourced fruits and herbs for their drinks. All syrups are made in-house. Fresh pear puree' and Rosemary-infused syrup join with a nice pour of Hendricks to create the unforgettable Spiced Pear Collins.

The Rose Spritz blends Rose-infused syrup, Pomegranate seeds and club soda with Ketel One. Astoria residents appreciate originality. Many of them are actors, painters, sculptors, poets and musicians. They love it when bartenders are not afraid to show off their creative side. That's why locals have adopted the Mediterranean Mule, with Figenza fig vodka, Pomegranate juice, lime juice and ginger beer, as the signature drink of the neighborhood.

Right up there in terms of ingenuity and taste is the spicy grapefruit Margarita, comprised of Patron Silver, cilantro-infused syrup and fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, with a chili-salt rim. Fuel up your night by indulging in the chef's savory snacks and entrees. Again, just like with the cocktail list, Flo's menu contains quite a few creative twists and turns. Their Southern fried chicken strips are dressed up in a garlic and parsley seasoning with lemon zest. Truffle cheese fries make for the perfect late night snack as does a nicely sized portion of Macaroni and cheese with Portobello mushrooms.

Flo is attracting the notice of foodies throughout Queens. One reason why is their delectable chicken stuffed with spinach, roasted red peppers, and Feta cheese, in a demi cream sauce. Their fork-tender cut of filet mignon comes in a super tasty Portobello and Sake sauce, together with a side of asparagus.

There are a lot of great food and drink options along 30th Avenue. Every one of these spots has something to good to recommend them. But, that having been said, there's only one Flo. It's the total package when you're looking for a one of a kind night out on the town.

Location and Hours

37-20 30th Avenue
Astoria, NY 11103
(718) 204-6096
www.flocafeny.com

Hours

Monday to Friday 11 AM to 2 AM
Saturday and Sunday 10 AM to 3 AM

The Ditty - Astoria

This cozy little neighborhood local has a buzz and energy about it that you can feel. There are positive vibes going on here at The Ditty. No matter how bad your day has been, you can't help but smile, once you pull up a stool at the bar and interact with one of the bartenders or fellow customers. Everyone just seems so friendly and down to earth. The Ditty is the type of establishment that makes Astoria feel like more of a small-town community than a part of the city.

The ambiance is casual, a blend of an English pub and a dressed-up dive bar. They've got a variety of board games that you can play with your pals or with some of the new friends you are sure to make during your time here. There's even an old-school Nintendo machine on the premises, which ups the Ditty's cool factor, considerably. Don't miss out on Movie Tuesdays. The show starts at 8:30 PM in their intimate backyard. Sip a craft draft, a glass of wine or a cocktail while you watch classic flicks.

Ditty astoria

The kitchen's snacks and other things menu beats the usual popcorn, hot dog or cheese nachos that are available at the local cinema's concession stand. Tasty items include Cauliflower steak with Gorgonzola and buffalo sauce, grilled Broccoli in a delicious chipotle-lime butter sauce with Cotija cheese and fall off the bone tender dry rub ribs with a side of baby potato salad. Their signature dish is the Portobello Patty Melt which consists of marinated Portobello mushrooms, Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, rye bread and special sauce. One of the cocktails that will enhance your movie-going experience, (or, really, any night at the Ditty), is the Head Honcho, a blend of tequila, Vida mezcal, chili, Hibiscus and lime juice. The Rootbeer Old Fashioned is an adult beverage that brings out the kid in you. The ingredients include bourbon, bitters, homemade root beer and orange blossom.

When you are headed home after a concert or sports event in the city, stop by the Ditty for a Night Owl. This mix of rye whiskey, Amaro Cio Ciaro, Licor 43 and Angostura bitters will end your night on just the right note.

Location and Hours

35-03 Ditmars Blvd.
Astoria, NY 11105
(347) 617-1747
www.thedittybar.com

Hours

Monday to Friday 4 PM to 4 AM
Saturday and Sunday 12 PM to 4 AM

Victory Garden Cafe - Astoria

If you live anywhere in Astoria, but particularly the Ditmars neighborhood, you are probably more than familiar with Victory Sweet Shop. In business since 1968, this family-owned bakery has been satisfying the sweet tooth of local residents with a dazzling variety of American style cakes and cookies as well as Greek pastries such as Baklava, Galaktoboureko, Karidopita (walnut cake), Amigdalou (almond vanilla cake) and Sokolatina, which is one of the best chocolate cream cakes you'll ever eat.

How many name days and weddings have been celebrated with a special occasion cake or box of pastries from Victory Sweet Shop? Too many to count, that's for certain. However, what is not quite as well-known is the fact that, a few years back, the folks here opened a beautiful lounge and garden attached to the bakery. Victory Garden Cafe has carved out an identity all of its' own, as a cool place for brunch, an after-work or late night date spot or as a restaurant where foodies can enjoy authentic Greek delicacies.

Astoria has quite a few outdoor dining patios and gardens; more than you will find in most of the other boroughs. But the backyard at Victory Cafe has to be one of the most spell-binding al fresco dining spots of them all.

Stone walls enclosed an oasis that is filled with a flowing water fountain, sculptures, small trees, and shrubs. Colorful flowers and candles decorate the tables. Long, green vines hang from the back wall, next to soft, plush couches and overstuffed chairs.

Their brunch is deliciously affordable at only ten dollars per person. Brunch includes an entree plus your choice of fresh-squeezed orange juice, Filicori coffee or tea. You can upgrade your brunch experience with a glass of house wine, Mimosa or a Bloody Mary, for a mere $2.50.

Brunch dishes include Tsoureki French Toast, a veggie filled Mediterranean omelet that's seasoned with oregano and contains a huge helping of feta, as well as Spinach or cheese pie. All Yogurt combinations come with a mini baklava and you can choose either sour cherry, honey, and walnuts or seasonal fruits as your topping.

At night, though, the premises take on a hip and happening ambiance as young hipsters and those who are young at heart, flock to the cafe for drinks and dinner. This is NOT your grandparent's Victory. Not by a long shot. The bar has what just may be the dirtiest martini in town, with vodka and sweet vermouth mixed with olive brine. That's low-down dirty. On the more refreshing side is a Peach martini that is made with Stoli Peach vodka, Triple Sec, Peach Schnapps and a splash of cranberry and orange juice. Many after work patrons unwind with the Chocolate Martini which consists of vodka, white cream de cocoa, and chocolate liqueur.

If wine is more your thing, they have a wine list that is second to none. Choose from imported Greek reds and whites or sip a glass of organic wine from the Alex Elman label. They also have premium Ouzo on hand to quench your thirst and liven up the night. Cocktail temptations range from a classic Cosmopolitan and Margarita to a Long Island Iced Tea and a simply scrumptious Midtown Manhattan, which is a potent blend of whiskey, Vermouth, Angostura bitters and cherries. And, yes, this drink is as addicting as it sounds. Bring on those cherries!

The kitchen's menu is varied and, as you would imagine, leans towards Greek comfort classics like loukaniko (Cypriot sausages) and Keftedes, which are outrageously seasoned Greek meatballs. They do a really tasty veal soup. The chickpea soup isn't bad, either.

Stifado is a dish that you really should get familiar with. Hearty, but light, this dish consists of grilled octopus that is then sauteed with onions and garlic in a tomato and wine sauce. Spice up your healthy platter of Mediterranean grilled veggies by topping it with melted Kefalograviera cheese.

Location and Hours

21-69 Steinway Street
Astoria, NY 11105
(718) 274-2087
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hours

Monday through Sunday 8 AM to 2 AM

Mojave - Astoria

This Ditmars neighborhood favorite has changed up its menu over the past year and the food is better than ever. With more of a streamlined menu, the focus is now on seasonally-driven ingredients and even more innovation in what was already a very creative kitchen. A Mexican-Southwestern restaurant and tequila bar, Mojave takes fusion cooking to a whole other level. If you have ever traveled to places like Phoenix or Mexico City, you'll appreciate the authenticity that Mojave's chef brings to the table. You will also love the warm and comforting Adobe style decor that is prevalent throughout the restaurant. The colors and materials that envelop you inside Mojave are very, very different from the same old, "pub" or lounge environment that you might be used to. Walking into Mojave is like taking a mini-vacation amidst the cactus and mountains of the American South West.

That feeling of escape is only heightened when you dine outdoors in their spacious garden. A hidden jewel that is tucked away amidst the cell phone stores and bodegas on 31st Street, Mojave's lush garden is the perfect spot to while away your time, sipping a Sangrita. This thirst-quenching drink is a Mojave original, a delightful blend of traditional sangria with a frozen Margarita

Happy Hour takes on a whole new perspective here, particularly if tequila is your thing. The bar offers a long list of premium tequila as well as spirit-based cocktails. For dinner, you can't go wrong with the sizzling steak or chicken fajitas. Their aroma is just as intoxicating as are the strong drinks that the barkeeps shake, stir and mix!

But when foodies come here to indulge their culinary senses, the dishes that command their attention are the Salmon con Pepita (a pumpkin-crusted filet with roasted corn mash and mango salsa) and the hearty Santa Fe Shepherd's Pie, a bowl of creamy macaroni and Mexican cheese served over slow-cooked brisket. Mojave's bottomless brunch has achieved legendary status in Astoria. For only $34.95, brunch-goers can enjoy one and a half hours of unlimited Mimosas, Margaritas, Bloody Marys or signature Sangritas plus an entree along with coffee or tea. This is brunch done right.

If you don't want to go bottomless, no worries. Just order their $16.95 Prix-Fixe offer which includes one of the above cocktails or a glass of seasonal draft beer together with your brunch item, fresh-squeezed juice and a cup of caffeine. The hash brown Quesadilla is filled with potatoes, bacon, and scallions. It is topped with a couple of sunny side up eggs, salsa verde and mango guacamole. Vanilla bean French toast with fresh fruit and the three egg pan scramble are also very popular here.
The chef's take on the standard brunch Eggs Benedict is the Cochinita Pibil Benedict. An English muffin is topped with poached eggs, spicy Hollandaise sauce and a mound of mouth-watering, tender and flavorful pulled pork.

Location and Hours

22-36 31st Street
Astoria, NY 11105
(718) 545-4100
www.mojaveny.com

Hours

Monday to Thursday 11 AM to 12 AM
Friday and Saturday 10 AM to 1 AM
Sunday 10 AM to 12 AM

MP Taverna - Astoria

Chef Michael Psilakis has seen and done it all during the course of his career. You've seen Michael on TV, numerous times on Iron Chef America, No Kitchen Required and as a regular guest on ABC's Good Morning America.

The author of a new cookbook, that is charging up the best-seller list, Michael has had the honor of cooking for none other than Barack Obama at the White House! Michael may be a celebrity chef, but he remains a very level-headed guy, whose family is the most important thing in the world to him. The love of family and good food goes back to Michael's Greek roots. Many celebrity chefs are great at turning their personality on and off for the cameras. They also have a talent when it comes to whipping up some very tasty dishes. But all too often, these ego-driven personalities are lacking in one of the most basic tenants of the restaurant business, hospitality.

Have you ever made reservations at a restaurant in the city, run by a big name TV personality and been made to feel that they are doing you a favor by taking your money? Well, you won't get any attitude of that sort from Chef Michael and his staff at MP Taverna. The Greeks don't do things that way. Their home is your home. And MP Taverna is an extension of the Psilakis homestead. Talking about hospitality, what could be more welcoming than a delightful happy hour or brunch with friends or family? You can enjoy drinks and dinner after work or weekend brunch inside Michael's charming two level restaurant. Each floor has its' own distinctive ambiance. The ground floor hosts a huge bar and has a vintage industrial, open feel. The upper floor is more refined and is replete with chandeliers and luxe leather chairs, together with floor to ceiling windows.

For those carefree and sunny days of Summer that you will cherish forever, feel free to enjoy your meal outdoors at MP Taverna's wraparound sidewalk cafe. Tall trees provide plenty of shade over your table. What exactly makes brunch so very special here? Well, aside from the sensational food and atmosphere, you can score $20 pitchers of Mimosas or Bloody Marys. That's an unheard of price anywhere in the city. You certainly won't go thirsty here with over 20 artisanal beers on tap and 120 different whiskeys. Fancy a glass of wine? Fifty labels are available, representing both boutique and brand name vineyards.

Brunch meze options include Gyro-spiced beef sliders as well as a trio of dips with fresh, out of the oven pita bread. Pancakes are not just a stack of flapjacks at MP Taverna. Chef Michael's ricotta pancakes come with caramelized apples, raisins, almonds and Zabaglione.

You can also enjoy skillet baked eggs with sheep's milk ricotta, Graviera cheese, basil, and garlic. Your side is a healthy and tasty tomato salad. Michael Psilakis knows how to throw a happy hour party. All tap beers are half price. Specialty cocktails such as the Angouri Greek Margarita come in at only five dollars. You can also enjoy dollar oysters and two mini-souvlakis for only $4.95.

Also available are some unique drinks that will definitely excite your palates like the Metaxa Sidecar that's made with orange-infused Metaxa, Triple Sec and lemon juice with a sugar rim. Ketal One and feta stuffed olives make the MP Martini a cocktail that's meant to be savored, one sip at a time.

Location and Hours

31-29 Ditmars Blvd.
Astoria, NY 11105
(718) 777-2187
www.michaelpsilakis.com

Hours

Monday to Thursday 12 PM to 10 PM
Friday 12 PM to 11 PM
Saturday 11 AM to 11 PM
Sunday 11 AM to 10 PM

Vite Vinosteria - Astoria

A casually trendy wine bar that also happens to serve delicious food, Vite Vinosteria brings Italian style and sensibility to a rather sedate corner of Astoria. Located just off 31st Avenue, Vite Vinosteria is nestled amidst tree-lined streets and residential buildings. There are only a handful of restaurants and bars in this area, which is only a short walk from Broadway. Never the less, Vite is finding its audience, attracting fans of La Dolce Vita from all parts of Astoria.

Opened by hospitality industry veterans who formerly worked at the famed celebrity hot spot, Cipriani, Vite's bar and kitchen both excel at their craft. But don't look for the upscale ambiance of Cipriani here. There is absolutely no stuffiness to be found within these walls. Vite Vinosteria has a rustic charm to it that encourages people to simply be themselves; within limits, of course.

Vite Vinosteria

This cool place is a favorite with people from all walks of life, from business executives and hipsters to actors, painters , nd blue-collar workers. No just a place to have a bite and sip, Vite is about fostering a sense of community.

Connect with your fellow Astoria residents by raising a glass of imported Italian wine as the ultimate ice-breaker. And let the conversation flow, free and easy. A nice hand-crafted cocktail will also do the trick when it comes to making new friends. Their signature libation is the Vite, a smooth blend of Bacardi, Aperol, fresh mint and limonite that goes down very easy. Looking for a little more pizzazz? Then the Rob Roy, made with Scotch whiskey, red vermouth and bitters, has your name on it.

Relax with a Mojito or the Aperol Spritz, both of which are perfect after-work drinks. They've got some tasty Italian bar bites that will satisfy the inner foodie in you. An authentic Italian bar snack is the Baccala Mantecato, which s creamy whipped codfish and fried polenta. Also worthy of mention are the meatballs with Pecorino cheese and tomato sauce as well as the Sicilian rice balls with peas and fresh Mozzarella.

Two standout salads are the Insalata Vite (string beans, avocado and shaved Parmesan cheese) and the spinach salad with wild mushrooms, Pistachios and Parma ham in a heavenly citrus dressing. As you can see, salads are far from boring here.

What would an Italian restaurant be without a plate of good pasta? At Vite, you have many pasta options to choose from including whole wheat shells with a savory lamb ragu and house-made tortelloni with fresh Burrata cheese.
You might also be interested in their risotto of the day, which is always good.

Location and Hours

31-05 34th street
Astoria, NY 11106
(718) 278-8483
www.vitevinosteria.com

Hours

Monday through Thursday 4 PM to 12 AM
Friday to Sunday 12 PM to 12 AM

 

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