Astoria's Best Wine Bars, Astoria NY
The neighborhood of Astoria, which has been coming on strong in terms of offering some of the best culinary and nightlife options in the city, has some delightful wine bars that you need to check out asap!
Queen's Room - Astoria
A hip and lively coffee bar by day, when night falls and the stars come out to play, Queen's Room transitions into a sexy and convivial wine bar.
There's really a no better place in which to enjoy a cocktail or a glass of wine while making new friends and stealing away a couple of hours of me-time from your busy day.
Queen's Room has a touch of Manhattan flair and subdued sophistication without any of the pretension. This is an establishment with a heart; a cozy and comforting refuge that provides a welcome escape from the city that we cannot live without, yet, sometimes find hard to deal with.
The warm and intimate tone is set by the owners, Antonia Joannides and her partner Yiannis Vasilas.
This energetic and entrepreneurial couple has an extensive background in Manhattan's nightlife and dining scene. They definitely know a thing or two about the ins and outs of hospitality and making their guests feel so very special.
The location of Queen's Room, on the corner of 36th Street and Ditmars Blvd. is especially dear to Antonia's heart. For, it was here, in a tiny apartment on the building's second floor, where she grew up.
Antonia, together with her mom, dad and three sisters, emigrated to Astoria from Cyprus and it was amidst these humble surroundings, where her American Dream began!
Rounding out the team is chef extraordinaire Mike DeVito. His menu has a strong and appealing Mediterranean influence, which is not at all surprising, considering the Cypriot and Italian roots at work here.
The very best antidote to a stressful day is a plate of chef DeVito's Spring Risotto with pancetta, peas and Parmesan paired with a glass of red or white wine.
Or you could always opt for his Linguine al Granchio, ( jumbo crab, corn, scallions, Aleppo pepper and lemon gremolata), with a glass of bubbly.
A couple of can't-miss choices are the Lambrusco Rosato, Bertolini from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy or a nice, refreshing glass of Prosecco.
Other notable menu items include the Cast Iron Chicken which is served with the freshest of seasonal pan-roasted veggies and the Hidden Fjord Salmon that is accompanied by Hen of the Woods mushrooms, spinach and Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc.
What goes better with wine than a flavorful plate of cheese? Not much, that's for sure. Particularly when one is presented with the delightful choices that the kitchen here offers!
Options range from a classic wedge of Stilton blue, Two Sisters Isabella Gouda, Mitika Drunken Goat cheese and imported Boucheron to a delicious semi-firm sheep's cheese, Hudson Flower, which is made locally in the Hudson Valley.
Aside from their fabulous wines, including a fabulous Rioja Blanco from Spain, Queen's Room's cocktails are an attraction unto themselves. Have a wine respite and do take the time to explore the bar's cocktail list.
The outrageously addicting Absolute Monarchy is comprised of Absolut Elyx Vodka, Campari, Patron pineapple liqueur, lemon juice and soda water.
Jalapenos add a little kick to Long Live The Queen, a libation whose other ingredients are Hendrick's Gin, Ancho Verde, dill cucumbers and lime juice.
Totally off the wall but equally delectable is The Royal Gardens, a drink that blends Jameson Black Barrel and ginger liqueur with smoked chili bitters, soda, strawberry preserves, (no, we're NOT joking), and a hint of mint.
By the by; the name of the place is not a tribute to royalty in the usual sense of the word. Queen's Room honors Antonia's mother, sisters and all of the strong, independent women who call the borough of Queens their home.
Location and Hours
36-02 Ditmars Blvd.
Astoria, N.Y. 11105
Sunday to Wednesday 8 AM to 12 AM
Thursday to Saturday 8 AM to 1 AM
DiWIne - Astoria
All the wine you can drink plus live music? Yes, please! That's the recipe for success at DiWine, a wine bar that has been a go-to place for locals in the know, for many years now.
Located on an otherwise, rather non-descript street in Astoria, there is nothing plain about this enthralling wine bar, which has a glow all of its' own.
With chill vibes, DiWine makes for a great date rendezvous for both dinner and brunch.
Romantic as can be, the environs resemble a very well-decorated wine cellar. The exposed brick is lit by Edison light bulbs and the cozy booths are decorated with flowing curtains which provide a bit of extra privacy.
Every Thursday evening, from 8 until 11 PM, you'll be treated to live music. The soft sounds of a lilting guitar or piano totally set the mood.
On Sundays, make plans to stop by for their jazz brunch, which takes place from noon to three in the afternoon.
DiWine also has a superb Happy Hour going on Sunday through Thursday from 5 till 8 PM and, are you ready for this, all day on Mondays!
Select wines by the glass can be had for only $8, while all beers are available for the bargain price of just $5. Selected house cocktails are on offer for a mere $9, which is considerably lower than you would pay in most Manhattan watering holes.
Brunch is always a good idea. You've got to fortify yourself for all those errands you've got to run and gym work-outs that you've been putting off all week, right?
Take brunch to the next level at DiWine by making it "boozy" as can be for an additional $20.
But, even if you don't avail yourself of this enticing option; the good news is that every purchase of an entree includes your choice of either a Mimosa, Bellini, Bloody Mary or a Screwdriver.
Must-have brunch items include their signature truffle eggs; a dish that's comprised of jersey asparagus, Parmesan shavings, over-easy eggs, black and white truffle oil, greens and a side of skillet roasted potatoes.
You will also do yourself right with the hearty Frittata, which is filled with chicken sausage, cheddar cheese, peppers, onions, spring mix and breakfast potatoes. Oh my, my, that DOES sound scrumptious!
Their wine list features a dazzling array of both domestic and imported reds, whites, rose' and sparkling varieties as well as organic wines from small, family-owned vineyards.
Wines originating from the vineyards of Robert Mondavi, in the Napa Valley are prominently featured. You will particularly enjoy Mondavi's smooth and palate-pleasing Cabernet Sauvignon.
At DiWine you can literally take a global tour of wineries from as far afield as Chile, Uruguay, New Zealand, Germany, France and, of course, no wine list would be complete without selections from Italy.
However, if you're in the mood for a cocktail, the bartenders here are peerless when it comes to shaking things up with out of the box elixirs.
Sit back, exhale and relax with DiWine's signature Gin and Tonic. House-made tonic water is elevated to the extreme with Elderflower, lime juice and butterfly pea flower-infused gin.
The indescribably good Marie La Poire is made with only three ingredients, pear vodka, Rosemary-juniper syrup and lime juice. But it packs one heck of a punch!
As is the case with most wine bars, dinner at DiWine consists of small but ultimately satisfying, tapas-style plates.
You'll feel the warm breezes of the Mediterranean brush your cheeks, when you dig into the succulent and perfectly cooked Portuguese Octopus, dressed in a jalapeno-pesto sauce and accompanied by arugula and nugget potatoes.
The Escargot Lyonnaise is one of a kind. They give you plenty of grilled sourdough bread with which to sop up the mouth-watering brandy-cognac and garlic butter sauce.
Two other dishes that deserve your attention are the Moroccan meatballs and the shrimp with polenta and roasted tomatoes.
Location and Hours
41-15 31st Avenue
Astoria, N.Y. 11103
Sunday to Thursday 5 PM to 2 AM
Friday and Saturday 5 PM to 4 AM
Saturday and Sunday 10:30 AM to 3:45 PM
Mosaic - Astoria
A heartfelt passion for wine, food and hospitality is the foundation upon which this captivating wine bar was built.
This interesting space was conceived and designed to be a departure from the average, run of the mill nightlife scene. When you're feeling just a little jaded with the same tried and true neighborhood bars, give Mosaic a spin. you will be so glad that you did.
The ambiance is that of a glamorous 19th-century drawing-room in London or Paris where writers, poets and painters would gather to sip brandy or a glass of wine, while they
engaged in conversation.
Victorian lamps and dim candlelight offer a theatrical but subdued setting. The red-painted walls are, indeed, visually striking as are the plush, comfy couches and genteel banquettes.
The wine list here may not be the most extensive in town. However, the Mosaic team has done their homework and it is certainly one of the best.
If reds are your jam, then you cannot do much better than a glass of 2011 Nebbiolo from Italy. medium-bodied, with notes of licorice, wild berries and florals, every drop will tantalize your taste buds.
The Verdejo 2014, out of Rueda, Spain, is a much sought after white. One sip of this lively libation with bright and vibrant notes of tangerine and ginger and you'll know why.
Prepare to be seduced by the taste and aroma of white peaches, apricots and honeysuckle flowers when you order a glass of Viognier, Laurent Miguel Verite 2012, from the vineyards in Languedoc, France.
Most wines are available by the glass for between $9 and $ 11, which is quite fair. You may also purchase select wines by the half or full carafe.
You really will feel as though you have taken a trip back to the heyday of Oscar Wilde when you imbibe the Thyme Traveler, a beautifully composed cocktail, whose ingredients are Spring 44 Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, egg whites, raspberry jam and thyme.
The wow factor is more than evident in the Sea Salt Negroni. Served inside of smoked glass, this libation is comprised of gin, Campari, sweet vermouth and just enough sea salt to add a bit of a bite to the party.
The kitchen is known for its incredible flatbreads, which are made in-house with locally sourced dough from Rose and Joe's Bakery over on 31st street. Mosaic clearly believes in keeping it in the neighborhood.
You can't go wrong with any of the flatbreads on the menu, but must-tries include the sweet and spicy sausage and pepper option and the eggplant with fresh, creamy mozzarella and herbed tomato sauce. Talk about a taste sensation, indeed!
Another signature mosaic dish is the shooters. You won't be able to stop eating these devilishly good spicy cherry peppers stuffed with prosciutto and provolone cheese.
The menu also offers items such as the sensational chipotle grilled cheese panini, which gives you cheddar, mozzarella and gouda cheese slathered with Cholula hot sauce.
Location and Hours
25-19 24th Avenue
Astoria, N.Y. 11102
Monday to Thursday 5 PM to 1 AM
Friday 5 PM to 3 AM
Saturday 3 PM to 3 AM
Sunday 3 PM to 4 AM
Vite Vinosteria - Astoria
The name Cipriani is legendary in gastronomic circles. It is a luxury brand if there ever was one when the conversation turns to impeccable service, delicious food and outrageous cocktails.
A favorite haunt of celebrities and fortune 500 CEOs, you can experience everything there is to love about the Cipriani brand in locations from Manhattan and las vegas to Venice, Italy.
Unfortunately, Cipriani has yet to come to the quaint environs of Astoria. But, fear not; we've got the next best thing. Two long-time Cipriani employees, Pinuccio Uras and Carmelo Bennici have opened a cozy wine bar and restaurant by the name of Vite Vinosteria.
Bringing years of experience to the table, Carmelo and Pinuccio know the restaurant business from the top down.
In Vite Vinosteria, this dynamic duo has created a romantic haunt that will soon become your favorite date night spot, not just in Astoria, but in all of Queens.
With a rustic-chic farmhouse ambiance, you'll feel as though you have stopped for a meal, (along with a glass or two of wine), at a country inn somewhere in Italy.
Wood is the prominent decor theme here. It is literally everywhere, from the tables and floors straight up to the long beams that line the ceiling. Even the bar is almost entirely made out of wood.
While not by any means large, Vite Vinosteria is spacious enough that you won't feel crowded or hemmed in. Yet this authentic enoteca (wine bar) still retains a cozy charm.
If you are a fan of Italian wine then you have come to the right place. Some of the best vineyards on the Italian peninsula are represented here.
Enjoy a superb rose' or glass of Prosecco as you while away the time alongside your love, with nary a care in the world.
Of course, much as we all adore vino, there are other temptations in this world just ready to seduce us. Foremost among them is a delicious cocktail, one of the greatest inventions known to man and woman.
Many of the bar's specialty libations use wine as one of the primary ingredients.
The Italian Airmail is made with Grappa, Prosecco, fresh-squeezed citrus juices and honey syrup. Not to be outdone in the refreshment department, the Elderflower Sangria, which is their signature drink, is comprised of imported Italian wine, St. Germain. Triple Sec, brandy and fresh fruit.
A generous pour of Prosecco is the shining star of cocktails like the Kir Royale, Vite's brunch Mimosa and the Bellini, where Italian bubbly is blended with peach puree.
As a wine bar, you would expect the kitchen to come up with some very molto bene antipasto plates. They do NOT disappoint!
The creamy whipped codfish accompanied by crispy polenta and the Melanzane Alla Parmigiana, (eggplant topped with melted mozzarella and tomato sauce), are both calling your name, big-time.
Their pasta is made from scratch. No store-bought boxed pasta is ever going to see the light of day at Vite Vinosteria. You will be able to tell the difference from your first fork full.
The pillow-soft potato gnocchi is made with a flavorful sauce of asparagus, dehydrated cherry tomatoes and pesto. Another pasta specialty is the Ravioli al Limone. This pasta, which is stuffed with ricotta and mascarpone cheese is gently dusted with lemon zest and limoncello for a very unique taste.
Regulars here know exactly what they like and, when it's time to take a break from the above-mentioned dishes, they turn to the Pappardelle, ribbon-shaped pasta with a savory Bolognese sauce or the whole wheat cavatelli shell pasta in a lamb ragu.
Also on offer is a selection of personal pizzas, which are quite good, braised lamb shank with roasted horseradish in a red wine reduction and organic chicken thighs which are marinated in olive oil and herbs.
Vite Vinosteria is a very special place; one that is made to celebrate life's cherished moments.
Location and Hours
31-05 34th street
Astoria, N.Y. 11106
Monday to Thursday 4 PM to 12 AM
Friday to Sunday 12 PM to 12 AM
Rar Bar - Astoria
This cozy wine nook is slightly off the beaten path but it is well worth going out of your way for.
Amidst the crowded nightlife landscape of Astoria, which is virtually teeming with bars, lounges and restaurants of all types, Rar Bar has managed to carve out a well-respected niche for itself as a place to chill out, drink some wine and have fun.
That's not a bad thing to be known for, now, is it?
Located on a quiet street, Rar Bar was founded in 2007 by the multi-talented Tina Stipanovic. Tina wanted a space where locals could gather, chat with each other and watch chefs, mixologists, musicians and artists do their thing.
Tina encourages her guests (and you WILL almost feel as though you're in her living room), to put their cell phones down and live in the moment.
There's not a TV in the place. That's by design and is a very good thing. So, if tonight's game is all that important, this might not be the place for you. But, on the other hand, you'll end up missing out on so many other good things!
On any given night you might catch Tina back in the tiny kitchen, experimenting with a new recipe or blending in with the rest of the crowd as she enjoys some live jazz or folk music.
There is always something cool happening at Rar Bar. One of the most popular performers to appear on the Rar Bar stage is the Loisaida Trio.
With an unusual line-up consisting of pedal steel guitar, nylon string guitar and percussion, the Loisaida trio brings the lively and lilting sounds of Samba and Bossa Nova to Astoria.
Upcoming shows include alternative folk singer/songwriter Dan Graz, Irish-born singer Colin Dempsey and Ruby Rae, who will be promoting her latest release "The Uncanny".
In the mood for a few chuckles to lighten your day? Then plan to be at Rar Bar for Tyrannosaurus. Now in its' tenth year, Tyrannosaurus is the longest-running comedy show in Astoria.
Producers Leland Long and Veronica Rioseco are proud to bring you some of the best local up and coming comedians on the scene today. And, at Rar Bar, there is never, ever any cover.
You can even get into the act, if you like, on the first Monday of every month, and do your turn on stage at Rar Bar's Open Mic Night. Sign-ups start at 8 PM for musicians, poets, comedians and Improv artists. All are welcome.
Every Monday, from 4 PM till 2 AM and Tuesday through Friday, from four until seven, you can indulge with Rar Bar's fantastic happy hour.
Five bucks will get you a glass of house wine and there is a $10 beer and calamari special that you simply have to check out.
Tina has curated a very interesting selection of wines from across the nation and around the world.
Offerings range from a delectable Selbach Riesling from a family vineyard in Germany and an Argentinian Pinot Grigio to a superb Michael Sullberg Reserve merlot out of Sonoma California's wine country.
When you are hanging out at a spot that is as creative as Rar Bar, then you just know that they are bound to have some super interesting cocktails for you to try.
The Dolce Vita is what Rar Bar is all about, pure and simple. This magical elixir is made with Dolin Rouge vermouth, Prosecco, Chambord and Stoli Raspberry. Enough said.
The Chamonix is a cocktail that pushes the mixology envelope right to the very edge. Light and refreshing, this drink is a mix of Botanist gin, St. Germain, Elder Flower liqueur, lemon juice and Moscato rose'.
The tapas-style menu has a ton of variety including a wonderful Burrata which is served with artisan toast and pumpkin seed pesto as well as that Canadian favorite Poutine.
For the uninitiated, Poutine is "loaded fries" on steroids. Your potatoes are topped (or we should say, swimming in,) with short-rib gravy and melted cheese curds.
Other dishes that you will enjoy our Rar Bar's signature egg salad which is served heaped atop olive focaccia bread, fish tacos and the Asian Slaw Salad which consists of quinoa, kale, white cabbage, carrots, Thai basil, sesame seeds and pickled onions.
Location and Hours
30-01 35th Avenue
Monday to Friday 4 PM to 2 AM
Saturday and Sunday 11 AM to 2 AM