A Couple of Tarts

We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink, for dining alone is leading the life of a lion or wolf. ~ Epicurus

Monday, January 29, 2007

Dining Out in Astoria

When you think of Astoria, do you automatically think of Greek food? Yeah, that and maybe the Bohemian Beer Garden. But there are other a plethora of other types of restaurants in these parts. Since RFC moved in, I've been eating out in the neighborhood a lot more. I think when I was living here by myself I figured if I was close to home, I might as well save my money for when I was going with friends and eat the food I had in my fridge. Now that I have someone close at hand to explore with, I've been trying out new places.

Friday night we went to Stove. It had been recommended by one of RFC's friends and it was just down the street. The bone chilling weather made it a good night to try some place nearby. The place was very cozy inside, almost a little too warm, especially once I'd had a glass of wine. But the Irish waitresses were friendly and we felt very comfortable. The menu is eclectic, with options ranging from shepherd's pie to chicken Kiev. RFC and I decided on an onion, tomato and blue cheese salad. It was a little heavy on the red onion, but still tasty. We shared two entrees, wienerschnitzel with warm potato salad and red cabbage and crab-stuffed sole with mashed potatoes. I thought the fish was flavorful and RFC liked the cabbage that came with the wienerschnitzel. Overall it was a pleasant meal. The food was good, not spectacular, but satisfying. We will definitely go back and it is a great option to have in the neighborhood.

A far superior meal was had at Locale, a nouveau Italian restaurant. It is a modern looking cafe and the night we went it was filled with families. We shared a pasta dish, fagottini alla barbabietole, a beggar's purse filled with gorgonzola served in red beet creamy sauce, and a fish dish. It's been a while since we went, so I have forgotten exactly what it was. What I do remember is that it was a delicious meal.

Finally, we recently went out with some family to the old school Italian joint the other way down the street, Ristorante Piccola Venezia. RFC and I had been curious about this place for quite some time. There are always cars double parked outside and there aren't really any windows, so we couldn't check out the inside. Very mysterious. One night we ducked in to check out the menu and a few weeks later made a reservation. This place was a treat! Definitely a throw back to an older Queens. You have dinner there and you feel like they are really taking care of you. It isn't cheap, but I think you are paying partly for atmosphere and the experience. They sit you down and give you a chance to relax, order a drink and nibble on the bruchetta, meat and cheese they have set down on the table. Once you have caught your breath, then they come with the menus. Our waiter assured us they could prepare any of the fish or meat any way we preferred. I had osso bucco that was so tender, I didn't need a knife. It came with gnocci in red sauce. The baked clams were also good. RFC had fish, but again I can't remember what it was (bad foodblogger! bad!). It's not some place we can go to all the time, but it was a treat.

45-17 28th Avenue
Astoria, New York
(718) 956-0372

33-02 34th Street
Astoria, New York
(718) 729-9080

Ristorante Piccola Venezia
42-01 28th Avenue
Astoria, New York
(718) 721-8470


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