Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hearts and Burgers

Here it is, 2 weeks from Valentines Day. If you are like alot of people and are stuck for a great idea for the special night of love, well i'm here to help.
"Make your Valentine’s day STEAMY! Take your Valentine to White Castle on Wednesday, February 14 between 5 and 8 p.m. and enjoy hostess seating, candlelit dining and your own server. Reservations are required, so check the list below for participating Castles near you!

Special this year, you can also treat your honey to a romantic White Castle dinner in your home! Cupid’s Crave Kits include eight cheeseburgers, one sack of fries, two regular soft drinks, coupons and keepsake items to heat up your homespun romance. Now, ain’t that sweet?"

Not a joke in the least! Closest one participating love shack for us? 21-01 Broadway -Astoria, NY 11106. That's right gentlemen, you can thank me later ;)

You're the Biggest Genius on Your Block

You always have been. You're brimming with good ideas for groups, events and projects to improve Astoria and generally make it more habitable.

Well, you're not going to get one of those fancy genius awards, 'cause they're totally a racket. I mean you haven't got one yet, right? But you can get an Astoria-LIC Waterfront Mini-Grant. Potentially. Read all about how you can get the duckets to make Astoria even more rad.

Get involved at Astoria Waterfront Parks Alliance.

Friday, January 26, 2007

New York Times Raves about Astoria

What's new?
Queens Now Has Less Feta, More Jellyfish

Astorian Weekend Edition 26.01.07

Well, this weekend is supposed to be ch-ch-ch-chilly! Get your layers out, as well as your hats, scarves, and gloves before you head out. Candy Plum's Trunk Show is happening this Saturday from 12-4, where you can get your hands on some great local fashions. There's a new show opening at the Chocolate Factory, photographs by Iannis Delatolas portraying the "empty isolation of America's postindustrial landscape". The opening reception is Saturday night from 6-8pm. Later that night, head to Dominie's Hoek (48-17 Vernon Blvd) for some local music (Please Dept., Craig Chesler, I am a Bolt of Lightning, Carey Wallace).

For a tasty treat, head on over to the Bianca Bakery (24-05 23rd Avenue) for some fresh squeezed juice. $2.50 will get you any combination they can make (word on the street is the apple, orange, ginger combo is delicious). On the subject of food and drink, Waltz is having a wine tasting event Saturday night. $25 gets you wines, cheese, and fruit, plus Song at the piano. On your way to Waltz take a gander towards Fatty's at Crescent Street for the upcoming Crescent and Wine opening up soon. I've heard there will be great wines, beer, and snacks. Should be a great addition to the neighborhood. And have you tried Thai Elephant on 31st Street? I had some great Pad Kee Mao there the other day. My fave is still Wave Thai a few doors down. Their option of vegetarian duck is a delicious alternative to tofu or meat.

More fun, here.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Aces huh?

In this weeks Time Out NY they write a little sumthin on a local place that i have never head of! Oh the horror!!!! Now i must go investigate it, here's what they say:

The owners of this seductive little bistro hope to entice Astoria and Long Island City locals with creative cocktails (cigar-leaf mojitos) and Latin-accented dishes (mole-sauced short ribs). 32-07 36th Ave at 32nd St, Astoria, Queens (347-495-6991)

Why haven't i heard of this joint before? Does anyone know how long its been around? I need to set up a recon mission...

Weekend shopping incentive...

The gals over at Candy Plum are giving it away! Literally...

Free gift with every purchase today through Sunday.

They are spotlighting:
-Pillows to snuggle up with for the cold days ahead
- Awesome one of a kind handmade scarves and hats that are sure to match any coat

So if you've got some cash burning a hole in your pocket and don't want to venture far from home, stop in the shop and check out the goods.

Astorian Weekend Edition 19.01.07

Welcome to winter, finally! We'll continue with the wintry weather through the weekend, and maybe we'll even see some snow! Nice. It will probably be a great time to stay inside and enjoy a movie or bake some cookies, or head over to your local cafe or tea house. Or, sit inside and read this wierd account of Astoria apartment living.

On Friday night, stop by the wonderful LIC latin restaurant La Vuelta from 7-10pm to see its first group art exposition for 2007 (try the empanaditas and mojitos). On Friday and Saturday, you can explore the Brickhouse Ceramic Art Center, billed as "a clay adventure for creative adults." Meet the faculty, tour the studio, and see demonstrations.

On Saturday, I'll be attending an Astoria event in Manhattan, meaning, Astoria-based musicians will be playing at Merkin Hall for the Waltz in Astoria event. It looks like a great lineup, and I'm looking forward to it. Tickets are still available, too. Here in town, Flux Factory welcomes curator Marie Kølbæk Iversen who presents HELLo in their space. Later on Saturday night, head over to Lounge 47 for their "10 at 10" $10 open bar, 10-11pm. On Sunday, the Yoga Room is having their Post-Holiday Cleanse and Restoration Workshop (yes, the juxtaposition of these last two items is kind of funny).

At some point this weekend, you might consider taking advantage of a mondo avocado sale at Key Food. I know I will. And even though it's pretty cold these days, print this out for a 2-for-1 sundae special at Baskin Robbins. And if you see this, be sure to contact the artist and the authorities. Stealing art always seems really slimy to me.

More fun, here.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

So I Heard...

Apparently, Agnanti's original owners have left their restaurant to their daughter. Has anyone noticed a difference in the food/service?

Crescent and Vine, a new wine and beer place, is slated to open in a month in the Ditmars neighborhood. This is very exciting!

French restaurant Le Sans Souci lost their chef and closed down. He opened a new place in Port Washington, out on Long Island, called Bistro du Village.

Wassi Coffeehouse over on 28th Ave has been closed a lot recently. Not sure what's up. Any ideas? Brazilianaki on Ditmars shut down, too (I saw the empty storefront a few days ago). I guess boutiques are hard to keep going in this town.

Perhaps the saddest news of all, Ubol's Kitchen is no longer Ubol's Kitchen (thai on Steinway). The place has changed owners, name, and the food. Apparently, it is nothing like what it used to be.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A Weekend "Addition"

Astorian Weekend Edition 12.01.07

Not much going on with this weather but hibernation? Well here are some reasons to venture out this weekend.

Friday night at 8:00 p.m., check out The Best of Stash over at Ammi. Cool animations and video screenings with a reception afterwards. Since you'll be in the area, afterwards go hit up some crazy beer selections at Sunswick. Thats's my plan for the night!

Saturday, eat up at the newest Greek spot in the hood. Ovelia and its homemade sausages await!

Have a happening Sunday with the people over at OutAstoria, the LGBT social organization for Astoria and LIC. They are having their monthly brunch! It will be held at Mundo (32nd Street, just South of Broadway), a gay friendly spot which serves amazing food. Check in and reserve your spot here.

Looking like a slow weekend? Go ahead, take Monday off - have fun!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Even more Greek greatness

You may be asking yourselves, does Astoria really need another Greek restaurant? Well i'm here to tell you- why the heck not?!?!?! Especially when its money baby, money! It's on *gasp* 30th Avenue the home of "Cafe Central" oddly enough, and its a welcome addition.
I decided to try it out with a few friends last week and was so pleasantly surprised. The decor alone is enough to write up an entire post on, but since i know little of interior decorating i'll just say it's modern (the fiber optic bartop) with a touch of old world (the weird knotted ropes dangling behind the bar). Onto the food...

It was soooo hard to decide on 2 apps, the menu was so enticing. As much as i wanted to try their homemade sausage, the troops outnumbered me so we ended up with calamari and grilled octopus. I haven't had octopus that tender since... i can't remember when! The calamari were pretty darn perfect. No grease at all! Also tender and the breading was perfectly seasoned. Along with apps, we got a plate of bread, warmed and spiced pita and a garlic spread on toasted rolls. YUM indeed.

Being the fan that i am of pork, i was drawn to the pork souvlaki. You get a choice of sides- potatoes, fries, beets or broccoli rabbe. I went with the greens. They were so-so but the pork itself with the tzatziki were delicious. The soft warm pita soaking up all the juice was precut into bite sized pieces, prefect for each piece of meat.

Onto the salmon. An actual "human sized" piece. My boyfriend is a salmon fanatic and being the big guy that he his, probably could have used a larger portion (he's gotten used to the other greek grill houses where you get a ginormous portion), none the less, he was very happy with the flavor of the dish. The fries were done well - i think its important to put that it because i have found alot of places undercook or overcook them!

After the lovely meal we were gifted with what i would classify as my favorite greek dessert so far- zeppole's in honey! That's what i call them anyway... so delicious and warm with some cinnamon on top- to die for :) Oh how my belly thanked me.

I can't forget to say that the service was really nice. Busboys and waiters all very attentive and sociable. They have a handful of wines by the glass and a pretty decent selection by the bottle. Reasonable prices for everything. You might notice a difference when you compare what you get for your money here as you would in alot of the other typical greek spots in Astoria, but i think its definitley worth it. No need to gorge yes?

I'll be going back soon to try their famous sausage and maybe just go to town on the appetizer menu!

There's a blurb about them here. Enjoy!

3401 30th Ave. (at 34th St.)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Netteria...coming soon

Real soon by the looks of it this past weekend.
It's on the corner of 31st St and Newton if i remember correctly. By the time i walked over to it though they were putting up brown paper on the windows to keep the rest of the world in the dark about their last few details i guess!
Well, its definitley a nice addition to the dark corner, now to see what exactly we get.
Keep those peepers peeled and if you get to check it out before me, give us the 411 :)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Astorian Weekend Edition 01.05.07

Welcome to the first Weekend Edition of 2007! I hope you had a great holiday and new year's celebration. My NYE was nice and mellow, for which I'm grateful. Merry Christmas to our Orthodox readers too (Orthodox Christmas is on January 7). Anyway, I send you every good wish for 2007. Let's see what's cookin' in Astoria/LIC...

New at Waltz: not music, but local crafts! Every Saturday and Sunday from 12-7pm a different local artisan will have their wares available inside the cafe for perusal and purchase. If you are interested in having your work show there, contact them at with your info, website, etc.

As was mentioned, this weekend is MulchFest. "Chip in", as they say, and mulch your tree. Help NYC Grow. Saturday and Sunday 10am-2pm at Astoria Park, and free mulch is available at the park at these times.

The ever interesting Fisher Landau Center for Art is celebrating their 15 year anniversary. Special exhibits are in the works but their ongoing collections are available for viewing. This place is truly a gem of Astoria/LIC.

I've recently become aware of a new wine bar in LIC called Domaine. I believe it opened up this past October. It looks nice and definitely worth checking out if you like wine and cheese. And remember Il Bambino Cafe?. They've got a website! Their menu looks amazing. Go check it out now! Also, word on the street is that the new Ovelia on 30th Ave near 34th Street has fabulous Greek food. And I want to just send a shoutout to Michael Angelo's II over on 23rd Ave. Consistently great slices, yum! And a freiendly pizza making guy who heats up your slice.

More fun, here.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

New Year new establishment

So we've got another try at the space that used to be a latin club, before that it was a gay club and before that another random club. I use club loosely since i was never actually in any of the past incarnations of the space- but thats what they looked like to me. It's next to the UPS store on Steinway between 28th Ave and 30th Ave. Its called Megaro. No idea what that means.
It looks really weird from the outside- lack of windows...
When they first started the reconstruction of the facade i could have sworn it was going to be a strip club. I mean, come on how many mainstream establishments get rid of their windows? But as i walked by and started running at the mouth to my boyfriend about what it could be, he told me to keep walking and look in the window and find out! Window! Well its a little peek-a-boo window on the door. But there it was. And what i peeped was a very pretty restaurant being set up inside. I mean it could still be a "gentlemen's club" of course, but from the limited view- i didn't see a stage or a pole.
Doesn't look like there is too much left to do, so stay tuned for what it actually opens as.
Have you got any more info on this place? What gives?