Thursday, December 10, 2009

Astorian Weekend Edition 10.12.09

Man oh man will it be cold this weekend! But don’t let a little chill stop you from enjoying these fun (indoor) “social sports.”

Ornella is a great new Italian restaurant worth trying, and all dishes are derived from deeply cherished family recipes. Order the imbustata (pictured above), a specialty pasta “envelope” with roasted veal, chicken, wild mushrooms homemade mozzarella, spinach, mascarpone cheese and tomato sauce. As you can see, it’s an all-inclusive type of dish that's absolutely scrumptious. 29-17 23rd Avenue, Astoria. 718.777.9477

Take a farm to table cooking class this Thursday (or next Thursday) at the Sage General Store. This week’s theme is “Trade Secrets from the Professionals” and covers topics from handling poultry to making the perfect pie crust. $80 per person – includes dinner and you get to take home a pie. 24-20 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City. 718.361.0707

In the mood for casual tapas or just good and inexpensive Latin food? Blend in LIC is a yummy option, and I had a wonderful dinner there last week. Top picks include the arroz con pollo, which is generous in portion and features the most aromatic seasoning, as well as the ropa vieja, served in a crunchy plantain cup. 47-04 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City. 718.729.2800

Indulge in a holiday specialty drink at Mezzo Mezzo--some of the creative concoctions they’ve devised especially for the holidays include martinis such as the chocolate peppermint, nuts-n-berries, an oatmeal-cookie latte and others. You can sample a drink for free with a purchase of an entrée. The special promo code is “holiday cheer” and it can be used on all days except for Saturday. 31-29 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria. 718.278.0444

If you like to play pool or ping pong and appreciate a relaxing, low-key setting, check out Break Bar on Broadway between 32nd and 33rd street. It’s pleasantly full but never too crowded on weekends, and the bartenders make you feel like part of the family. Pool is free until 9p.m. and they feature happy hour from 12 p.m. – 9 p.m. on the weekends with $3 beers and $5 spirits. 32-04B Broadway, Astoria. 718.777.5400

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