When an eating establishment lets me down I can be pretty harsh. I belong to the school of ‘fool me once shame on you…’ If asked in the future about said place the response is forever filtered through that first experience.
Enter Brick Café , a nice enough bistro in Astoria that is usually bustling. When friends came in from out of town I was reluctant to revisit for another $30 plate of pasta and encouraged them to go elsewhere. They were committed. I agreed. It HAD been a couple of years since I’d been there so maybe I needed to loosen up and give it another go.
We started off with a simple beet salad. One of the ingredients was walnut powder. Since I don’t care for anaphylactic shock when I dine out, I trusted my companions’ empty plates. Next up, mussels, with the traditional leeks, white wine and butter. We used the shells to spoon up the broth after the bread ran out. It was that good. Whiskey seemed to be the next logical step. (isn’t it usually?)
Golden Rye ($10) a riff on a whiskey sour, made with ginger, agave nectar and soda, provided cool warmth before getting down to the main event: the entrée. My semi vegetarian eating habits had me craving beef so I ordered a burger. The four cheese burger($14 with side) was cooked a perfect medium, rounded out by soft, sharp and salty cheeses…and truffle oil. This ingredient can be overdone and shows up on several of the menu’s dishes (including companion’s spinach side dish). Truffle oil is a food trend that’s not going away any time soon. Embrace it. (if it ain’t broke…)
There is also a happy hour special at the bar from 5-7pm. A selection of house wine, champagne, draft beer or margarita is free with any meal. The margarita, sadly, is basically gasoline with a hint of lime. But if strong is your main criteria in a cocktail, you’re covered.
Satisfied on the food front and pleased with the surroundings and attentive service. It should be noted that this is a fairly large venue(with a lounge and outside seating area) and I saw only ONE server and a bartender. We were never neglected. Some folks really know how to hustle. A complete 180° from the sauntering lunch service experienced before. Definitely worth the second chance. Color me impressed.
30-95 3rd Street
718 267 2735