Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Warm Up With Il Bambino

The Joey in Astoria crew and I met at Il Bambino tonight. It's our local fave for a reason--it always delivers good quality food with lots of personality. And as it was especially chilly tonight, we tried to order dishes that warmed and comforted. These included:

Butternut Squash Soup - I love this flavor of soup and Il Bambino's version was perfect and quite thick. I usually have to be in the mood for thick, creamy soup but it worked well in this situation--probably because it was so frigid outside. The best part about the soup? The thin, crusty panini coated with fresh pesto--it wins me over every time and keeps me coming back for more.

Antipasto Platter - Meg and Sooz recommended this and it included a little bit of everything--fresh ricotta with slivers of tomato, artichoke with tapenade, roasted red peppers, beets and white beans with fresh pesto. It came with a side of Bambino's signature bread, which was a wonderful way to enjoy these delicacies. My favorites were the ricotta and the white beans--I thoroughly enjoyed pairing the milky cheese with the garlicky beans. Just scrumptious!

Green Bean Salad - From the picture above, you could hardly tell that there are green beans underneath all that shaved parmesan. But there they were and oh how nice and crunchy they tasted. Dressed with truffle vinaigrette, they offered a sharp flavor that awoke the senses one bite at a time. The garlicky croutons that were interspersed into the salad were a nice touch.

Nutella Hot Chocolate - I decided to end my evening with a rich drink, combining two of my favorite ingredients--chocolate and nutella. I was yet again in love. Every gulp was bliss, as I tasted the rich chocolate with a sweet hazelnut finish. The nutella taste lingered on my tongue for a few seconds before I took my next gulp, eager to bring back the chocolate.

Service and Cost:
Our servers were nice, helpful and provided recommendations when we asked for them. They were friendly and felt more like acquaintances rather than waiters at a restaurant. The service felt warm and cozy, as it should at a place that we call our "favorite."

The costs are moderate and we paid about $30 per person for a hefty dinner, which included wine, appetizers, paninis, soups and dessert.

Try some of these yummies too--I promise that you'll love them.

Il Bambino Cafe - 34-08 31st Avenue, Astoria, NY 11106
N/W Train to Broadway or 30th Avenue


  1. If you like spicy food/drinks, you might consider making hot chocolate (really hot cocoa), with a little bit of cayenne pepper mixed in. Sounds strange, but it's really interesting.

    Put milk in a pan, mix in about 3 tablespoon of good quality sweetened cocoa powder with about a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Heat and stir.

  2. It sounds really good - I've heard of that but have never yet tried it. Thanks for the tip.



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