Thursday, April 2, 2009
Vesta - A Perfect Comfort Meal
Vesta - 21-02 30th Avenue, Astoria NY 11102
N/W Train to 30th Avenue
Last night I had the great fun of dining at a favorite local spot, Vesta. I continue to love it because I know that what I'll get each time will be consistent - great food, lovely wine and fantastic service. My friend and I decided to order a couple of small plates and a pizza to share. Here are some of the new dishes that the evening brought:
Eggplant Caponata - A chunky eggplant spread, it was garlicky with a hint of freshness from the chopped parsley. I also loved the crunchy pine nuts that were interspersed throughout--they gave the spread heartiness and body. My only criticism was that the bread was too thick and crusty--I'd prefer if the slices were thinner because they'd be easier to bite into.
Mozzarella, Tomato, Basil Grilled Crostini - Another simple and delicious appetizer, it consisted of beautiful rounds of creamy mozzarella cheese and fresh cherry tomatoes with slivers of basil. It was a clean way to start a meal, whetting our appetite. I'd recommend it across the board because it caters to virtually everyone.
Meatballs - A relatively new item on the menu, we were curious about how they'd measure up. I was astounded at how heavenly they tasted! The sauce and the meatball were the quintessential dynamic duo--the sauce was chunky, fragrant and so light, while the meatball was tender, juicy and just melted in your mouth. A fine quality ground meat was used and it showed, from consistency to smell to its decadent taste. While I normally wouldn't think of a meatball as a treat, this one felt like pure luxury.
Stracchino Pizza - I think that this is the only pizza I haven't yet tried here so we decided to give it a shot. Like a traditional Vesta pie, it had a thin, crispy crust, which was light and airy. The stracchino cheese, nestled on top had a creamy consistency and mild flavor--it created a perfect marriage of flavors together with the light tomato sauce and seasoned breadcrumbs. Once again, a simple stand-out dish, which I'd put on the same scale as their potato/pancetta/caramelized onion pizza.
Service and Cost:
In true Vesta fashion, the service was lovely. Attentive yet unobtrusive, our waiter did a good job at making sure that we were satisfied. He came by to check on us a couple of times while eating, always with a pleasant demeanor and a smile on his face.
Vesta continues to be a reasonable option. For three appetizers, an entree, two glasses of wine and dessert, our total bill was about $59 without tip.