Il Bambino - Brunch Paninos are a Great Way to End the Week
It's been a while since I've visited Il Bambino and I was really looking forward to trying their brunch. Meg has recommended it on many occasions (I trust her taste entirely) so I knew it was going to be awesome. Wow! My friend Fran and I were impressed and enjoyed sitting outside in their quaint backyard garden. It was was the perfect, sunny day to sit out there, which made our experience even more pleasant. Here's what we tried:
Lentil-Tomato Soup - Known for delicious soups, they hit it out of the park once again with this one. It was on the creamier side, as most of their soups are, with tons of hearty flavor from the lentils, chunks of tomatoes and some dried herbs. And in customary Bambino fashion, it came with a beautifully pressed piece of bread with signature pesto on top. Delightful!
Smoked Bacon, Scrambled Egg Panino - This was my choice and I was immediately drawn to it when I saw it incorporated truffle oil - I'm a sucker for that stuff. Even though it was enjoyable and the bacon was really flavorful, the truffle essence was too light to be noticed. Overall, the flavors in the sandwich didn't really pop and it was on the bland side. I think it needed sharp seasoning or a spicy sauce to give it more personality.
Piggy Got Back - Fran ordered this creatively named sandwich with prosciutto, scrambled eggs, mozzarella and olive spread. Let me tell you, it rocked my world, as I had the pleasure of finishing half of it. The smoky prosciutto paired beautifully with the fluffy eggs and the slightly spicy olive spread brought it all together. I'd highly recommend it to olive lovers and people who love big, bold flavors. This piggy really delivered!
Service and Cost: I haven't yet had a bad experience with service. Our server was polite and sweet and even though they experienced a snafu with their computer system, causing our order to be delayed, he was able to compensate us with a nice bowl of soup. We really appreciated that and his kindness didn't go unnoticed.
Costs are affordable, especially given the good quality of ingredients. Our brunch was about $34 total (with coffee) excluding tip. Most brunch paninis are in the neighborhood of $9-$10.
Il Bambino Cafe - 34-08 31st Avenue, Astoria, NY 11106 718.626.0087 N/W Train to Broadway or 30th Avenue www.ilbambinonyc.com