We all love getting pipe dream gifts for the holidays that we normally wouldn't get for ourselves. Personally, I think there's nothing better than giving or getting the gift of delicious food. And with so many wonderful new and anchor eateries in Astoria, I wanted to provide you with a mini food-focused holiday gift guide. Today's choices are all Astorian, but tune in tomorrow for my take on LIC food gifting.
1. Vesta - Not surprisingly, this locally-sourced Italian-style eatery with an intimate and insider vibe is an Astoria favorite. Whether you choose to go for lunch, brunch or dinner, their carefully constructed menu boasts the freshest ingredients, including locally-sourced veggies. My personal recommendations are any of their thin crust pizzas, the grandma-style lasagna and the Baby Jesus Cake (obvi). Gift certificates are available for purchase at the restaurant. 21-02 30th Avenue, Astoria. 718.545.5550
2. Ornella - I don't have to tell you how much I adore Ornella - the warm vibe, the excellent service and the food just says it all. Whatever pasta choice your imagination dreams up, they have it. Traditional white flour pasta, chestnut pasta, buckwheat pasta, rice flour pasta - the options are extensive. It's not only a great experience for omnivores but vegetarians and vegans alike. And even though they have plenty of funky desserts to choose from, their homemade tiramisu is simply the best I've had. You can get your gift certificates at the restaurant. 29-17 23rd Avenue, Astoria. 718.777.9477
3. Mojave - This delicious Southwestern restaurant is accessible in location and the food offers bright and versatile flavors. Whether you like mild or spicy, Mojave's menu delivers something for every palate. I highly recommend it for cold winter days/nights, especially their mouthwatering, warm MotherRoad Roadhouse Chili (pictured above), any of their lunch sandwiches (especially the grilled mojo chicken club and the Atlantic Salmon sandwich) and the Mexican chocolate fondue for dessert. Gift certificates are available at the location. 22-36 31st Street, Astoria. 718.545.4100
4. Winegasm - Want to give the gift of amazing and carefully-selected wine, paired with sophisticated food for a truly out-of-body experience? I know...sounds a bit over the top, but it's true. Winegasm rocks and I totally dig their relaxed, intelligent atmosphere, with long communal tables, a candle-lit setting and staff that is completely, utterly passionate about wine. This would be a great gift for your favorite oenophile-foodie. 31-86 37th Street, Astoria. 718.932.3331
5. BareBurger - For that eco-conscious giftee, an organic, grass-fed BareBurger is a must. Offering up to seven types of humanely-raised protein including beef, chicken, turkey, elk, bison, lamb and ostrich, you can sink your teeth into the most interesting hamburger you've ever had. Their sides are especially tasty, such as the gourmet battered onion rings, which come with three dipping sauces including peppercorn steak sauce, curry ketchup and BareBurger's special house sauce. Gift certificates are available at the location. 33-21 31st Avenue, Astoria. 718.777.7011
Happy gifting (and eating) Astoria!