Monday, February 7, 2011
Guest Foodista Ana Reviews Veslo
Today's post will shine a light on an enthusiastic Astorian who's a Foodista and We Heart Astoria reader. Ana lives and breathes Astoria, often chiming in about neighborhood happs, and she's involved with her community. Being of Croatian descent, Ana was especially excited when Veslo, a new Croatian restaurant moved into the neighborhood. Here Ana gives you her personal take on dining in this new, up-and-coming eatery.
Drop Your Anchor At Veslo by Ana Peraica-Stanton
I have the honor of reviewing a great new restaurant called Veslo that is close to home, being that I am Croatian. I decided to go here for my birthday and had the pleasure of dining with my husband Robert, my cousin Joann & her husband Paul and it was great. If you have been to or are from Croatia, it makes you feel like you are transported back there from the décor to the food and overall atmosphere. Definitely check it out if you want a small taste of Croatia without the travel. The service was great and the food was even better…I could not have asked for a more lovely evening.
There is a lounge, bar area when you first walk in. The restaurant is located in the back. It has a very inviting, comfortable, home like feeling. Overall, I would say it is casual but elegant at the same time. There are oars hanging from the ceiling and authentic Croatian antiques on the shelves along the wall, which gives you an indication of the Dalmatian inspired cuisine to come.
Here is a sampling of what we had to eat, which was all together wonderfully delicious!
Grilled Octopus - The octopus was soft and tender and tasted wonderful.
Stuffed Mushrooms - Stuffed with meat and vegetables, these mushrooms were some of the best I’ve had. They had meat mixed into the stuffing that made it extra tasty and flavorful.
Chef Boris Special - Hot seafood platter with clams oreganata, steamed mussels in a white wine sauce, grilled calamari, sautéed shrimp and eggplant rollatini. Everything tasted divine. Everything was cooked well in its own way, but the eggplant rollatini was my favorite. It wasn’t at all oily; there was a perfect amount of cheese and sauce.
Homemade Gnocchi in Veal Sauce - I’ve had gnocchi plenty of times, but these were awesome. They were light and soft, not leaving heaviness in your stomach, and the veal sauce had plenty of meat and flavor to add.
Lobster Ravioli - Homemade lobster ravioli prepared in a light white wine saffron sauce. There was plenty of lobster in the filling, and the ravioli itself was cooked nicely…not mushy at all. The sauce complimented it very well.
Grilled Sea Bass - Grilled Sea Bass served in a light lemon sauce. This was what I ordered and my favorite dish of the night. The Sea Bass was cooked perfectly…moist, tender and flaky with a crisp skin topped with a little olive oil, garlic and lemon. You don’t need anything else except a fork to eat it with. The Swiss chard and potatoes were a perfect accompaniment.
Mixed Seafood Platter - A mixed platter of grilled lobster tail, filet of sole, shrimp and calamari along with steamed clams and mussels in a white wine sauce. This was a fantastic fish dish to order if you wanted a little taste of everything, and it was all good.
Palačinke - Dalmatian style crepes served with chocolate, cheese or mixed marmalade filling. We had the palačinke filled with Nutella, topped with a little powdered sugar. They were warm with the Nutella melted a little in the middle. What a lovely dessert to end the evening with!
Tiramisu - I am not a fan of tiramisu, but decided to try it and it was really good…very creamy and tasty.
Chocolate Cake - I love chocolate cake, but did not enjoy this one that much. It was a little heavy on the rum.
Service and Cost:
We were seated right away and offered coat check. The waiter greeted us, introduced himself and was polite and fun throughout the evening. He brought over bread with an olive spread and extra virgin olive oil for dipping. Menus were given and drinks were ordered…a bottle of red and a bottle of white. We did not wait long for the food to arrive. And the best part was when the dessert came and everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to me! The owner came over at the end of the evening, asked how everything was and thanked us for coming which was very nice.
Overall costs are moderate to high and worth every penny. Walk-ins are welcome, but reservations are recommended during evening hours especially on weekends.
I will definitely be returning again soon, and bringing with me some of my non-Croatian friends so they can also experience a little bit of Dalmatian culture. I also look forward to when the small backyard they have will be open in warmer weather where I heard they will be offering whole roasted baby lamb, goat and/or pig on a spit fire roast grill.
Dobar Tek! (good appetite)
Veslo - 32-11 Broadway, Astoria NY 11106
N/Q Train to Broadway