Saturday, June 29, 2013
The Taste of a Sweet Milkflower
At last, at last...I've had the opportunity to visit Milkflower last week with Dan and friends, Jennifer and Nuno. Hearing only good things from Mackenzi and Ivona, I couldn't wait to taste the wood fired pizza deliciousness for myself. Since Milkflower is still in the process of getting their liquor license, it's currently a BYOB joint, which was more than fine with us.
Occupying one of my favorite streets in Astoria, which is the tree-lined, 31st Avenue, Milkflower is located on the popular stretch of restaurants between 33rd and 34th Street. Its exterior is a bit unassuming, but once you step inside, you'll be glad you came.
I loved the variety in seating from small 2-tops to larger communal tables, which we occupied. The atmosphere is casual and social, and I love all the refurbished decor such as the blue and white tables made of police barricades. From what I hear, everything has been constructed by the owners themselves, who originally hail from Jersey but love their new Astoria surroundings. We're happy to welcome them here, certainly, as they're proving to do things right by Astoria standards.
We of course came for the pizzas and therefore sampled a few, proving to ourselves and to Milflower just how addicting they are. But first, we started with apps...
Appetizers - We started with a plate of milky burrata cheese (hence the name Milkflower), which was further dressed with roasted red peppers and lots of sweet balsamic glaze. The inside was creamy soft and just a perfect juxtaposition with the meat plate we also ordered.
Speaking of the latter, it was on the small side, but the meats were of nice variety, including a jamon Serrano, salame rossa, and spicy sopressata. To add some nice texture, it was paired with a little bowl of crunchy walnuts and some sweet, mascerated strawberries in balsamic glaze and honey. It was fun to put these fixins in the center of the cured meats, roll them up and enjoy like a savory/sweet cigar.
Pizza - It was hard to get enough of Milkflower's star component, which was of course the pizza. Starting with two small pies, we went for the mushroom and the Hawaiian. Both were awesome and my favorite part was the crust that had a delightful charred flavor.
Even though I expected to like the mushroom pie better, the Hawaiian stole the show, as it incorporated prosciutto and thin slices of spicy jalapeno peppers. Loving the little bite of spice that often came as a little jolt of surprise, we all thought this pizza was pretty stellar and something we'd get again.
Ending things off with the Green Pizza, with lots of fresh arugula on top, it was the earthiest of the three and a nice way to get your fix of super-food greens.
Dessert - We couldn't leave Milkflower without trying their non-traditional gelato flavors, including a black sesame, a blueberry with fennel seeds and a fior di latte (a traditional Italian flavor of milk, cream and sugar). The blueberry was my favorite, as the fennel gave it a licoricey aftertaste that added to its sophistication. All gelato flavors were pretty light and not overly sweet, which was appreciated.
Service and Cost:
It's pretty evident that Milkflower is still getting its footing where service is concerned. Everyone is very nice and accommodating, but they still need to work on speed and precision, which is OK for a barely month old restaurant. They'll get there.
Costs are affordable and especially since Milkflower is currently a BYOB. The aforementioned dinner set us back about $50/couple with tax and tip.
3 Milky, cheesy and stringy Mmmms
Milkflower - 34-12 31st Avenue, Astoria NY 11106
N/Q Train to Broadway