Dining in Astoria

i’ll be the first to admit that i’m not the best about venturing out off the island of Manhattan (aka, to other boroughs). most of my close friends live in Manhattan, so unless i’m going to an event or someone invites me to check out something rad in Williamsburg, i generally stick to my West side life. it just happens that way.

however, i did something totally different last night and subway-ed it on over to Astoria, Queens, in an attempt to broaden my city gal horizons and check out this neighborhood that’s so beloved by many. one thing you hear consistently about Astoria is that it boasts amazing restaurants and is somewhat of a foodie’s dream, so unsurprisingly, i headed over there for dinner.

fun fact: my mom is from Queens, so it has a special place in my heart as i associate this borough with the loveliest woman i know. (also, Misterwives sings a fab song called “Queens” that you’ll want to give a spin.)

i’m not a total stranger to Queens. i mean, i’ve used their airports, and i’ve run the Queens 13.1 Half Marathon in Flushing Park, and i’ve seen a game at Citifield and ridden a bike through the park and i’ve been to Long Island City a few times to visit people and go out to some fun bars. but Astoria? clueless. couldn’t tell you anything about it other than the fact that it’s known for having a big Greek population, and thereby the best Greek food in NYC.

welp, i didn’t have Greek food. but i DID dine outdoors at a lovely, authentic little Italian spot called Vite Vinosteria that i really enjoyed, and that apparently is a huge Yelp success and draws quite the consistent flock of local regulars, including my friend who took me there.

vitepretty sure he’s taking a picture of me taking a picture for my blog, because apparently he got a kick out of that.

i have only good things to say about this place. the service was fantastic (and they all have thick Italian accents, which elevates the whole experience, no?), and they bring out a little chalkboard with the specials for you to review, and we had an amazing, crisp, light Italian white wine that just paired perfectly with a lovely July evening on a patio:

Falanghina Feudo San Gregorio (2013)

large-Feudi di San Gre. falanghina13this was the first time i’ve heard of/tried this wine, and i couldn’t believe how much i liked it. it was a pretty perfect white in my book, and i’m definitely going to track this down.

for my meal, i did something i haven’t done in 15ish years: ordered pasta. crazy, i know, but it’s usually not my thing — but i figured in an authentic restaurant where it’s all homemade, i needed to pull a “when in Rome” and branch out.

welp, am i glad i did. i chose the Spaghetti Neri ai Frutti di Mare: Homemade Ink Squid Spaghetti with Mussels, Shrimp, Calamari, Clams and Tomato Sauce.

fishdishit was delicious. i definitely killed the seafood and left most of the pasta, but that’s because i’m just not a big pasta gal. however, the flavors were amazing and i did like this pasta more than any others i’ve had, so if you’re into pasta and live in NYC, you should certainly check out Vite. the squid ink thing was kinda neat, and the dish was really light in general, so i left saying i’d definitely order this again. i really liked their presentation as well, and my friend’s risotto came in a big clay pot with a ladle, which was a charming touch. little elements like that always set things apart and stick with me.

this place was absolutely worth going to Astoria for, and i’d recommend it to any Italian food fans in the NYC area for both the food and the overall dining experience. although i’m not generally a big Italian food fan, it made me realize just how blessed i am to live in a city where there are so many different authentic dining experiences and such a vast array of diversity in cuisines. to make it in NYC, you have to be realllly good — and Vite certainly is.

Favorite type of cuisine?
If you came to NYC, what’s the one type of food you’d make sure to get? or if you live here, what’s your fave place?
Anyone have any connections to Queens?


15 thoughts on “Dining in Astoria

  1. I love traveling within my own “home” if you will. It’s always nice to treat local sites as you would as a tourist. I LIVE for Mexican… and Italian. But my favorite would be dessert. That’s a cuisine right? Candle 79 is my favorite vegan restaurant, but I always make a point to get a couple bagels to bring back home. CT has nothing on NYC bagels : ) Fave restaurants = Candle 79, Dirt Candy, Red Bamboo, and Dos Cominos (mostly vegan, one AMAZING Mexican : ) ) Have a fabulous day!

    • i went to Candle 79 a few years ago actually, or whatever the one is on the UWS. def a cool concept and very health conscious. i don’t know Dirt Candy but love the name! had many an evening at Dos Caminos. 🙂

  2. Never been to Queens and actually it has been for-ev-ah since I’ve been to NY…but I have family up there so I certainly need to visit!

    That white wine sounds fabulous…need to track it down.

    Have a great Thursday, lovely!

    • you’re here today?! gah i’m so glad you like my recommendations and i think any of those are great options! happy to be a good NYC influence. 🙂 message me, i’ll see if i can meet you for a bit depending on what time you’re leaving — i have to run right after work. could maybe even pop over somewhere near Penn before you go if possible!

  3. I’ve never been to Queens, but it sounds like you had a lovely evening! Oh and I love Misterwives and somehow don’t have their album…until now! Totally downloading it. Thanks!!

  4. Oh my gosh I can’t get over the fact that you ate squid ink!! That’s so crazy cool, I mean I would never do it but it’s still so cool! I loooove pasta so I would definitely hit up Little Italy while I was in NY!

  5. I’m the same way. Isn’t it funny how NYers stick to their boroughs? My friend’s family owns a great restaurant in Astoria called Portalia. Delicious Portugese/Italian fare. I highly recommend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s