Do you have “Boroughitis“? Are you a Manhattanite that rarely leaves the confines of your island? Well then, it’s time to cross the river and visit The Bonnie, a spectacular bar and eatery in Astoria, just a short ride away. My girlfriend and I had the pleasure of checking them out for the launch of their new outdoor Bar Garden last week. We were thoroughly impressed.
Co-owner Mike Krawiec, who also runs Astoria’s popular Sweet Afton’s, gave us the grand tour. The decor inside is quite nice. Cozy rustic with a slight undertone of industrial, they use a beautiful antique Canadian Grey board for their walls, along with white oak table tops, a French oak floor, repurposed pine wood ceiling, and mahogany tables in the garden, giving the place a truly inviting and warm feel. They even have reused cobblestones from the lower east side for their flooring in the garden!
Now, on to our feast. We started with two house cocktails recommended to us by our totally cool hostess Jamie. Mine was the Late Bloomer, a refreshing gin concoction made with St-Germain, Aperol, strawberries, cucumber, Haber’s Hibiscus Tonic, lemon, citrus bitters, and gin. My girlfriend chose the simpler Dirty Pickle Martini. Both were tasty but I’m not much of a pickle guy, unless it’s in a shot glass.
Now that our whistles were wet, we decided to try a few appetizers. We got the Pork Belly Sliders and Striped Bass Ceviche. OMG. For those of you who follow my posts, you might remember that we learned to make ceviche last month for Cinco de Mayo at Haven’s Kitchen. I thought my creation was pretty good. Well, you’ve never had a ceviche till you’ve had the one here at The Bonnie. Quite literally it was the best I’ve ever had.
The pork belly sliders slid into our bellies pretty well, too. Needing a bit of green, we then ordered their Tempura Asparagus. Oh yeah. The herb-horseradish sauce was also damn good.
Time to cool off a bit with a few more cocktails. I had a Piña Colada and my girl got The Wayside, a tequila infused with Mezcal, Campari, Ancho Chile, lime, chili lime salt, and watermelon Ague Fresca. DEEEE-licious!
We followed with a few more appetizers — the Avocado Deviled Eggs and Beer Battered McClure’s Pickles. The pickles are a definite ‘must try’ for any meal here (but don’t forget the ceviche!).
Time for the main course! A meat n’potatoes kinda-guy, I took their signature Grilled Hanger Steak while my girlfriend stayed in the water with the PEI Mussels. If you’re not a ‘mussel connoisseur’ like her, PEI stands for Prince Edward Island in Canada, where the mussels are extraordinarily tasty.
Speaking of tasty, my steak was AMAZING. Marinated in their special mustard with beef jus and béarnaise aioli, it was grilled to perfection.
We ended a very enjoyable evening doing shots with our great hostess Jamie (definitely ask for her to be your server!) of Arturo’s homemade Red Hot Shot, a cinnamon and jalapeño infused bourbon that actually takes him three days to make! You gotta try it.
As New Yorkers, we’ve got pretty high expectations when we dine out, which we do a LOT, since my cooking skills typically involve a microwave. We’re reviewed a lot of restaurants, but The Bonnie really stands out. We’re sure you’ll like it too.
– Michael Riegelman
29–12 23rd Avenue
between 30th & 31st Streets
Astoria, NY 11105
N/Q train to Ditmars Boulevard
Inspired by his roots in top New York and Maine restaurants, chef Shaun Van Alphen places an emphasis on all things fresh, unique and seasonal. Sourcing from local butchers, bakers, and growers, his new American pub food reflects a more casual approach to his experience with sustainable and forward thinking food.
Our cocktail program is built around seasonal fruit, fresh herbs, and historical recipes dating back to the turn of the century. A selection of cobblers and modern cocktails showcase house made bitters, herb infused syrups, and shrubs. A former student at the New York Botanical Garden School of Professional Horticulture, barkeep and horticulturist Mike Di Tota’s botanically driven cocktails will inspire you to develop a green thumb of your own. Most of their herbs are even grown in their very own rooftop garden!