2013-04-10 / Restaurant of the Week


It’s easy to see why Grand Café is reputed to have the “Best Brunch in Astoria.” Grand Café exemplifies the beauty of café life right here in Astoria. With petite bistro tables and lounging areas, plenty of outdoor seating, great food, and friendly service,

Grand Café is ideal for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night munching, as well as weekend brunch.

Friends and partners Stu, with his signature neck tie, Teddy, Kirk, Nick, Tony and John ensure quality and service. From the inventive cocktails to the decadent desserts, Grand Café offers something for everyone and it’s always great.

Start with one of their fabulous cocktails, mixed up with fresh ingredients. Enjoy a classic mojito with mint and lime or add fresh puree of pomegranate, orange, strawberry, mango or grape to it. My peach cosmo was very refreshing and so are the other martinis. There’s a nice selection of imported and domestic wines and beers. Feel free to order some appetizers to share along with cocktails, or settle in for a full meal. That’s the beauty of Grand Café; everyone can have what they crave. I always crave their crab and shrimp rolls for their incredibly crispy, crunchy wrapper filled with sweet seafood with a delectable dipping sauce ($10). Crispy, crunchy calamari is served with zesty marinara sauce and is ideal for sharing ($10.25). One of the most popular appetizers or snacks is the quesadilla, grilled to order and generously filled with cheese and tender chicken, served with fresh guacamole, sour cream and salsa. This time we tried the outrageously delicious mac ‘n cheese made with tender elbow macaroni and a blend of savory cheeses, available with or without smoky pancetta. Buffalo wings or the skewered chicken kabobs are also good choices. The Mediterranean dip platter includes artichoke and spinach dip, roasted garlic, hummus and eggplant dip along with warm triangles of grilled pita, making this the perfect accompaniment to a bottle of wine.

Grand Café’s salads and wraps could be a meal alone. There’s the classic Cobb salad with grilled chicken, avocado, bacon bits, olives and cheddar cheese, or the grilled Portobello mushroom salad over greens with goat cheese and roasted peppers ($12.50). Roasted beets rest upon mixed greens, goat cheese and walnuts for a healthy, colorful salad. If you feel like something light, the crispy, thin crust pizza is a crowd pleaser, served Margherita style with tomato and basil, or with spinach and artichoke.

More than just a café, Grand Café offers complete dinner entrées that rival those in any fancy restaurant. Fresh fish and seafood, steak, chicken, pasta and vegetables go into these generously sized dishes, all made to order. The skirt steak platter is outstanding for its aged flavor and tenderness. It’s one of my favorites and it will be yours too. It’s cooked to perfection and served with your choice of two side dishes that include sautéed spinach, grilled vegetables, creamy mashed potatoes, French fries, sweet potato fries, rice or mixed green salad. Plump shrimp are sautéed with fresh spinach, extra virgin olive oil and garlic for a light and healthy meal. Pan seared salmon is fresh from the sea and perfectly seasoned. The chicken kabob is a light and healthy choice, laced with chunks of tender chicken breast and fresh vegetables ($13).

Grand Café’s wraps and paninis make the perfect lunch, dinner, or late night snack. One of the house favorites is the Grand panini, layered with either chicken or steak and roasted red peppers, caramelized onions and mozzarella. The California wrap is filled with grilled chicken, avocado, mesclun greens and wasabi dressing. The special wraps come with their own side salad or French fries. Juicy burgers made from grass-fed beef are cooked to order and served on a toasted 7-grain bun. You can also order a sirloin burger, specially seasoned lamb burger, turkey burger or vegetable burger and order sweet potato fries with them. Desserts are so special at Grand Café, you’ll want to come in just to have one. Crème brulee, raspberry white chocolate cheese cake, hazelnut mousse and a variety of pastries are just a few of the tempting options. Try a freshly made crepe filled with bananas and nutella, flanked by scoops of vanilla and chocolate ice cream. A cup of specialty coffee, cappuccino or a frappe are in order as well.

Grand Café has an elegant private room for sit-down parties of up to 45 people, or 75 for cocktails. Call now for your spring and summer events. Grand Café is open seven days a week from 7:00am until the wee hours. The kitchen closes at 1am. Grand Café is the place to see and be seen, especially for weekend brunch, served on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 9am till 4pm. Welcome the spring at Grand Café!

37-01 30th Avenue  Astoria, NY


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