2013-06-19 / Restaurant of the Week

Katch Brewery & Grill

Katch is Astoria’s latest and greatest addition to casual dining, sports viewing, and pleasant socializing. Located on a quiet triangle where Newtown Avenue meets 31st Street, Katch is easy to spot with doors that open to the street, and sidewalk seating coming soon. An enormous 5,000 square foot patio lies out behind this upscale sports lounge offering al fresco dining, sports viewing and relaxing.

Katch opened just four weeks ago and is already gathering a clientele of mature adults who want to enjoy great food and their favorite game without the rowdy college crowd. Here, the décor is decidedly modern with wood slats that separate the dining room from the bar. Communal tables invite socializing, but there are plenty of booths and individual tables as well. Owners Milton and Tom, and General Manager Tino Tsutras, ensure a superior experience for all, and families are more than welcome here.

Katch’s Kocktails will knock you out, made with fine spirits and plenty of originality. They put their own “kick” in many classic cocktails such as their Kosmo made with fig infused vodka, white cranberry juice and fresh lime. This kosmo is white, clean and bright, but you can get a traditional pink cosmo too. The “Kadillac” is an enormous margarita, sized for sharing, made with high quality tequila and lime, finished with Corona beer. Caipirinha and mojitos get their special flavors from fresh fruit. There are 50 draft beers on tap as well as 16 bottles, and a fine selection of reasonably priced wines, so there is something for everyone from the bar.

Chef Chad Bowser has crafted a menu with inventive twists on ordinary bar food. To start with, there are no freezers or microwaves in the kitchen at Katch. Everything is ordered fresh and cooked to order for maximum flavor, and there is a lot of flavor packed in to the dishes made here. We started with the house smoked chicken wings, moist and flavorful and available with your choice of sauce: mild, medium, hot, BBQ, suicide, or the Katch sweet lime jalapeño. You can also get traditional chicken wings or even boneless ones. The smoker also renders delicious St. Louis style ribs in full and half racks. These succulent ribs fall off the bone and you can get them as a combo with wings for $18. Crispy calamari come with zesty pimento sauce, and the quesadillas are a bar favorite for sharing, filled with pepper jack cheese and roasted and your choice of chicken, steak or shrimp ($9 and up). You’ll love the coconut shrimp, fresh battered, never frozen, and served with sweet and spicy mango sauce. My companion and I shared an order of the Guinness mac ‘n’ cheese made with three savory cheeses and a touch of Guinness beer that was just delicious!

Katch’s Burgers are delicious, made with hand ground beef that is coffee rubbed for extra flavor. Topped with house cured and smoked bacon, Gouda cheese and house made pickles, you won’t be able to put this burger down ($13). The Blue Boy Burger is topped with bleu cheese, caramelized onion, and fresh arugula. Barbecued, pulled chicken or pork is house brined and shredded to savory juiciness, piled high on a bun. The pressed sandwiches make a great dinner or late night snack for around $12. One is filled with grilled skirt steak, wild mushrooms, fresh arugula and smoked cheddar while the “Cubano” is filled with roasted pork, spiral ham, Swiss cheese, homemade pickles and mustard. The Portobello is a great non-meat option layered with woodsy Portobello mushroom, roasted peppers, and fresh mozzarella. Burgers and sandwiches come with crispy fries that you can’t resist.

If you prefer a full entrée, try the “Arrogant Skirt Steak” marinated in Stone Arrogant Ale, served with French fries or mashed potatoes and fragrant chimmichurri sauce. Seared salmon is glazed with teriyaki sauce and served with wasabi mashed potatoes, and there’s always the crowd-pleasing penne all vodka.

I was pleasantly surprised by the light, crispy individual pies served at Katch. The signature pie is a white pizza with fragrant basil pesto, prosciutto, heirloom cherry tomatoes, fresh arugula and shaved Parmigiano. The Mediterranean is topped with feta cheese, oregano, green peppers and kalamata olives. Two could share a pie as a first course, or have it all for yourself.

The service is fast and friendly and every dish arrives on gleaming white dishes of various shapes and sizes. For dessert, try a cup of their delicious coffee along with tiramisu, house made nut and honey cake, or a Nutella pizza. A relaxing brunch is available on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 4pm. There you can try a brunch omelet, burger, pizza, salad or one of the chef’s special creations.

Katch Brewery & Grill is open seven days a week for dinner and weekend brunch. Sunday to Thursday they’re open from 4pm to 2am, Friday and Saturday until 3am, and for weekend brunch from 11am to 4pm, with dinner service after that. Bring your friends, family or that special someone for a great evening or brunch at Katch Brewery & Grill. The outdoor patio is open and you’ll feel warmly welcomed in the cool breezes. Katch the newest spot in Astoria at www.katchastoria.com

31-19 Newtown Avenue, Astoria


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