2014-07-30 / Restaurant of the Week

Katch Astoria

Katch is definitely not your college sports bar. This sleek, casual eatery does show sports events, but also features film festivals, live music, fund-raisers and other social events. Katch Astoria caters to a relaxed, mature 30- something and up crowd, with warm welcomes to families and business groups. Indeed they all come for Chef Chad Bowser’s ambitious “New American” cuisine, which will astound you with its freshness and inventive recipes. A breezy, spacious 5,000 square foot patio lies out back for al fresco dining, drinks and sports viewing. This is also a wonderful venue in which to host a private event. Tino and John run a tight ship with their high standards and focus on quality and customer satisfaction. Katch Astoria opened just over a year ago and offers great food in a casual setting all year long, without the rowdy college crowd. Here, the décor is decidedly modern with wood slats that separate the dining room from the bar. Communal tables and picnic tables outside invite socializing, but there are plenty of booths and individual tables as well. The music leans towards classic rock at volumes suitable for adults who value their hearing. A very humorous set of “rules of conduct” governs the bar, with penalties for breaking them going to Ronald McDonald House. Katch Astoria and its staff have great senses of humor and warm hospitality.

Katch Astoria features 50 draft lines and crafted beers from local breweries. If you’re looking for a mass produced beer, go somewhere else. My beer aficionada companion was in brew heaven here. Marisa, the knowledgeable bar manager chooses all the brews herself and concocts the Katch Kocktails to everyone’s delight. She infuses fine tequila with jalapeños for a fantastic drink called a Jalapeño Hound that makes the perfect summer cooler. “Katch me if you Kan” features fig vodka with fresh squeezed orange juice and brown sugar. A special white Kosmo is made with the same vodka, white cranberry juice and fresh lime. Enjoy all these wonderful drinks all week with Happy Hour specials from 12-7pm Monday to Thursday and until 9pm on Friday. With FOOTBALL SEASON coming very soon, there will be extra drink and food specials to choose among, including crowdpleasing portions of excellent food.

One reason for the great food is that there are no freezers or microwaves in the kitchen at Katch Astoria. 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. Chef Chad Bowser has crafted a menu with inventive twists on ordinary bar food. We started with the house smoked chicken wings, moist and flavorful with a sauce of peanut butter and jelly, yes, it’s true…and they were delicious! Other wings can be ordered with a choice of house made mild, medium, hot, BBQ, chocolate Stout teriyaki made with beer, or the Katch sweet lime jalapeño ($10). The chef’s risotto bites are creamy inside with toothsome risotto and porcini mushrooms and crisp on the outside, perfect for sharing along with an order of real Wisconsin cheese bites that are made with cheese curds flown in from the Dairyland state. Smoked beef tenderloin chili is rich and savory with smoky meat flavor. Special kudos for the pulled, smoked duck sliders made with succulent duck breast, cider, baby arugula and cherry compote ($13). Pulled pork sliders, juicy Kobe beef sliders, and Philly cheesesteak sliders satisfy your hunger without being too much. Appetizer-size flatbread with seared yellow fin tuna, buffalo chicken, or artchokes and spinach made a light snack along with one of the great beers or cocktails. We saw the Katch Nachos at a nearby table and decided we needed to return very soon for those.

Katch’s Burgers are delicious, made with hand ground beef and topped with aged cheddar, bleu cheese and caramelized onions or buffalo sauce and mozzarella. For something special, try the BBQ burger made with coffeerubbed beef, smoked gouda, homemade pickles and bacon ($13). Burgers and sandwiches come with crispy, hand cut fries that you can’t get enough of. From the menu of entrees, we chose the “Arrogant Skirt Steak” marinated in Stone Arrogant Ale, artfully rolled up and skewered, served with mashed potatoes and fragrant chimmichurri sauce ($24). Lagunitas beer is used in the batter for their classic fish and chips, and Guinness goes into the Mac & Cheese made with fresh orecchiete pasta, smoky bacon and luscious cheeses ($12).

Keep it green with fresh, healthy salads, our favorite being the warm kale and Brussel sprout salad, tossed with Manchego cheese, dried cherries and lemon vinaigrette for an anti-oxidant treat that tastes so good. Klassic Caesar salad and Greek salads are available too, and offer enough to share. Even desserts incorporate beer at Katch Astoria with the chef’s homemade beer ice cream, a cool, creamy trio of citron honey, chocolate stout and Sapporo green tea. You’ll have to try the Red Velvet deep fried Nutella rice crispy bars for yourself, or the Guinness chocolate waffles and ice cream.

Each night of the week features something special. Monday is Wing Night, Twosday is Trivia Night with Astoria’s own Singlecut brews. Wednesday is Burger & Brew night at a special low price, and Thursdays are for the Ladies, with half price drinks, spa raffles, give aways and more. Everyone is up for the Friday “After Work Party” where the Happy Hour extends to 9pm. Visit the Katch Astoria website for very special events coming up, including the Pig Roast on August 16th with music, food, drinks and fun outside on the patio from noon until 8pm.

Katch Astoria is open 7 days a week for dinner and weekend brunch. Sunday to Thursday they’re open from 12 noon to 2am, Friday and Saturday until 3am, and for weekend brunch from 12 noon to 4pm, with dinner service after that. Enjoy the outdoor patio, Happy Hour, great food, drinks and music at Katch Astoria.

31-19 Newtown Avenue, Astoria

www.katchastoria.com @katchastoria

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