2015-09-02 / Restaurant of the Week

Estacion Grill & Bar

Estación Grill and Bar is the newest addition to Astoria’s vibrant and eclectic food and entertainment scene. Owner Felipe Camargo opened Estación just two months ago and it’s already a hit among foodies and those who love a fun night out. Its name has a double meaning in Spanish: “station” as it is near the R train and “season” because the neat, one- page menu will change seasonally, thanks to Chef Felipe who brings a sense of innovation to this grill and bar in our burgeoning community. Estación’s décor is cool, industrial chic with exposed brick, banquettes and wood tables surrounding a comfortable bar. A vibrant Happy Hour occurs from Tuesday to Sunday from 5pm to 11pm with beers poured at 2 for $5 and cocktails 2 for $10. We tried both the mojito and the margarita and found them to be frosty, fresh and delicious, especially when accompanied by an order of “Platanitos,” crunchy plantains and a unique salsa that is served along with them. You can get fruity mojitos and margaritas as well, mixed with fresh fruit purees. A nice selection of beer and wine makes this a good spot to meet up with friends after work.

The most popular appetizer here is the “Cruz del Sur”, a seafood “ceviche” extravaganza that incorporates crispy, golden calamari rings, shrimp in spicy cocktail sauce and flaky sea bass in coconut sauce ($ 14). The beautiful platter offers plenty for 2 or 3 to share, but you should also try their crunchy, corn meal empanadas, filled with ground beef and served with a delightfully spicy salsa ($ 5). Juicy brochetas are chunks of tender pork and shrimp skewered on lemongrass leaves for a citrusy, savory taste sensation. The fresh salads such as the shrimp and avocado with corn and green peppers taste like summer and can also be shared as a first course. The friendly wait staff brought us a selection of Chef Felipe’s finest dishes, including ‘ropa vieja,’ a Latino dish of shredded beef in a flavorful creole sauce served with fried sweet plantains that was simply delicious. According to everyone, the most popular dish at Estación is the Caribbean chicken and with good reason. This fork tender, grilled chicken is sautéed with peppers, onions, and juicy pineapple, and is served with a mound of coconut rice which will make you feel as though you’ve been on a cruise ($ 14). “Entraña” is a skirt steak grilled to perfection in merlot wine sauce resting on a puddle of sweet potato puree ($ 18). Sweet “Langoustinos Maracuya” are sweet lobster tails in passion fruit sauce with grilled watermelon… the ultimate summer time treat. Grilled salmon with lime foam and fennel is another ambitious dish by Chef Felipe, served on a bed of asparagus for a light and healthy dinner. If you’re more into the familiar, then the rib- eye burger is for you. Topped with cheddar cheese and pickled cucumbers, this juicy ground rib- eye burger will satisfy your appetite. As the menu is seasonal, I’m looking forward to my next visit when there will certainly be something new from the kitchen.

Sweeten your palate with “Fantasia Silvestre,” a light and fruity dessert of mixed berries and cherries with a lighter- than- air cherry foam. Pears cooked in a liqueur reduction are served with ice cream, as is the decadent, warm brownie. For an extra special meal served in a cool, casual setting, check out Estación Grill and Bar, right near your train station and always in season. Buen provecho!

42-12 Broadway, Astoria


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