2016-02-03 / Restaurant of the Week

MOJAVE

Mojave offers consistently delicious Southwestern cuisine, excellent margaritas, cocktails, and beer, all served in a beautiful, welcoming setting any time of year. The colder weather draws you into the cozy, adobe-like dining room with vaulted, wooden ceiling, creamy walls, and candle glow everywhere, making Mojave a romantic choice for Valentine’s Day! In warm weather, the outdoor courtyard is the place to be with great food and drinks al fresco. A new private party room has been added for all-year use with a fireplace to warm you in the winter, and windows that open to the courtyard in the summer. Indeed, Mojave is the ideal place to celebrate with friends and parties of up to 70 can be accommodated.

Mojave has one of the happiest Happy Hours in Astoria from 4-7pm Monday to Friday. With over 100 kinds of tequila and Mezcal, the possibilities are endless. You’ll find $5 margaritas and $4 draft beers and fabulous bar snacks that go beyond their delicious Chipotle wings. We made short work of the spicy crabmeat salpicon served atop creamy guacamole with lime juice, jicama and cilantro. Corn crusted calamari are so crunchy and perfect for sharing along with your classic margarita, or one infused with prickly pear, mango, pomegranate or blood orange. Blackened pan-seared shrimp, lump crab meat cake served with chorizo sausage and corn hash can be ordered at the bar or settle into one of the comfortable tables or booths in the spacious dining room. The guacamole is not to be missed and everyone loves to share a triangle of quesadilla, oozing with Chihuahua cheese, adobo chicken, spinach, and sweet Poblano peppers ($15). Fresh, juicy mussels are steamed with tequila (why not?) and Chipotle seasoning for a smoky, sweet broth that you’ll soak up with the garlic toasts that accompany this dish ($13).

Chef Santiago Moran has years of experience working in some of the finest Southwestern restaurants in New York and everyone benefits from his craft at Mojave. If you’re looking for mushy refried beans and processed tacos, you won’t find them here. Entrees at Mojave are perfectly executed from quality ingredients such as the superbly fresh and flaky red snapper pan-seared with mussels and shrimp in tomato Chipotle broth served with savory green rice. Stuffed, plump shrimp are served with grilled Portobello mushrooms and asparagus, with a scoop of spinach risotto ($23). Pechuga relleno is a popular dish made with tender chicken breast stuffed with cheese and coated with a crunchy cinnamon- scented crust served with a puddle of rich, aromatic mole, a traditional Mexican sauce made with cocoa and spices. Mojave’s skirt steak is juicy and tender, and the short ribs are amazingly rich, cooked for hours and hours in a red wine reduction that renders the meat supremely tender.

Sure, there are traditional dishes at Mojave too, such as enchiladas with three cheeses, or burritos filled with skirt steak, beans, cheese, and guacamole. Fajitas are extra special here and meant to be shared, so grab a hot tortilla and stuff it with grilled shrimp, chicken, or steak. For groups of 3 or more, ask for a “mixed grill” fajita with shrimp, steak, and juicy, grilled sausage, along with savory rice, guacamole, and sour cream. For something non-traditional, try the hearty and satisfying Santa Fe Shepherd’s pie or a Gringo burger.

Save some room for a special dessert like Mojave’s warm chocolate soufflé with espresso ice cream, Kahlua Mexican flan, or the “Bomba” pastry filled with ice cream topped with honey and chocolate sauce, or decadent fried ice cream.

Brunch at Mojave takes place on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 4pm where you can enjoy a Prefix feast for $16.95 with one brunch cocktail, or the “Bottomless Brunch” for $32.95 with 1.5 hours of unlimited brunch cocktails along with their Southwestern breakfast burrito, chorizo omelet, skirt steak and eggs, apple or blueberry pancakes or vanilla bean French toast.

Don’t forget two important events: Superbowl Sunday, February 7th when you can watch the game and dine on great food and drinks, and

Valentine’s Day, Sunday, February 14th, where the whole weekend is open for celebrating the one you love. Proprietors Susan McCarthy, Jim McKarton and Jim O’Hanlon make you feel welcome here and at their sister restaurant “Agave” in the West Village. The friendly staff in Astoria takes great care of everyone so visit soon and see what you’ve been missing. Life is a fiesta at Mojave!

22-36 31st Street
Astoria  718.545.4100

www.mojaveny.com

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