2019-01-02 / Restaurant of the Week

Bean’s & Lager KITCHEN AND BAR

Start the New Year off right with a visit to Bean’s & Lager Kitchen and Bar. Our first restaurant review of the new year features Bean’s & Lager which is celebrating its first year in Astoria, serving high caliber food, cocktails, beers, and fine Juan Valdez coffee (that’s the beans). This decidedly cool, modern, restaurant and bar run by hospitable hosts, Andy and Vivian Calos, welcomes guests seven days and nights a week for lunch, dinner, weekend brunch and all sorts of events. You’ll feel the warmth and welcoming vibe as soon as you walk in. Exposed brick and English tile floors set the mood along with soft lighting from industrial chic pendants. The façade is made of glass doors that will all open in warm weather. A raised stage features live music such as a performance by musicians from Broadway’s “Hamilton,” Bluegrass bands, and monthly jazz. A special performance by “Dueling Pianos” is planned for Thursday, January 3rd. Bean’s & Lager plays host to dozens of special events by corporate and philanthropic organizations, so make reservations now for a successful event. Best of all, the prices are great, and the service is friendly and efficient, thanks to Julie and Cody.

Cody mixes up signature cocktails such as the Maple Manhattan which we enjoyed, mixed with fine bourbon and a touch of real maple syrup. The grapefruit mule is a citrusy take on the class Moscow mule. The Queens Sour mixes Kentucky bourbon, fresh lemon juice, and pineapple for a tangy drink. As the name suggests, there is an impressive selection of beers, stouts, and lagers to choose from, and the list of reasonably priced wines includes vintages from all parts of the world. Happy Hour runs from 4-7pm with specials.

There are so many new items on the menu at Bean’s & Lager that each visit is an exploration in gastronomy. Eggplant dip and mixed Mediterranean olives make a great accompaniment to a bottle of wine, served with warm pita bread. The grilled octopus is one of my favorites, served with tender potatoes, dressed with lemon and olive oil. The new seafood bisque was a pleasant surprise with jumbo shrimp, mussels, calamari and clams swimming in a savory broth that will warm your soul through ($14). Homemade meatballs are composed of ground beef and pork with herbs and mild seasonings, great for sharing. The Black Angus sliders on brioche buns go down easily with your choice of cheese and fries. These items and many more, such as quesadillas, gourmet chicken wings, and Old Bay rubbed shrimp are available on the “bar menu” which is a big hit after work at Happy Hour from 4- 7pm.

Bean’s and Lager sources the freshest produce, meat, and fish for its guests and we were happy to try some new items. Black Angus barbecued short ribs come in a Fred Flintstone-size portion. The meat is so tender, it pulls easily away from the massive bone, served with creamy mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach. Baby lamb chops are also new, cooked to rosy perfection, also served with mashed potatoes and spinach. Dig into a 14-ounce rib eye

steak with chimichurri sauce, garlic zest, and oven roasted potatoes.

If you prefer fish, the Scottish salmon is an impressive fillet of perfectly pan-seared fish, served with a unique ragout of beans, fennel, herbs and lemon and was outstanding. A whole branzino is grilled on the spot and served with fresh asparagus and pesto potatoes. I tried the new sole piccata, a lighter dish of pan seared sole topped with lemony caper sauce, served with roasted potatoes and asparagus ($14). Scallops with lemon-basil sauce sounds delicious too.

To complete our meal we had some cool, creamy coconut caramel flan along with their famous Juan Valdez coffee. Stop in anytime for rich, robust hot and cold coffee drinks, brewed to your taste.

Bean’s and Lager fills up for fabulous weekend brunch, served Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 5pm, where guests enjoy a 2-hour bottomless brunch for just $20. Dishes include fluffy omelets, French toast, burgers and more. There are great lunch specials too, from $10-$15, served Monday to Friday.

Bean’s & Lager is open seven days a week for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Visit their website for photos and info and plan your private party or work event here, with capacity for up to 80 people.

Start the new year off right with a visit to Bean’s & Lager!

33-01 36th Avenue
Astoria  718.392.5777

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