Trattoria Ora: A New Italian Restaurant in Western Astoria


A few weeks ago, I was walking home from the Astoria ferry and noticed a cute little Italian restaurant had popped up at 18th and Astoria Boulevard. My favorite foods are bread, cheese and pasta so I was eager to check out this new place that was less than five minutes from my apartment. So a meat eater, a pescatarian and a vegetarian dined at Trattoria Ora on Thursday, March 14.

The cute brick walled rustic restaurant, which opened in early February, made us feel at home with a fantastic house staff and fabulous food.

We were greeted by the owners who quickly brought us a pitcher of water, warm bread and plate of scrumptious cheese and olives. We opted to start with an appetizer of caprese. The cheese was creamy and firm and paired nicely with the tomato and second basket of bread. The vegetarian considers herself a “carb-itarian” so she was a happy camper. Since Trattoria Ora dubs itself a wine bar we each had a white wine which paired nicely with our meals.

For entrées we ordered chicken, fish and pasta. The menu had a few vegetarian options and the staff was very accommodating. Everything had a beautiful presentation. The vegetarian (that’s me) ordered penne a la vodka. Our waitress provided plenty of Parmesan cheese to top off the dish. The pasta was fresh and cooked al dente. The sauce was a light red vodka sauce with chunks of tomatoes.

After wavering between the bass and the sole, the pescatarian ordered the striped bass filet which was cooked in a delicious tomato-based sauce with olives and served over spinach. A side of sautéed brussel sprouts rounded out this very tasty dish.

Our resident eater of all foods had the chicken special with portobello mushrooms in a champagne and white cream sauce. The chicken was prepared to perfection, not too dry and not undercooked either. The sauce had a nice flavor, and did not feel too heavy, which is saying something for a cream sauce. The portobello mushrooms were a nice touch to complement the chicken.

A night out at an Italian restaurant isn’t complete until you eat a dessert while already happily full. Our trio agreed on sharing the tiramisu. We easily agreed not only was this best tiramisu in Astoria, but the best in NYC. We were also gifted a slice of ricotta cheesecake that was light and fluffy. If you like ending your meal with a nice light choice the cheesecake is the way to go. If you prefer a super-sweet and decadent dessert – the tiramisu is a slice of heaven.

This seems like a nice place to take a date or have a nice family meal at the large table in the back. I look forward to coming back for future dates, glasses of wine and tiramisu!

—Emily (vegetarian), Ally (pescatarian) and Jonah (eater of all foods)

Trattoria Ora
18-01 Astoria Blvd.
Long Island City, NY 11102

Photos by Emily

3E Thai is now Hero Thai Izakaya


A couple months ago, BOAST favorite 3E Thai (34-16 Broadway) closed, and now under new management is called Hero Thai Izakaya. The chef is the same, and the menu is similar, but the interior is different and it’s a new restaurant, so 3E has been taken off BOAST’s EAT page, and has been replaced by new third place winners Enthaice Thai Kitchen (33-20 31st Ave) and Red Basil Thai Kitchen (32-47 Steinway St). Hero Thai Izakaya will certainly be in the running for a 2018 BOAST: Best of Astoria winner. We are curious to check it out, and compare to 3E. Have you gone? Let us know what you think!

Kurry Qulture will pay for customer’s Uber/Lyft

[From Kurry Qulture]

26073285_198293804054304_9004022739878543360_nUBER AND LYFT RIDE CREDIT
Due to the 30th Ave subway station overhaul, which will last for the next several months, starting today Kurry Qulture will pay a customer’s Uber or Lyft ride when they dine there. All they have to do is show proof of their ride and the restaurant will credit their check up to $10. Some conditions apply: one credit of up to $10 can be applied per table, offer cannot be applied to separate guest checks, customer must show proof of ride in the smartphone app, not applicable for bar-only, delivery or takeout customers, Uber or Lyft driver’s tip will not be reimbursed.

Kurry Qulture, Michelin Guide reviewed, top-rated and highly recommended restaurant and cocktail bar, is setting the culinary bar even higher with its cutting-edge, modern Indian cuisine with its Winter 2018 menu. “This winter, Kurry Qulture invites you to indulge in classic, soul-nurturing Indian dishes with a modern fusion and flair,” said owner Sonny Solomon.

New on the Winter 2018 menu is a festive celebration of homestyle recipes of fresh ingredients conceptualized by Chef Binder, Executive Chef at Kurry Qulture. “Kurry Qulture’s Winter 2018 menu features 12 appetizers, 25 entrées and several variations of naan, chutneys and rice side dishes. There is something for everyone, even if you’ve never tried Indian food before,” said Chef Binder.

Some new dishes include AMRITSARI FISH (tilapia fillets, carom seeds, chickpea flour), Teekhn Murgh (jamaican peppers, black and red pepper), MURGH METHI MALAI (fenugreek, onion, tomatoes) and SALMON KALVAAN (tandoor grilled, coconut tamarind sauce). For vegetarian and vegans, the new menu features ALOO GOBI (cauliflower, potatoes, turmeric), PHOOL MAKHANE KI SUBZI (lotus puffs, ricotta cheese, green peas, DAL MAKHANI (black lentils, red kidney beans).

Kurry Qulture is proud to provide its mobile app for Apple iPhone and Android smartphone users, making it super easy to get delivery from Seamless, Caviar and Uber Eats, and well as receive exclusive promotional offers as special thank you for using the app. To download the app, go to

Kurry Qulture is open for dinner seven days a week from 5pm and weekend brunch on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3pm. Reservations are accepted through, by calling Kurry Qulture at 718.674.1212 or via email at

Kurry Qulture is New York City’s first Indian restaurant to feature a seasonal menu. Located on the bustling 30th Avenue in Astoria, Queens, Kurry Qulture elevates the Indian dining experience with surprising-creative cuisine and attentive service in a chic yet casual ambience. Owner, Sonny Solomon, brings over 17 years of experience at some of New York City’s most notable fine dining establishments.

Most proudly, Kurry Qulture has received these highly sought after accolades: OpenTable’s Diner’s Choice Award, “Best of the Boro” Award in the Queens County Indian Food category and featured in the 2017 and 2018 editions of the Michelin Guide. Five star online reviews on Yelp, OpenTable, Google and more rave about the cuisine, cocktails and exemplary style of service.

Kurry Qulture
36-05 30th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11103


Ben Rosenfeld’s New Comedy Album Release



“A year after the inauguration, The United States of Russia is hysterical!”

LOS ANGELES, CA – Comedy Dynamics announced today it will release Ben Rosenfeld’s third comedy album The United States of Russia on all digital audio retailers on January 19, 2018.

Almost banned on Russian iTunes, Ben Rosenfeld’s album The United States of Russia is a hysterical look at life from a Russian born, American raised comedian. In his sarcastic and original style, Ben discusses his immigrant parents and outsider childhood, millennials, terrorism, the current political climate, and adjusting to life as a newlywed. 

Comedy Dynamics, a Nacelle company, is one of the largest independent comedy production and distribution companies, producing Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History, Animal Planet’s Animal Nation with Anthony Anderson, the new scripted comedy on Hulu, There’s… Johnny!, History’s Join Or Die with Craig Ferguson, MTV2’s Wild ’N On Tour, and Hulu’s Coming To The Stage. The company has worked with a wide range of established and emerging comedic talent including Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, Jim Gaffigan, Katt Williams and many more. In total, nine of Comedy Dynamics’ albums have been Grammy-nominated, with one win.

Buy Links for iTunes | Amazon

4 Soundcloud tracks:
1. The United States of Russia
2. Teen Runaways
3. My Engagement Mixup
4. Third World Happiness

IOK7egZAbout Ben: Ben Rosenfeld creates smarter comedy for smarter people. Ben’s comedy blends his family’s experience as Russian Jewish immigrants in America with his philosophical beliefs, political observations and unique characters. Ben has appeared on FOX’s Laughs, CBS This Morning, National Geographic’s Brain Games, Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum, NPR and been featured as TimeOut New York’s Joke of the Week. He has twice headlined at Caroline’s on Broadway, hosted at the Lincoln Center and performs nightly in New York City.  Ben’s three comedy albums, Neuro ComedyThe Russian Optimist and The United States of Russia are available on iTunes and all other digital retailers. Ben also created the illustrated coffee table book, Russian Optimism: Dark Nursery Rhymes To Cheer You Right Up, an Amazon Top 5 Best Seller in Humor.

Ben’s Social Media Links: Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Official Website 

BOAST: Best of Astoria Winter Party 2018


The BOAST: Best of Astoria 2017 winners have been announced and posted to the site, and now we celebrate! We would like to invite you to the BOAST: Best of Astoria Winter Party 2018, on Sunday, Jan. 21, 5–8pm at Queen’s Room (36-02 Ditmars Blvd). We’re excited to be at Queen’s Room, which is a multiple BOAST winner (Best Cafe, Best Hot Chocolate, and Best Place to Use Wi-Fi) and an excellent space in general. We’ll provide some snacks and punch, and other beverages will be available at Happy Hour prices throughout the party. You can also purchase entrées (menu here). Tickets are $15, and if you reserve by Wednesday, Jan. 17, you will be entered to win a $50 gift card to The Thirsty Koala! You can purchase tickets with this link, and you can RSVP on the Facebook event with this link.

We hope to see you there!


Write-ups from the 2017 Survey That Did Not Make the Cut

Not everything that people entered on the survey was a BOAST winner. But we did want to share the write-ups of those places.

Best American Restaurant
Blackbird’s: “Best wings in Astoria! Great selection on tap and super friendly staff.”

Flattopps: “Cool people, great food, fun music.”

The Pomeroy: “The Pomeroy is a cozy, modern American joint with delicious fried chicken, mac and cheese, and all the other amazing food you could want with great drinks.”

Best Bakery
Rose and Joe’s Italian Bakery: “I love their chocolate cigars and their small cakes are moist and delicious no matter the flavor! Pizza is very tasty and if you’re lucky enough you’ll experience the aroma of bread baking from the subway platform.”

Best Brunch
Bowery Bay: “Terrific unlimited drinks option & cheesy grits.”

The Bonnie: “The Bonnie for brunch is a must. Its outdoor area for seating is spectacular. The food and drinks are extremely tasty and mouth-watering offerings. The place is filled with charm.”

Best Budget
BZ Grill: “Very good Greek ‘fast’ food.”

Best Burger
Sunswick 35/35: “This bar has amazing food and an amazing burger. Just the simple bar you always wanted.”

Best Dessert
Bonjour Crepe: “They have wine & sangria in addition to sweet & savory crepes. Laid-back atmosphere too.”

Moonier Cafe: “Have you seen all of their desserts? Whether it’s a milkshake or their cake, cookies…I could go on forever. It’s all tasty!”

Thirsty Koala: “Don’t see it on their menu anymore but enjoyed an amazing dessert involving molten chocolate chip cookie with ice cream and probably some hot fudge. It was to die for!”

Best Diner
Court Square Diner: “Conveniently located near the Court Sq station & very good diner!”

Best Italian Restaurant
Sac’s Place: “The foccacia alone will make your mouth water. The food is fresh and delicious.”

Best Japanese Restaurant
Oishii: “Best sushi! And everyone is so nice!”

Best Mexican Restaurant
Athens Grill Astoria: “Best burritos for tex mex snobs.”

Little Mexico: “AUTHENTIC Mexican Food! Run by the best people.”

Best Pizza
Rose and Joe’s Italian Bakery: “Great when you need a quick bite. Very flavorful.”

Best Cocktails
Butcher Bar: “Decent variety of cocktails at good prices.”

The Ditty: “I want to have every drink on the menu.”

Best Cafe
Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee Company: “Unbelievably fantastic bagels and good coffee.”

Best Happy Hour
Arepas Cafe: “Addictive sangria.”

Best Date Spot
Jujube Tree: “Meet without meat!”

Best Haircut
Niko and Tasoula: “It’s a little mom and pop place. Nikos is a Greek musician with bazoukis and other instruments on the wall. I’m always happy with the haircut I get there, and the price is very reasonable.”

BOAST Winners 2017: By the Numbers

Total Categories: 43 (19 in EAT, 11 in DRINK, 13 in DO & SEE)

Total Write-in Winners: 13 (5 in EAT, 4 in DRINK, 4 in DO & SEE)

Total Winners: 142 (64 in EAT, 38 in DRINK, 40 in DO & SEE)

Total Unique Winners: 113

Winners in Multiple Categories: 21
5 – Sek’end Sun (1st place – 2, 2nd place – 2, 3rd place – 1)
3 – Martha’s Country Bakery (1st – 2, 2nd – 1)
3 – Museum of the Moving Image (1st – 1, 2nd – 1, 3rd – 1)
3 – Queen’s Room (1st – 1, 2nd – 1, 3rd – 1)
3 – The Letlove Inn (2nd – 2, 3rd – 1)
3 – Vesta Trattoria & Wine Bar (2nd – 2, 3rd – 1)
2 – Jujube Tree: (1st – 2)
2 – Q.E.D. (1st – 2)
2 – Gossip Coffee (1st – 1, 2nd – 1)
2 – Pye Boat Noodle (1st – 1, 2nd – 1)
2 – Queens Comfort (1st – 1, 2nd – 1)
2 – Sunswick 35/35 (1st – 1, 2nd – 1)
2 – Leli’s Bakery & Pastry Shop (1st – 1, 3rd – 1)
2 – Sweet Afton (1st – 1, 3rd – 1)
2 – Oliver’s Astoria (3rd – 2)
2 – The Bonnie (3rd – 2)
2 – Blend Astoria (3rd – 2)
2 – Break Bar and Billards (1st – 1, write-in – 1)
2 – District Saigon (2nd – 1, write-in – 1)
2 – The Ditty (2nd – 1, write-in – 1)
2 – New York City Bagel and Coffee House (3rd – 1, write-in – 1)

Winners by Location
30th Ave (N/W): 32
Broadway (N/W): 24
Astoria-Ditmars Blvd (N/W): 23
Steinway St (M/R): 15
31st Ave: 8
36th Ave (N/W): 7
Astoria Blvd (N/W): 6
Long Island City: 5

Winners with multiple Astoria locations
Astoria Bier & Cheese (2)
Bareburger (2)
Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company (2)
Create (2)
Key Food (3)
New York City Bagel & Coffee House (2)

BOAST: Best of Astoria 2017 Winners

Best American
1. Sanfords Restaurant
2. Queens Comfort
3. Sugar Freak

Best Bakery
1. Martha’s Country Bakery
2. Parisi Bakery
3. Leli’s Bakery & Pastry Shop

Best Brazilian
1. Pao De Queijo
2. Point Brazil
3. Copacabana

Best Brunch
1. Queens Comfort
2. Vesta Trattoria & Wine Bar
3. Mom’s Kitchen & Bar

Best Budget
1. King of Falafel & Shawarma
2. Pye Boat Noodle
3. Arepas Cafe

Best Burger
1. Bareburger
2. Burger Club
3. Sweet Afton

Best Chinese
1. Jujube Tree
2. Dragon & Phoenix
3. Nuevo Jardín de China

Best Dessert
1. Martha’s Country Bakery
2. Vesta Trattoria & Wine Bar
3. Chip

Best Diner
1. Neptune Diner
2. Bel Aire Diner
3. Mini Star

Best Greek
1. Taverna Kyclades
2. Stamatis
3. Elias Corner

Best Indian
1. Seva
2. Namaste
3. (tie) Kurry Qulture
3. (tie) Saffron

Best Italian
1. Ornella Trattoria Italiana
2. Trattoria L’Incontro
3. Antika

Best Japanese
1. Pink Nori
2. Watawa Sushi
3. Matsu Sushi

Best Mexican
1. De Mole Astoria
2. Mojave
3. Chela & Garnacha

Best New Restaurant
1. PokéWave
2. La Vecina Astoria
3. (tie) Astoria Provisions
3. (tie) Blend Astoria

Best Pizza
1. Milkflower
2. Grand Avenue Pizza
3. Rizzo’s Fine Pizza (more…)