Extras from the BOAST 2019 Survey

Not everything from the BOAST: Best of Astoria 2019 survey made it onto the site. There were some great write-ups of places that were not winners, and some categories did not have clear winners so they were left off the site entirely. So here they are, the extras from the survey.

In both the Best Happy Hour and Best Date Spot categories, there were no clear winners. The notable places for Best Happy Hour were Katch Astoria, Daly’s Pub, Chanos, Victory Garden Cafe, Sek’end Sun, Blend, Tacuba and Sanfords. Some places written in for Best Date Spot included Blend, Judy & Punch, Vite, The Last Word, Q.E.D., Sanfords, Aliada, Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, Sweet Afton, DiWine, The Bonnie, and Sek’end Sun. The category for Best Pet-friendly Establishment didn’t have enough variance, but place with the most responses was Château le Woof.

And here are some write-ups for places that didn’t have enough votes to be BOAST winners.

For Best American Restaurant, Arcadia Bar & Kitchen: “Arcadia Bar & Kitchen is both restaurant and bar. With a lovely outdoor seating area and indoors bar, you will find American classics like grilled cheese sticks and mac and cheese melt in your mouth.”

Also for Best American Restaurant, The Pomeroy: “This New American eatery is relaxed and simply has incredible food. Add the homey vibe with great cocktails and you have a win!”

For Best Bagels, Bagel House: “Great bagels, with all the fixins’, and not a hipster in sight. Just regular old-school Astorians.  ;-)”

For Best Brunch, The Thirsty Koala: “Experience a solid brunch with the classics — including friendly staff and Aussie ambience. Fried haloumi and honey ups the ante for sure!”

For Best Budget Dining, Ukus: “This Balkan (Montenegrin) spot makes a magnificent chopped salad with Bulgarian feta (the Ukus Salada), and spectacular bureks (savory pies). Meat eaters apparently love their cevapi, the gulas (goulash) and their Bosnian soup.”

For Best Burger, Halsey’s Tavern: “Their black bean burger (a vegetarian burger) is the best black bean burger I’ve ever had. The fries were good too.”

For Best Dessert, Jujube Tree: “The (vegan) pumpkin cheesecake is yum yum yum … and yum!”

For Best Pizza, Rose & Joe’s Italian Bakery: “Step to the far back counter of Rose and Joe’s old-school Italian bakery, and you find their pizza counter and oven, somehow producing unusually tasty slices. Long may they bake!”

For Best Coffee and Tea, Mighty Oak: “Worth spending a little more to buy my coffee beans here.”

For Best Activity, Movies in Hunters Point South: “Best lawn for an outdoor movie and the whole view of the east side of Manhattan.”

For Best Place for a Haircut, Nikos and Tasoula: “An affordable, nice mom-and-pop shop that gives a good haircut. With lots of bouzoukis and other musical instruments on the wall!”


BOAST: Best of Astoria 2019 Winners Announced!

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The BOAST: Best of Astoria 2019 winners have been posted to this website and you can see them on the EAT, DRINK, and DO & SEE pages. You can also find them on a map organized by location on the LOCATION page. Thank you to those who filled out the survey, and you may see your write-ups throughout the site. We also have new images on those pages, as well as with the Featured BOAST Locations on the sidebars. If you want to see all the winners in one list, we put them on a post here. There were a lot of winners this year, with one of the reasons being that we had a Best of the Decade category in each section. You can see the winners By the Numbers in this post here. It’s clear that Astoria has TONS of great places to eat, and in 2019 the hottest spots were 30th Ave (N/W) and Ditmars Blvd (N/W), with Broadway (N/W) not far behind.

Save the Date for the BOAST: Best of Astoria Winter Party 2020, where we’ll celebrate the 2019 winners. It’ll happen on Sunday, Feb. 23, in the late afternoon, with more details to come soon. But we can tell you that there will be a raffle for prizes from places including Tufino Pizzeria, The Ditty, Astoria Bier & Cheese, Rivercrest, The Wolfhound, Queen’s Room, Katch Astoria, Astoria Performing Arts Center, Redken Saloon Salon, The Bonnie, Sweet Afton, and Museum of the Moving Image.

Email hello@boast.nyc with any comments or questions, and be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Hope your new year is off to a great start.

– BOAST

 


BOAST: Best of Astoria 2019 Winners – By the Numbers

Here are the numbers for the BOAST: Best of Astoria 2019 Winners

Number of Categories
EAT: 22
DRINK: 11
DO & SEE: 13
Total: 46

Number of Winners
EAT: 84
DRINK: 40
DO & SEE: 42
Total: 166

Winners by Location
36th Ave (N/W): 7
Broadway (N/W): 28
31st Ave: 10
30th Ave (N/W): 33
Astoria Blvd (N/W): 4
Astoria-Ditmars Blvd (N/W): 33
Steinway St (M/R): 17
Long Island City: 6

Businesses with the most wins in different categories
3 – Gossip Coffee (1st: 3)
3 – Sek’end Sun (1st: 2, 3rd: 1)
3 – Museum of the Moving Image (1st: 1, 2nd: 2)
3 – New York City Bagel & Coffee House (2nd: 2, 3rd: 1)
2 – Jujube Tree (1st: 2)
2 – Q.E.D. (1st: 2)
2 – Sal, Kris and Charlie’s Del (1st: 2)
2 – Sanfords Restaurant (1st: 2)
2 – Astoria Park (1st: 1, 3rd: 1)
2 – The Shillelagh Tavern (1st: 1, 3rd: 1)
2 – Omonia Café (2nd: 2)
2 – The Bonnie (2nd: 1, 3rd: 1)
2 – Diamond Dogs (2nd: 1, 3rd: 1)
2 – Queens Comfort (2nd: 1, 3rd: 1)


BOAST: Best of Astoria 2019 Winners – Full List

Here are all the BOAST: Best of Astoria 2019 Winners, in a full list.

EAT
Best American
Sanfords Restaurant
Queens Comfort
Sugar Freak

Best Bagels
Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company
New York City Bagel & Coffee House
Lots O Bagels

Best Bakery
Martha’s Country Bakery
Parisi Bakery
Artopolis Bakery

Best Brazilian
Pao De Queijo
Kilo Astoria
Rio Market

Best Brunch
Sanfords Restaurant
The Bonnie
Queens Comfort
The Trestle

Best Budget Dining
Mama’s Empanadas
Create
Arepas Cafe

Best Burger
Bareburger
Burger Club
Petey’s Burger (more…)


BOAST: Best of Astoria 2019 Survey and NYE in Astoria

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Last chance to vote for your favorites in the BOAST: Best of Astoria 2019 Survey

We have extended the BOAST: Best of Astoria 2019 Survey to Sunday, December 29. If you know Astoria, and haven’t filled it out yet, please do! At the end of the survey, if you enter your name and email, you will have a chance to win a prize. The link to the survey is boast.nyc/survey.

Here are some things going on for New Year’s Eve in Astoria:

Katch Astoria is hosting a big party. You can find more information about it and sign up with this link.

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Sek’end Sun has a $5 Open Bar from 8–9pm. To make a free reservation, call them at (917) 832-6414 or email info@sekendsun.com.

SekendSun_NYE

 

There’s a dance party at Mom’s Kitchen & Bar.

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Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden has a big party with Live DJ.

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Open Bar at Oliver’s Astoria Roaring 2020s party.

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Vote for your favorites in the BOAST: Best of Astoria 2019 Survey!

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Can you believe it’s already the end of 2019? The end of the decade?? So at the end of this year and decade, we have a special BOAST: Best of Astoria 2019 Survey for you to fill out. We have removed some categories (bye-bye Best Movie Theater [but know that you can see movies at Regal UA Kaufman Astoria & RPX and Museum of the Moving Image]) and added some others (hello Best Deli, Best Street Cart and Best Pet-Friendly Establishment). Additionally, there is a Best of the Decade category in each of the EAT, DRINK, and DO & SEE sections. There have been so many amazing things in Astoria in the past decade, and we would like to give them a shout-out! You also have a chance to add write-in categories towards the end of each section if you’d like to contribute something that was not covered. We always appreciate short write-ups about your favorite places (you might see them on the site!), but keep in mind that there are 60 total categories this time, so answer as many as you’d like. At the end of the survey, if you enter your name and email, you will have a chance to win a prize. The survey will be open until December 27, 2019. The link to the survey is boast.nyc/survey, and please share with anyone who knows and loves Astoria.

 


GAMEplay/ARTplay GAME NIGHT at MOMI

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On Friday November 22nd, Museum of the Moving Image hosted a free GAMEplay/ARTplay GAME NIGHT, and it was a blast! There were half a dozen unique interactive games/art installations that one could play, all of which were projects of students and alumni of the International Center of Photography.

One game involved two people and a room with a sign on the door that read “You are now leaving the United States.” One person was on the outside of the room and looked in through a small rectangular window. The other person was inside the room, blindfolded, and wore a prison outfit. The two people communicated via walkie talkie, and the person outside of the room guided the person inside on missions involving the random objects on the table.

A different game involved four people holding up a boat that was meant to carry the dead spirit of a friend, with a video projected behind them that resembled a retro video game. The goal was to get the boat to travel 100 miles in under 10 minutes. Participants would pick cards, and depending on the card you picked, an obstacle or an aid would appear to help/hurt you on your journey. You would then roll a die to see how you fared against this obstacle. Once all four players picked their cards and dealt with their obstacles, the boat would move up 10 miles. My team was able to travel all 100 miles and safely deliver the spirit of our deceased friend, but it wasn’t easy. One of our teammates died and was brought back to life (phew!). I myself was extremely close to death, at one point having only one energy card. (Don’t worry, though. If I ever do die, my will stipulates that all my camera equipment will belong to BOAST so that readers like yourself can continue enjoying quality postings like this one.)

Another game involved a dark walled-off room, with a tent inside of it that emitted fog, and trails of cards around the tent. I wasn’t able to learn how to play this game, but it looked incredibly cool.

I had a ton of fun at MOMI’s game night. The students of ICP who created the games and their teacher, Sharang Biswas, did an excellent job, and I look forward to experiencing the next game night that MOMI hosts.

–Text and photos by Dov


Musical review: Marguerite

Photo by Michael Dekker

Photo by Michael Dekker

This past Monday I went to see Marguerite presented by Astoria Performing Arts Center. Despite the rainy evening, several patrons filled the pews of the Church of the Redeemer, an appropriate location for a show depicting the life’s work of the first saint of New France. One can’t help but feel a sense of awe inside the 1867 simple Gothic-style structure.

I was particularly struck by the dramatic use of light as the show began. The house lights were turned off and the only light to be seen was through several stained-glass windowpanes that surrounded the building.

In Marguerite, Cady Huffman portrays the religious calling and struggles of Marguerite Bourgeoys. Her warm voice is accompanied by a pianist and cellist who are positioned in the chancel. We learn about her upbringing, her devotion towards the growth of Montreal, and above all else her pursuit of education. Throughout her life, Bourgeoys made steadfast efforts to offer an education in Ville Marie to uncloistered girls, the poor, and children of first nations. The execution is intimate with Huffman going into the audience and speaking directly to us, drawing us into her journey. Huffman delivers the one-woman performance with grace, sincerity, and a touch of humor.

The Tony award-winner truly delivers as her voice fills the entire sanctuary with ease. When she melodically proclaims “Je suis canadienne!” I couldn’t help but agree. If you are drawn to musicals based on historical figures, French-Canadian history, and female leadership in the face of adversity, then definitely catch Marguerite while you can!

–Robin

Directed by Dev Bondarin

Music Director, Yan Li
Costume Design, Jennifer A. Jacob
Lighting Design, Stacey Boggs
Sound Design, Caroline Eng
Production Stage Manager, Natalie Jones
Production Manager, Frank Nicholas Poon
Music Arrangements & Orchestrations, Joseph Trefler
Cello, Frederick Alden Terry
ASM / Wardrobe Supervisor, Dorothy Sherman

November 8 – November 23, 2019

Remaining performances:
Thursday the 21st at 8pm
Friday the 22th at 8pm
Saturday the 23rd at 3pm & 8pm

at The Church of the Redeemer
30-14 Crescent Street, Astoria

Buy tickets here


Rivercrest on Ditmars is Open for Business

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On a delightful Sunday morning in mid-November, Jonah and I went to have brunch at Rivercrest, the new craft beer and cocktail bar at 33-15 Ditmars Blvd in Astoria. The bar had its soft opening on October 3rd, and grand opening on November 14th, after four years of planning and renovating by a pair of Lower East Side bar owners.

Upon our arrival, we were warmly greeted by the manager and co-owner, Ciara. The name Rivercrest comes from a local former sanitarium (that opened in 1896), and the venue pays tribute to it with framed photos of people who were patients there (including actress Drew Barrymore’s great-grandfather).

The space takes over the entire bottom floor of the Acropolis apartment complex. We sat in the dining area, which has a number of TVs and very attentive waiter service. There is a bar in the middle area with seating on all four sides, and next to that is another more intimate, vintage inspired bar. A baby shower had been booked for later that day, so we dined with the morning crowd beforehand.

We perused the brunch menu, which is served from 10am–4pm on weekends. It includes delicacies such as Crème Brulee French Toast and Banana Pancakes with vegan chocolate chips. We settled on Eggs Benedict and the Farmer’s Wife French Omelette, which has goat cheese, sautéed spinach and wild mushrooms. Instead of an English Muffin, the Eggs Benedict is served on a crispy latke, or potato pancake, giving it a nice crunch. We added a side of toast and crispy potatoes.

The team has come up with cheeky names for dishes, such as “Morning Wood,” which is eggs with Applewood smoked bacon and salsa verde on a brioche bun. Prices are reasonable, with most dishes costing between $10 and $12. There is an extensive drink menu and we sampled the mimosa flight—Lavender Berry, Spiced Fig, Jalapeño Pineapple, and Rosemary Lemon. The Jalapeño was a bit spicy, but it was nice to get to try the different varieties, and the other three were excellent. We also had the local cider Ninepin’s Hunny Pear, which was crisp and delicious.

Our food was tasty and filling and we couldn’t help but wonder how the dinner menu compares. We’ll have to return for hand-rolled Flatbreads, Wings, Buffalo Falafel Street Tacos, and an extensive Tater Tot selection (beef bulgogi, anyone?).

The journey to open this bar was a long one. The storefront sat empty for six years, drawing much neighborhood interest. We’re happy to welcome them to Astoria!

– Briyah


APAC presents Marguerite

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Photo by Michael Dekker

[From Astoria Performing Arts Center]

Astoria Performing Arts Center (APAC) presents Marguerite – The New York Premiere

Starring Cady Huffman

Book and Lyrics by Anton Dudley

Music by Michael Cooper

Directed by Dev Bondarin (APAC’s Artistic Director)

Remaining shows:

Thursday 11/14 at 8pm 
Friday,11/15 at 8pm
Monday, 11/18 at 7pm
Thursday, 11/21 at 8pm 
Friday, 11/22 at 8pm
Saturday, 11/23 at 3pm & 8pm

The Church of the Redeemer
30-14 Crescent Street
Astoria, NY
11102

Tickets on sale now at: www.apacny.org

The musical traces the life of Marguerite Bourgeoys, the first female saint of Canada, from her immigration to New France in the seventeenth century. A fearless pioneer, her ever-present faith combined with solid determination helped her bring liberated women to the New World and to build the city of Montreal. An inspiring tale of love, inclusion, and living life without walls. Canada will mark the 400th anniversary of her birth with a multi-event celebration in 2020. For more details see https://margueritebourgeoys400.org.

Marguerite was initially developed under the title, Second To Nun, and received a reading as part of Playwrights Realm Next Edition Series, starring Tony-winner Cady Huffman. It was next featured at Phoenix Theatre’s Caleb Reese Festival of New Works and Zeiders American Dream Theatre in Virginia Beach then produced the regional premiere starring Molly Pope. APAC’s production will mark New York premiere of the work.

Cast & Crew:

Cady Huffman’s credits include: Broadway: CHICAGO, THE NANCE (Outer Critics’ Circle nom.), THE PRODUCERS (Tony, Drama Desk & Outer Critics’ Circle awards), THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES (Tony nom.), DAME EDNA: THE ROYAL TOUR, STEEL PIER, Bob Fosse’s BIG DEAL, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES.  TV includes: 10 seasons as a judge on Iron Chef America, Younger, Difficult People, Master of None, The Good Wife, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Law & Order: CI, Law & Order: SVU. Law & Order: TBJ, Frasier, Mad About You, One Life to Live. Film includes: “The Company Men”, “Romance & Cigarettes”, “The Nanny Diaries”, “Dare”, “Hero”, “Billy’s Dad is a Fudgepacker”. Web series’ include, HE’S WITH ME (2016 Indie Series Award), AFTER FOREVER (Emmy nom), and self-created and produced CADY DID (due out Winter 2019). Cady is a busy director around New York City and recently directed THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHTTIME at Weathervane Theater. Proud union member. @cadyhuffman cadydid.tv

Anton Dudley (Book & Lyrics) Off-Broadway credits: City Of (Playwrights Realm, directed by Stephen Brackett), Substitution (Playwrights Realm, featuring Jan Maxwell), Getting Home (Second Stage Theater), Slag Heap (Cherry Lane Theater), 17 Orchard Point, co-written with Stephanie DiMaggio (Theater Row), and Honor and the River (Theater Row).  Other productions include A Dram of Drummhicit co-written with Arthur Kopit (LaJolla Playhouse, directed by Christopher Ashley), Girlstar (Signature Theater, directed by Eric Shaeffer), Cold Hard Cash (Williamstown Theater Festival), Honor and the River (Walnut Street Theater), Davy & Stu (Ensemble Studio Theater), Letters to the End of the World (Theater Row, Finalist for the 2012 Lambda Literary Award in LGBT Drama), and The Lake’s End (Adirondack Theater Festival). His work has been commissioned by Manhattan Theatre Club, New Victory Theater, Cherry Lane Theater, Houston Grand Opera, Baryshnikov Arts Center, and Williamstown Theater Festival, and is published by Samuel French, Playscripts, Backstage Books, Heuer, and Vintage.

Michael Cooper (Music) Broadway: It Shoulda Been You (Outer Critics Circle Nomination, Additional Lyrics). Off-Broadway: City Of (Music). Regional: Love, Always (Music & Lyrics), Marguerite (Second To Nun) (Music), ZADT, Virginia Beach. London:  Luna Park (Lyrics), From Page To Stage. Paris:  Love, Always.  2005 Jonathan Larson Award Winner. Williams College; NYU Graduate Musical Theater Writing. Sunfish (Co-Book/Lyrics) Top Jury Honor DIMF Korea; Second To Nun (Music), Playwrights Realm, Phoenix Theater. Selected for NAMT, ASCAP/Disney Workshop, and Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals. michaelcoopermusicandlyrics.com

Dev Bondarin (Director) is the Artistic Director of Astoria Performing Arts Center where she has directed Caroline, or Change (AUDELO Viv Award nomination – Best Director of a Musical), Follies, Raisin, (New York Innovative Theater Award – Outstanding Musical, NYIT Award nomination – Outstanding Director & AUDELCO Viv Award nomination – Best Director of a Musical), …Spelling Bee, Merrily We Roll Along (NYIT Award – Outstanding Musical), and In The Bones. As Associate Artistic Director of Prospect Theater Company, Dev directs a musical theater lab which has premiered over 85 short musicals. Other: Little Women (Festival 56), Elevator Heart (THML Theater, The Tank, NYU), national tours of Rosie Revere Engineer & Friends, Junie B. Jones, and Junie B.’s Essential Survival Guide to School (Theaterworks USA), King Lear (American Bard), and Reefer Madness (Gallery Players). Member: LCT Directors Lab. Associate Member: SDC and League of Professional Theatre Women. In 2018, Dev was named “Alumni of the Year” by the Theater Department at Brooklyn College where she earned an MFA in Directing. BA: Brandeis University. devbondarin.com

For more information and for tickets to any of APAC’s 2019-20 productions, visit www.apacny.org