Bars, Restaurants, WHA Hearts
Feb 28, 2011

Mackenzi Hearts- The Astor Room

It’s no shock, The Astor Room is really great. I had a chance to check it out last week over dinner with a friend, and came away with a wealth (…)

Share this Scoop

total shares!

It’s no shock, The Astor Room is really great. I had a chance to check it out last week over dinner with a friend, and came away with a wealth of knowledge and a happy food glow.

Dinner at the Astor Room is undeniably a classy affair. Employees of every variety dart around the space, filling glasses, bring out dishes, and touching base with their customers. To begin, they brought out starter after starter; an ice chilled selection of pickled crudite, fresh rolls with butter, and the night we were there, an amuse bouche from the chef. My friend and I each ordered The New Yorker, a perfectly blended cocktail served on the rocks. The unique mix of lemon juice, simple syrup, claret, and bourbon was a great start to the evening. As we enjoyed our nibbles and cocktails, we watched as tower after glorious tower of seafood raw bar selections came out to adjoining tables- a sight to behold for certain.

Next up was a salad course- wedge for my friend, Caesar pilled high with fluffy grated parmesan for me. Both were fantastic. For dinner, I opted for a combination of side dishes that suited my vegetarian diet, while my friend had what he called, “the best chicken pot pie of his life.” My Wild Mushroom Hash and Macaroni and Cheese Gratin were both fantastically delicious and made a very filling meal. Owner Christopher Vlacich (also of the long time local favorite,  Piccola Venezia) brought out an amazing dessert on the house as a thank you for trying The Astor Room: a rich and delightful Smoked Chocolate 7 Layer Cake. This masterpiece features dark chocolate with smokey ganache, layers of chocolate cake with hints of orange and it’s finished off with pistachio crème fraiche. If I haven’t stressed this already, the food is truly outstanding and the service is nothing short of excellent.

Of course, it can’t be perfect, and The Astor Room does have a few drawbacks. The decor is what I’ve come to call, ‘Queens-ish,’ not quite living up to the excellence of the food, service and drink. Sure the peacock wallpaper is amazing, as is the custom wood bar and surrounding seating, but the rest of the selections aren’t quite that of  a restaurant of this caliber and price range. And then there’s the price. If you’re looking for a nicer place to dine in the neighborhood, a great date spot, or something higher end, this is for you. If you’re looking for an affordable staple, move along. Entrees range from $18-$35 and sides are $6 each.

I also had the privilege to chat with the owner a bit after dinner, including a small tour of their private party room and what will become a comfortable lounge area for late night cocktails. Weekends after 11pm, The Astor Room will have era appropriate live music and a selection of late night food until 2am! In addition, when the much discussed ‘de-mapping’ or closing of 36th st. happens, The Astor Room will have outdoor cafe seating. Also in the works? Outdoor film screenings at The Museum of The Moving Image!



Teresa- I hope it does work out. Service is so so important, and I know at some places it varies night by night. Let’s hope this is not one of those places!


I was impressed with the food and the history behind the room, but I have to seriously disagree regarding the service. We waited 20 minutes for our drinks and much longer for our first course and then our dinner. The waiters alternated between forgetting our table and interrupting us every 30 seconds to see if we were okay. I think that this is something that will be fixed–just inexperienced dining staff, which was a poor move for a place that they are trying to make a high-end choice in the neighborhood. Ultimately, it was a nice night out, but the great food and drinks seemed only good when combined with the spotty service. I would go back, but would wait a few months until they smooth out the kinks.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.