Astoria, Restaurants
Mar 27, 2018

The Astor Room is Now George’s

Well, hello, George’s!

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George's Interior Shot 2

We got a press release last week announcing that The Astor Room has changed their name and is now known as George’s, named after George Kaufman, who founded Kaufman Astoria Studios (which houses the restaurant) in 1982. Sadly, George Kaufman passed on last month. George’s opened on Thursday, March 22.

As you might expect, with a new name comes a new menu and renovations to the interior of the restaurant (new flooring, seating, and artwork celebrating the studio’s history), which when it opened in 2011 as the Astor Room the aim was to evoke the look of times past, the glory days of “Hollywood East.” Classic dishes were served, like Lobster Thermidor, Beef Wellington, and Baked Alaska (I remember eating it—it was quite nice). Later in 2014 they changed it up again with a new chef and new, lighter, more modern menu. Pizza arrived last summer. And now, changes come as reimagines itself as George’s.

The new menu “pays homage to the early movie stars who would frequent the Paramount Pictures commissary during the 1920s and 30s.” The press release highlights some of the new dishes on the menu, including:

  • 6-foot spaghetti (“inspired by a favorite dish that Rudolph Valentino liked to serve to his guests”)
  • Burrata with a honey-truffle glaze served on sweet potato
  • Portobello French fries
  • Steak tartare served with a scotched egg on top
  • New England Clam Chowder (a favorite of Groucho Marx, who filmed Cocoanuts at KAS), served with animal crackers
  • White chocolate cauliflower soup (billed as “insanely good” but we are dubious)
  • Crème Brûlée infused with lavender (from Long Island while in season, imported from Italy at other times)

More on that 6-foot spaghetti—the pasta really is six-feet long and is made by Bronx-based Italian specialty store, Borgatti’s. They’ve been making pasta for more than a century. And the tomato sauce is based after a Valentino family recipe. “Folklore tells us that Valentino really enjoyed entertaining, having fun and introducing people to his native cuisine,” said John Nikach, George’s Manager. “The six-foot spaghetti was something of a conversation starter at parties. It was a challenge to see who was able to swirl the spaghetti and keep one strand entirely intact.” Perhaps you will take on that challenge now in 2018.

The menu will feature signature cocktails named for films and stars of the Studio’s rich history, including Betty Bronson’s “A Kiss for Cinderella” and “My Sin” starting Tallulah Bankhead and Fredric March.

George’s will continue to feature a regular schedule of live jazz, cabaret and other entertainment, as well as access to the renovated Zukor Theater, a 73-seat screening room once used by Paramount Pictures founder Adolph Zukor, which can be rented for private events.

George’s, 35-11 35th Avenue, Astoria. 718-255-1947.

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

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