Astoria, a place I don’t visit too often but certainly will now, after discovering Republic Bar. This hot spot, along the side of the street near some residential spaces casually awaits hungry diners and those looking for a fabulous and creative cocktail.
I’m not going to lie, I really don’t venture to Queens much… I’m just a Manhattan girl, however after one bite of the Republic Pizza, a girl can be persuaded to venture more into this outer borough territory. I know many of you New Yorkers and SommInTheCity fans do live out in Astoria, Brooklyn, Etc. so I was happy to give you all something else to look forward to visiting.
As you walk in to Republic, wooden walls, handmade lighting, a gorgeous bar, and brick oven await you. If you’re cold, I recommend the booths near this brick oven, as you will warm up immediately! The ambiance is dark and sultry, but with a neighborhood bar feel.
Agatha, my charming server was attentive and friendly, making some fantastic recommendations. The Mean Mama Meatballs are absolutely outstanding (I don’t have an Italian Grandmother, so I can say these things without any backlash). Even after my many trips to Little Italy, I still have not found meatballs like this; and I do love my Italian cuisine! Pair this with #TheSweetKid cocktail and your off to a good start at Republic.
The bread here was also another favorite. Baked to order, it comes out piping hot (watch out)! It’s so delicious however, and even with my experience as a pastry chef, I have never made bread like this. It resembles Naan and a Pita in some way, but keeps incredible heat and is so soft… it’s like a puffy piece of heaven. Paired this with the Formaggi Misti: Fresh Mozzarella, Fontina, and Brie, with sides of Truffle infused Honey, and Fig Spread. The cheeses were soft and when drizzled with the honey and or fig spread it could have been the perfect start or ending to a meal.
Republic is known for their Meatballs, which is great considering they are a new restaurant. The Pizzas here however, they are also well known for and for excellent reasons. The thin crust, fresh baked, Republic Pizza is topped with Fresh Mozzarella, Basil, Parmigiano Reggiano, Arugula, Diced Pancetta, and Truffle Oil. This one is out of this world yum and perfect for sharing. It was a hard decision and had we not devoured the appetizers, we would have also went with The Churchill a new pizza topped with Pomodoro, Basil, Mozzarella, Brie, and Artichokes.
With all this food, what is a person to pair right? Here are the excellent cocktails we tried and would recommend: The Honey Thyme Collins, Worlds Greatest Amaretto Sour; made with egg whites and is to die for!, the V.S. Verses, and the Cucumber Southside. I did also look over the wine list and many of the wines I have mentioned on this site, so this Somm was pleased.
If you have room, the Nutella Calzones are a dessert you should not miss. For those of you salivating right now… hear over to Republic Bar in Astoria sooner rather than later. The prices are great, the staff is welcoming, and the brick oven will keep you warm all fall and winter long! Curl up in one of the cozy booths with a cocktail and a pizza and you are all set!