i’ll be the first to admit that i’m not the best about venturing out off the island of Manhattan (aka, to other boroughs). most of my close friends live in Manhattan, so unless i’m going to an event or someone invites me to check out something rad in Williamsburg, i generally stick to my West side life. it just happens that way.
however, i did something totally different last night and subway-ed it on over to Astoria, Queens, in an attempt to broaden my city gal horizons and check out this neighborhood that’s so beloved by many. one thing you hear consistently about Astoria is that it boasts amazing restaurants and is somewhat of a foodie’s dream, so unsurprisingly, i headed over there for dinner.
fun fact: my mom is from Queens, so it has a special place in my heart as i associate this borough with the loveliest woman i know. (also, Misterwives sings a fab song called “Queens” that you’ll want to give a spin.)
i’m not a total stranger to Queens. i mean, i’ve used their airports, and i’ve run the Queens 13.1 Half Marathon in Flushing Park, and i’ve seen a game at Citifield and ridden a bike through the park and i’ve been to Long Island City a few times to visit people and go out to some fun bars. but Astoria? clueless. couldn’t tell you anything about it other than the fact that it’s known for having a big Greek population, and thereby the best Greek food in NYC.
welp, i didn’t have Greek food. but i DID dine outdoors at a lovely, authentic little Italian spot called Vite Vinosteria that i really enjoyed, and that apparently is a huge Yelp success and draws quite the consistent flock of local regulars, including my friend who took me there.
i have only good things to say about this place. the service was fantastic (and they all have thick Italian accents, which elevates the whole experience, no?), and they bring out a little chalkboard with the specials for you to review, and we had an amazing, crisp, light Italian white wine that just paired perfectly with a lovely July evening on a patio:
Falanghina Feudo San Gregorio (2013)
for my meal, i did something i haven’t done in 15ish years: ordered pasta. crazy, i know, but it’s usually not my thing — but i figured in an authentic restaurant where it’s all homemade, i needed to pull a “when in Rome” and branch out.
welp, am i glad i did. i chose the Spaghetti Neri ai Frutti di Mare: Homemade Ink Squid Spaghetti with Mussels, Shrimp, Calamari, Clams and Tomato Sauce.
it was delicious. i definitely killed the seafood and left most of the pasta, but that’s because i’m just not a big pasta gal. however, the flavors were amazing and i did like this pasta more than any others i’ve had, so if you’re into pasta and live in NYC, you should certainly check out Vite. the squid ink thing was kinda neat, and the dish was really light in general, so i left saying i’d definitely order this again. i really liked their presentation as well, and my friend’s risotto came in a big clay pot with a ladle, which was a charming touch. little elements like that always set things apart and stick with me.
this place was absolutely worth going to Astoria for, and i’d recommend it to any Italian food fans in the NYC area for both the food and the overall dining experience. although i’m not generally a big Italian food fan, it made me realize just how blessed i am to live in a city where there are so many different authentic dining experiences and such a vast array of diversity in cuisines. to make it in NYC, you have to be realllly good — and Vite certainly is.
Favorite type of cuisine?
If you came to NYC, what’s the one type of food you’d make sure to get? or if you live here, what’s your fave place?
Anyone have any connections to Queens?