I’m pretty excited to do the first installment in my new ‘hood: Astoria. And I can’t think of a better place to start than Ovelia, which basically embodies all the reasons I’m moving there. The restaurant, which is Zagat rated, is as trendy as any hotspot in Chelsea or SoHo with its funky décor and wait staff that looks like a bunch of Gossip Girls extras. (I mean that in a beautiful way). But unlike Balthasar or Café Ocho, brunch for two on a Saturday didn’t require reservations or a long wait. Imagine that.
But you can’t survive on atmosphere and cute waters alone, although I’d be willing to try. So in case you go to brunch to actually brunch, Ovelia will satisfy you in that regard as well. Remember your favorite diner from home? You know, the one where you could walk in, sit down at two in the afternoon and order a Greek salad or pancakes with bacon, no problem? Imagine that menu fancied up, without the massive dose of cardiac-arrest-inducing fat, throw in some organic goodness and put a bow on it; that’s Ovelia. It’s the comfort of familiar favorites with unexpected twists that make a meal feel like a special occasion. And with that latent familiarity, you’re sure to find something to please anyone.
Location: 34-01 30th Ave, Astoria, NY 11102
Phone: (718) 721-7217
Good for: brunch, mornings after (in case you can’t cook), lunch, neighborhood hangout.