Crisp, effervescent bubbles hastily scurry upward through a blend of vodka and prosecco, deterred only by a few fresh berries hindering their path, before bursting at the surface and gasping for air. The “Berry Fizz” is simply the perfect way to awaken the palate and put a smile on your face.
Or perhaps you prefer to start with a fresh bloody mary that gently pricks your tongue with the heat of horseradish, or a sweet—yet tart—flute of peach Bellini. Maybe you will stray from the brunch cocktail offerings altogether, and opt for a spicy rum punch rimmed with Sriracha (called the Angry Fruit Loop) or an icy margarita laced with ginger, jalapeno, and fresh basil.
Whatever you choose, the drinks are all some of the most exciting around, and all coming from Snowdonia, a quaint little trappist-style gastropub slightly hidden at the corner of 32nd Street and 35th Avenue in Astoria.
“A ‘trappist-style gastropub’ follows in the tradition of Trappist monks using local, fresh food and incorporating beer into the recipes,” explains Matthew Callahan, marketing director for one of Astoria’s newer hot spots. “From the beer batter and the mussels in beer to our Oatmeal Stout Panna Cotta, craft beer is a major ingredient in most of our dishes.” And there are plenty to choose from, if you just want a pub with a fantastic pint.
Behind the kitchen are the talents of Will Lubold, a former chef of ‘inoteca. His dishes are another reason Snowdonia is poised to be a cornerstone in the neighborhood. A roll arrives at the table slathered with caper mayo, tangy beer pickles, along with crunchy-coated beer-battered skate—which is a steaky, flavorsome catch. A stacked double patty ½ pound burger arrives next, cloaked in melted smoked gouda, topped with pickled onions, and caper mayo. These are some sandwiches that make lasting impressions. Some of the very best I have enjoyed in the past year, in fact.
Desserts are the stuff of which dreams are made, like a mason jar filled with stout panna cotta and oatmeal clusters, a caramel sticky toffee bread pudding, and a bourbon brownie that blows your childhood babysitter’s to smithereens. I am completely leaving out several winners, like the beer-steamed mussels kissed with citrus and cilantro, or the scored, grilled sausages and redskin mashed potatoes and pickled mustard seeds.
Owned collectively by two couples, the family of one of the owners is from Wales. “There’s a beautiful national park there called Snowdonia that’s home to the highest mountain in Wales— Mount Snowdon,” explains Callahan. “The mountain and ski decor in the bar reflects this heritage.”
The bar was started, in part, by a Kickstarter campaign. Bar stools are etched with different names—the Kickstarter backers who chose that as their perk. The result is a neighborhood bar built for the community, by the community.
34-55 32nd St., Astoria
Open seven days a week, 4p.m.-4a.m.
Dinner is 6p.m.- midnight
Late night menu is midnight – 2 a.m.
Brunch is Sat, Sun, and industry brunch Mondays from noon-4 p.m.
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