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New restaurant offers traditional French cuisine in Astoria

French restaurant Chez Olivia opens in Astoria
The front of Chez Olivia in Astoria (Photo by Jessica Militello)

Chez Olivia is one of the latest eateries to come to Astoria this spring, offering a backyard for outdoor eating and traditional French cuisine.

The restaurant, located among a plethora of other eateries on the bustling 23rd Avenue, had its grand opening on April 28. Chez Olivia is currently serving brunch and dinner and the owner, Vincent Caro, hopes to bring something unique to the neighborhood.

French restaurant Chez Olivia opens in Astoria
Indoor dining at Chez Olivia (Photo by Jessica Militello)

“I love the neighborhood and I live not too far. I have another location in Jackson Heights, so I’m between both locations,” said Caro.

Caro was born and raised in Brittany, France, before relocating to the U.S., where he first moved to Orlando, Florida. He eventually settled in in Jackson Heights and opened Bistro Eloise in 2018. According to Caro, the bistro has a menu with choices like sandwiches and macaroni and cheese, but Chez Olivia will show a different side of French cuisine that is more traditional.

There are cute tables and chairs right out front where guests can sit and watch the liveliness of the neighborhood, and the inside has a more intimate vibe. The restaurant’s backyard is its own escape for those looking to get away from the business of the city and just enjoy a great meal with friends or family.

According to Caro, it took some time to renovate the backyard space, but it has been worth it to have. With the permanence of dining in outdoor spaces on the street and restaurants having both an indoor and outdoor option these days, the owner acknowledged that the investment has been both reasonable as well as aesthetically pleasing.

French restaurant Chez Olivia opens in Astoria
(Photo by Jessica Militello)

Presently, the restaurant has some selections like the branzino grillé, which comes with mixed vegetables and tarragon sauce, as well as the steak frites, made with grass-fed NY strip steak and served with peppercorn and homemade fries. According to Caro, one of their most popular dishes so far is the Saint Jacques grillées, a dish made with grilled sea scallops, porcini mushrooms and orzo, which is a must try at the restaurant. For those looking for a new brunch spot, they have some great choices for their weekend menu, including banana Nutella crepes, a lobster and shrimp roll as well as their French toast.

Overall, Caro wants to bring something new to the table for Astorians to enjoy with all of the endless cuisine options that the western Queens neighborhood already brings.

“I wanted to bring a little bit of French culture and it’s something different,” Caro said.

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