I recently took two of my closest friends, a couple, to Stove, a local Astoria treasure which still seems to be one of the neighborhood's best-kept secrets. I promised them a meal they'd not soon forget, as I had been there not too long ago with another friend who agreed with me that the food was absolutely wonderful. In particular (and I noticed other people who have rated this restaurant have commented on it, too) the warm beet and goat-cheese salad was truly a masterpiece in flavor and presentation: caramelized pralines garnished a mixed spring-green salad, with generous dollops of herbed goat cheese and sliced beets in a balsamic reduction; I spread the delicious cheese on the crusty bread that is served throughout the meal - you could literally make a meal of just the salad and the bread here! For my entree, I ordered a savory goulash; the meat was fork-tender and the sauce was rich and creamy, traditionally prepared with sour cream and loaded with flavorful mushrooms...I dare say it was as good as my grandmother's, in fact! For dessert, I shared a slice of the heavenly cheese cake, which is smooth as velvet yet light as air, floating on a bed of oreo-cookie crumb crust - divinely satisfying but mysteriously not over-filling! It must be the fresh-whipped cream that the chef prepares to make this sinfully delicious treat...\r
And who could forget the sumptuous fruity cocktails? I don't quite remember what the concoction was, but I remember it had Malibu (what can be bad about that?) and was the perfect salute to a summer evening...\r
My friend, who also enjoys cooking as I do, is usually difficult to impress, especially since he's born & raised in Astoria. His fiancee, my best friend, is a great fan of fine cuisine, and the three of us agreed that this is by far one of Astoria's finest restaurants - I can't believe I've lived here nearly 8 years and have only discovered it now! Treat your loved ones to this little gem - a great staff at a terrific dining spot!
Pros: Pleasant atmosphere; lovely garden in back, not too crowded, within walking distance from train and/or bus
Cons: can't think of any!!!