Open for just one month, Astoria’s Republic restaurant/nightclub is already burning up the local dining and nightlife scene. Conveniently situated right next to the N/Q train stop, this is a great, multi-faceted establishment for both authentic and fresh Mediterranean-inspired cuisine and a sizzling nighttime hangout.
The décor features an eclectic blend of beautiful reclaimed barn-siding, a marble-topped bar, oversized leather banquets and vintage-style wallpaper. The pizza oven keeps a warm glow in the open kitchen and the delicious treats coming forth from its scorching heat are noteworthy.
The B.D. White -Resident Artist (black walnut bitters, averna, bourbon) was an absolutely delicious cocktail and kept quite good company with the Imported Mozzarella Di Bufala & Prosciutto Di Parma. The difference that a true Buffalo milk mozzarella makes is remarkable and this version simply sang.
I had heard rumblings about the Slowly Cooked Beef Meatballs and I certainly was not disappointed. These are as good as any coming out of an Italian grandmother’s kitchen and were extraordinarily delicate and delicious.
Moving on to the pizzas, I simply had to try the unusual Cherry Jackson! (fresh mozzarella, dried cherries, gorgonzola, pecorino romano, finished w/ prosciutto di parma). This was one of the most unique pizza combinations I have ever experienced and somehow, it worked.
It was time to try another on their list of mixologist-created cocktails and the Honey Thyme Collins (spring 44 honey vodka, thyme, fresh lemon, soda) proved to be an excellent choice. For me, it was what came next that was the pièce de résistance. The Republic (mozzarella, basil, parmigiano, arugula, pancetta & truffle oil) was a pizza worthy of carrying their nom de plume and still haunts my memory, tugging at me to venture back into Queens for another go.
Republic’s founders are an interesting group of four friends. Brothers, Stu and Nick Chase (twin brothers who have years of Astoria nightclub success), DJ Jus Jack who has a song currently on Billboard and actor/producer John Solo known for known for Man on a Ledge (2012), Newlyweds (2011) and Love Magical (2012).
All in all, I found Republic to be a breath of fresh air and certainly a spot that I would return to for a great meal or a fun night on the town.
33-29 Astoria Boulevard
718.278.8100 – www.republicastoria.com