Yesterday, I was hanging out in Astoria and stopped at “Gastroteca” for a quick brunch bite at the bar. This rustic Italian restaurant, located on 34th Avenue, features a wide selection of modern Italian dishes and serves brunch daily! The restaurant also offers daily dinner specials and Happy Hour is served weekdays from 4 – 8pm.
While everything on the brunch menu looked delicious, and was decently priced, I ended up ordering the “Scampi & Grits” which was a large bowl of shrimp, sausage, tomato, peppers and polenta with two fried eggs, all served over grits. The combination was mouth-watering, savory and harmonious. Each ingredient was equally represented in the Scampi. The large chucks of sausage combined with the tender medium-sized shrimp and bite-sized pieces of sweet peppers was so good! The tomato-based broth, which brought the dish together, was flavorful and bursting with Italian flavor.
Of course, since I was being “fat”, in addition to the Scampi & Grits, I could not leave without trying the “Dusted Texas Toast”, which was three pieces of layered fried toast, stuffed with Nutella sprinkled with sugar. This combination was simply delicious. I especially enjoyed the flaky warm crust when dipped in the syrup. If you like sweet brunch items and/or Nutella, then the Dusted Texas Toast is a “must try” at Gastroteca.
Overall, Gastroteca was a fun and laid back brunch experience. Jeremy, the Bartender, was attentive, friendly and welcoming. He really set a perfect pace for my meal and I never felt rushed. The prices at Gastroteca were good and the portion sizes were above average for the price.
The rustic and quaint ambiance at Gastroteca makes it the perfect place for a trendy, Astoria brunch. Therefore, if you are in need of a new brunch destination in the area, then you should definitely check them out.