|Photo by Chris Goldberg|
Located along Astoria's 31st Avenue, a quiet side street compared to the more vibrant 30th Avenue and Broadway, Brick Cafe channels all the quaintness and rustic charm of the a cafe in the French Mediterranean. Generous outdoor seating is provided during the summer months to take full advantage of its quiet, off-the-beaten-path location. A unique departure from other neighborhood dining experiences, both the decor and cuisine of this establishment feel refined and sophisticated without being pretentious.
With a menu offering everything from small plate tapas, to vegan options, and even skirt steak, there is sure to be something for every palate and dietary preference. From our experience, everything is equally delectable, but if we had to choose we would highly recommend the crispy skin wild salmon or dry aged steak frites. Complementary bread and a savory olive spread are provided, but the bruschetta appetizer is difficult to pass up. Likely due to the tin ceiling, the restaurant has a tendency to get a bit loud during peak dinner hours, but the cacophony never reaches a level to deter conversation with your dining partner.
Directly behind, and connected to Brick Cafe, is Brick Bar. A heavy curtain separates the bar from the restaurant, and the entrance to the street is slightly further off the avenue, providing a more private, secluded feeling. The mood here is noticeably slower-paced and quiet than the cafe, and the darker, romantic pub vibe is the perfect environment to relax with a few friends. Live music is frequently featured, and is sure to make you want to stay long into the evening.
Bartenders and waitstaff are friendly and eager to assist with recommendations on pairing wine selections with food. The full menu is available in both the cafe and the bar, and service is attentive without being intrusive or pushy. It can be difficult to find a restaurant that has both atmosphere and great food, especially outside Manhattan, but Brick exceeds expectations on both counts.