The Trattoria Ora and Wine Bar is a gem of a restaurant, tucked away on a quiet, picturesque corner of Astoria Blvd. and 18th Street, where the warm glow from inside and outside this cozy restaurant can be seen from a distance. The rustic, romantic dining room looks like a farmhouse with exposed bricks, soft lighting, an inviting bar and a long communal table at the back that seats 10 for family meals and friends’ gatherings. An antique mirror and a beautiful clock adorn the wall of this beautifully decorated private area.
“Ora” means “now” in Italian, and this is exactly where you should visit, because this glowing restaurant is beautifully decorated for the holiday with flowering poinsettias on red and white checkered tablecloths. Trattoria Ora is ready to host your private family or business event with accommodation for up to 70 people, so book now. Owner Ray Besi and his wife Mimi welcome you as a family, while locals stop by for a glass of wine or cocktail in the tidy bar along with a plate of fine cheeses and olives to sip. The wine list is nicely composed with reasonably priced vintages from Europe, Argentina and California.
A basket of hot, crispy bread was brought to our table along with cheese and olives while we reviewed the menu. I appreciate one-side menus as everything is fresh and cooked on site, such as Portobello mushroom appetizers that taste like steak, grilled with fresh garlic and balsamic vinegar ($ 12.95). Tender rings of calamari are cooked crispy or grilled to perfection, served with fresh tomato sauce. Chicken liver is a delicacy, sautéed with onions and fragrant sage, perfect for stacking on a piece of bread. Caprese salad layer buttery bufala mozzarella with roasted red peppers and tomatoes for a sunny start to any meal. We ordered a Mediterranean salad with chopped cucumber, tomato, green peppers, olives and creamy feta cheese that was simply perfect to share ($ 11.95). The same goes for beetroot salad, bittersweet arugula salad or classic Caesar salad.
Pasta dishes are prepared to order for maximum taste and texture. Ravioli funghetto is filled with a mixture of woody mushrooms, topped with truffle oil and a touch of cream. My farfalle dolcino was divine, topped with rich prawns, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes and a splash of texture texture. Spaghetti Bolognese is rich and meaty, made from the chef’s special recipe sauce over al dente spaghetti, the perfect comfort food for right now (ora)!
Trattoria Ora’s entrees include everyone’s favorites, such as grilled salmon topped with Dijon mustard sauce, tongue fillet gently sautéed with lemon, white wine and capers and branzino fillet in light tomato sauce with capers and black olives over a bed of lush spinach. Chicken Ora is a tender fillet layered with prosciutto, melted mozzarella and asparagus, while Chicken Parmigiana is a crowd pleaser, served with penne. Tender organic chicken is grilled with fresh herbs for the perfect winter meal. My handsome companion enjoyed an old-world beef goulash, made according to a family recipe, served over creamy mashed potatoes that will warm your soul ($ 16.95).
The grill at Trattoria Ora produces a sizzling black Angus tenderloin steak, cooked to order, a juicy, aged Rib Eye steak or a rack of tender lamb chops from New Zealand. Put some of them together with a side of creamy polenta, mushroom risotto, french fries, Brussels sprouts or broccoli and your meal is complete.
Save some space for dessert because they are all homemade at Trattoria Ora. We swallowed the hot apple strudel with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and fresh berries. The tiramisu is airy and light just like the cheesecake, and they all go well with a glass of port wine and a steaming espresso or cappuccino.
Every meal at Trattoria Ora is extra special considering the quality of the food and the beautiful, warm dining room where it is served. Visit their website to see the full menu and photos that will get you running in water. You can order for delivery at Seamless and delivery.com. Trattoria Ora and Wine Bar is open five days a week: Tuesday to Saturday for dinner from 16:00 to 22:30. Sundays are reserved for private parties, so call NOW and make your plans for a family or corporate event for up to 70 guests. There is still time to book a holiday party, so now is the time for Trattoria Ora. Good holiday!
18-01 Astoria Boulevard
Long Island City – 718,433,9680
Seamless – Delivery.com