Every time I mention to someone that I live in Astoria, the first thing they say is, “I heard there’s a ton of great food there.”
These people are absolutely right. There’s no shortage of solid places to eat in my Queens neighborhood, and the brunch scene continues to grow.
On a recent Saturday, my friend Hanna and I were invited to try one of my favorite Astoria restaurants, The Bonnie. My first experience at the cozy gastropub was on a brunch double date a few years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Exposed brick walls and tile flooring give the space a charming, inviting feel, and the neighborhood is much quieter than my go-tos when brunching in Manhattan, which is good for a relaxing meal.
Hanna was running a bit late for our 2 p.m. reservation time, but the hostess seated me anyway and promptly brought over coffee for me and another mug for Hanna when she arrived. I appreciated that even though my full party wasn’t present, I was still able to be seated and wake up with a tasty cup of coffee.
Once Hanna did arrive, we placed our cocktail order. I love blackberry, so I was excited to order the Short Stack, a drink made with gin, Pamplemousse rose, blackberry, tarragon, Black Strap rum, Pedro Ximenez sherry, and lemon. The drink was absolutely delicious and a great way to start our brunch.
Hanna, a Bloody Mary lover, went with the Bacon bourbon Bloody Mary, which features Bacon-infused bourbon, Bloody Mary mix, and a generous helping of arugula. Another solid beverage to get things going.
For food, we decided to split an appetizer and two entrees. We started with the loaded tater tots, made with cheddar, cheese curds, chives, bacon, and chipotle crema. These tots were delicious — made with the perfect amount of cheese and bacon — and I had to practice some major self control to keep myself from hogging the entire bowl.
For our entrees, we ordered the smashed avocado toast, which I had at my last visit and loved, and the dry-aged breakfast burger, which I saw on Instagram on my way to the restaurant and thought looked delicious.
We also got another round of drinks to sip on while we ate our main dishes. As a huge mezcal fan, I opted to try the El Matador, made with ancho chili-infused mezcal, caldo de carne, Bloody Mary, chipotle, worcestershire, lime, and chili lime salt. This drink packed quite the punch and was a nice contrast from the sweet drink I had previously.
Per our server’s recommendation, Hanna ordered the restaurant’s special drink of the day, which she described as tasting similar to a strawberry mimosa.
The avocado toast, which was served with two poached eggs, cucumber, feta, mint, and Aleppo pepper, was solid, though not quite as good as I remember it from my last brunch at The Bonnie. Last time I could really taste red pepper flakes on the toast, but this time around it was as if they weren’t even there. A bit of a kick from the pepper flakes really would have taken the toast to the next level.
The burger — made with a Pat La Frieda dry-aged blend, a fried egg, pimento cheese, bacon, and pickled jalapeños — was one of the tastiest breakfast burgers I’ve had in awhile, and there wasn’t a bite left between Hanna and I.
The restaurant also has a beautiful patio area out back, which was sadly closed when we were there, but is definitely worth checking out if you brunch there during the warmer months.
Bitches say: Five Flutes. The Bonnie has everything you need for a perfect brunch — delicious food, a varied list of creative cocktails, and a charming (and Instagram-worthy) space.
The Bonnie serves brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.