Texting From Mar’s. Oh Yeah, Astoria.

“So, it’s a guy?”

She is in front of  Kaufman Studios. She points to a corner restaurant. Black mesh tables and wooden folding chairs on a raised deck outside the restaurant. The building’s walls painted battleship grey. “You’ve been to Mar’s?”

Use Outside Mars

Ready for warmer weather ? Outside tables are at Mar’s along 34th Avenue in Astoria

Light turns green. She crosses the street. Strolls into Mars.

Marble top bar in center of room. Low concrete ceiling. Wooden floor. Candles on tables. Low lighting. Four large – framed color photographs against one wall. Hostess works the room. Waiters in white shirts attend to customers at tables. Low level rhythmic music. Bearded bartender comes over with drink menu. Puts down a list of oysters. Eight choices ($2.75-$2.95) along with special of the day.

Flips to list of Mar’s Classics . Reads three of the eleven specialty cocktails out loud.

Blood Moon. ($11) “Tequila, Cassis, lemon juice, ginger beer, bitters.”

French Western. ($12) “Bourbon, Kas Krunpnikas, Salers, lemon juice, bitters.”

Mar’s Manhattan. ($15) “Knob Creek Bourbon, Cynar, Busnel Calvados, Brooklyn Hemispherocal Black Mission Fig Bitters.”

Bartender returns. She looks up and down the menu. “French Western,” she says.

“And for you?” asks the bartender.

“Glass of Joel Bonnet, Muscadet, 2013.” ($10/$39).

 

Wine at Mars

“I like on the table, when we’re speaking, the light of a bottle of intelligent wine,” wrote Pablo Neruda.

Door swings open. Eleven of thirteen seats at bar taken.  Bartender knows most customers by name. “Hey, Mike, How you doing?”

His voice is polished. He asks about the drinks. Then greets another customer.

“So, what’s the problem?”

“We work together,” she whispers. Her voice sounds sad. “And, he smokes cigarettes.”

She lifts her French Western. Her fingers tap against the marble bar top. Gets up to use the bathroom.

A couple arrive. They take the last available seats at the bar.

She returns.  Sits and lifts the French Western. “We were texting.”

She looks left. A man is with a woman. He is drinking the beer. “You know him? she whispers. She doesn’t wait for a reply. “Tim Cornish,” she says. “Plays bass and sings vocals for The Gantry.”

The Gantry?”

“Astoria band…My guy’s a big fan.”

“So, he’s still your guy?”

Bartender draws the check. She goes outside. Sticks her hands in her pocket. Pulls out her cell phone. “Guess who I saw drinking a beer at Mar’s?” she texts.

Key Information:

Mar’s

Address: 34-21 34th Avenue, Astoria, New York 11106

Phone: 718-685-2480

Kitchen: 5pm-11pm

Raw Bar: 5pm-1am

Bar: 5pm-3:30am

Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 5pm-7pm

Website: http://lifeatmars.com

Bathroom: Clean and well decorated

Best Subway Line: “N”, “R”

Bus: Q 101

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The Alcove–Where to Go While Waiting for Your Powerball Numbers to Hit.

Knock wood, Princess.

Tonite’s the night. You gotta knock wood and not just any piece of wood. A lot’s on the line.

Knock your knuckles on the bar top at The Alcove in Sunnyside.

No, nothing’s wrong. Why you ask?

Just Powerball crazy.

Six numbers that’s going to change it all. Once those numbers hit got a future that’ll make Mr. Morgan Stanley’s heirs jealous.

Why these numbers? Not important. Just go put two dollars down on: 30,45,48,49,56 and 18 before it’s too late.

Sharing is caring, you know. Got no problem splitting a zillion Benjamins with you.

So, what’s this got to do with The Alcove?

Here’s the story, according to John Cordeiro, who owns and operates The Alcove along with his wife.

Johnathan

John Cordeiro, owner and operator, of The Alcove.

The bar top is made of oak. Loaded with history. Measures sixteen feet in length. Maybe a hundred twenty or a hundred thirty years old. Hauled from Pennsylvania to Sunnyside. Sanded and finished by John’s cousin.

People at Bar

True craftmanship. The sixteen foot long hand sanded and varnished bar top at The Alcove.

You know that Stevie Wonder line?

“Very superstitious, nothin’ more to say.”

That’s my reason for knocking wood at The Alcove. Needed to find something old and authentic in Sunnyside. Though The Alcove is a newbie to Sunnyside, the bar top fits the specs for old and authentic.

And if the bar top doesn’t do it for you, knock on The Alcove’s bathroom door. Tall, sturdy and austere. Comes from a monastery. Clouded glass on the top half. What else you need while waiting for your numbers to hit?

Still not feeling it?

Knock on the The Alove’s chalk boards against the bar’s brick walls. Those boards come from a school and another era. You can almost hear a teacher’s voice. “Sit up straight. Pay attention. Do the right thing. Put in the time and everything works out.”

Chalk Board

Authentic elementary school chalk boards list a variety of beers served at The Alcove.

Think so?

That’s John’s story.Busboy to bartender to bar/restaurant owner. Now, he created the perfect drink to sip while waiting for your numbers to roll down the shoot.

John’s contribution to mixology is called The Alcoverita. Jalapeno, Basil, Tequila and a touch of Guava. ($8). Think of it as a twist on the Margarita, but if you want to think of it as the countdown to a life of Bling and leisure, that works, too.

So, here’s the funny part about The Alcove.

Enter for the first time and it’s like you’ve been there before. Hip Latin music. The vibrant sounds put you in a better place.You run your hand on the finished wood’s varnish. You smile. You’re convinced you got the winning Powerball combination.

Oh yeah, that’s what a good knock on wood does for you at The Alcove.

Info:

The Alcove

41-11 49th Street

Sunnyside, N.Y.

(T) 347-813-4149

(T) 917-319-3241

Food: Smalle selection of appetizers, snacks, burgers, wraps and sandwiches. (Served on heavy duty paper plates).

Bathroom: Immaculate.

Credit Cards: Major credit cards accepted.

Subway: Either 7 line at 46th / Bliss Street Station or 52nd Street Station.

Parking: Be patient and be lucky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Properly Clink Glasses at Mosaic, a Very Proper Neighborhood Beer and Wine Bar .

Mosiac front

Mosaic in Astoria. Where the vibe is good and the selection of beers and wines even better.

She sat at a table nearest to the entrance of Mosaic She looked out the window at the Christmas lights along 24th Avenue in Astoria and tapped her manicured nails on the round table.

The bar keep carried a Belgian Ale to her table. He put the Ale in front of her. She wore a green woolen blazer, a collared shirt and a grey knit scarf. You heard the bar keep tell her about the Ale. A hundred seventy varieties of beers, porters, ale’s and stouts. You sensed she appreciated his words.

Brett, the bar keep, has a way with words, too. He recently returned from eight months in Las Vegas where he performed in the musical ‘Rock of Ages.’ He has worked at Mosaic for three and a half years, which is one year shy of how long it’s been open. You hope he cracks The Big Time, because here’s a man who will know how to spend his money on decent wine.

Don’t know what to try?

Ask Brett for a suggestion.

This time around, Brett poured a glass of a 2013 Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Crest. So bold that you smelled the scent of black cherries and blackberries. A complex first sip that almost made you want to say you tasted a spice. But, that would be misleading. You tasted the flavor of vanilla, currants and a hint of cocoa.

And what an ideal spot to chill out with a glass of wine.

Mosaic in Astoria redefines the notion of what it means to feel comfortable. Two sips in and  you think you’re inside someone’s home.Bronze gilded ceiling panels. Rustic Victorian furniture. Maroon red walls.

 

But, you’re not at someone’s home. You’re at a lounge. Decorative round tables. Antique sofas. A chandelier in the center of the room. Subtle music on the sound system. Young professionals in swank garb with iphones not far from their drinks. Their voices jovial and a few octaves louder than a whisper. The vibe is good. Mosaic is an excellent choice if you need a spot to meet a friend or if you’re up to the second or third date.

Bar shot mosiac

A rustic Victorian decor that’s memorable and comfortable.

So, here’s the dipout on that table near the entrance:

Tall guy in dark collared shirt and new Levi’s 522 Slim-Fit Tapered Leg Jeans arrived. Slender with a been to the gym physique. Dark frame glasses and a nice smile.

The woman waited on her Belgian Ale. She got up from her seat and gave him one of those second date kisses and hugs. Brett, the bar keep, walked over with a bottle of the Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon. He poured the man a glass and you smelled the fragrance of the wine from your seat at the bar.

Brett returned to the bar and the couple bantered before they clinked glasses.

She looked him in the eyes. He looked around the room.

You wanted to say ‘Cut. Do a retake.’

But, you said nothing except what you told yourself: “Hey, Dude…You got to look them in their eyes when you toast.”

So it goes.

You finished your glass of wine and walked out onto 24th Avenue in Astoria. The evening sky dark. The Christmas lights blinking.

Info:

Mosiac

(718) 728-0708

25-19 24th Avenue

Astoria, N.Y.

www.mosaicastoria.com

email: info@mosaicnyc.net

Food? Yes. Interesting array of small tasting plates.

Bathroom:   Just one. Though well decorated.

Parking:  Good if you’re lucky.

Nearest Subway:  Mosaic is known as a neighborhood spot, which should answer that question.

 

Go to Maggie Mae’s in Sunnyside. Forget About Pumpkin Picking

Why pick pumpkins when you can drink PumKing Ale at Maggie Mae’s in Sunnyside?

Beer Maggie Maes

Been there, done that. Not all it’s made up to be.

Instead, go for merry and warm inside what just might be the most rustic bar in Sunnyside.

How’s this for rustica?

A forty foot long finished wooden bar top. A list of drafts, stouts, wheat ales, lagers and cocktails written on blackboards above the bar. A dark stained wooden floor running from the front door to the back wall. Black and white checkered tiles beneath the bar. Comfortable red leather stools with backs at the bar.Three high definition televisions situated between top shelf Bourbons, Whiskey’s and an assortment of Gin and Vodka.The lineup is Met like in its appeal: Angels Envy, Knob Creek, Woodsford Reserve, Hill Rock Four Roses, Jack Daniels Single Barrel and Maker’s Mark.

And if that line up isn’t enough, there’s A vast basement bar, only opened Friday and Saturday. Ideal for an incognito meet and drink. Low ceiling. Dark lighting. Swing your partner round and round.

Yet, there’s one more reason to find yourself inside Maggie Mae’s.

The bartender greets everyone with the same refrain: “Hi guys. How’s it going?”

She’s from outside Dublin. The sound of her voice might make you want to stay inside Maggie Mae’s and listen to her all day.

But, who has the time?

The car is honking. Everyone wants to go pumpkin picking.

What You Need To Know:

Maggie Mae’s

www.maggiemaesbar.com

@maggiemaesbar

41-15 Queens Blvd.

Sunnyside, NY 11104

(718) 433-3067

Open 11:00am-4am

Nearest Subway Station

7 line / Lowery Street

Clean / well lit / spacious bathrooms

Menu pending. Popcorn served.