I have to admit that I don’t get out of Manhattan a lot. There’s so much to see, do and eat in these 24 square miles that it doesn’t often occur to me to check out what the other boroughs have to offer.
But when I read about Astoria Bier & Cheese, I decided to enlist Dave for a trip to Queens. Frankly, it didn’t take much convincing.
Me: Do you want to go drink beer and eat cheese in Astoria? I’ll drive.
No response from Dave necessary as he’s already grabbing his coat.
What we found was a very cool shop/bar/cafe boasting an impressive selection of dozens of cheeses, hundreds of bottled beers and 10 craft beers on tap. What was intended as a pre-dinner snack quickly turned into us hanging out for three hours. (Randomly running into a college friend and his girlfriend was an added bonus.)
Here’s what we ate:
Vermont cheddar cheese curds with sourdough and black olive bread
Housemade beer cheese with hot pretzel and mustard
Although I was so enamored with the beer cheese (basically a creamy, boozy cheddar) that I could have eaten three servings, the real standout was the beer and cheese pairing plate:
For $18 we got four surprisingly unique and beautifully presented cheeses paired with generous tasting portions of craft beers. It’s perfect for sharing. Here’s what ABC was serving that night (from left to right):
Bra Tenero (Italian cow’s milk) and Firestone Walker Pivo Pils
El Romeral (Spanish sheep’s milk) and Ommegang Rare Vos Belgian Pale Ale
Tete de Moine (Swiss cow’s milk) and Stochasticity Project Grapefruit Slam IPA
Stilton (English cow’s milk) and Brooklyn Brewery Fire & Ice Porter
I was so impressed with the well-curated selections and the cheesemonger’s enthusiastic explanation of each pairing in front of us. (I also thought the beer flight boards were pretty cool. Dave, who dabbles in woodworking, claims he can make some for me. Stay tuned for pix of that project.)
With the pairings changing regularly and us too full to try the grilled cheese, we will definitely be back to ABC soon.
Astoria Bier & Cheese, 3414 Broadway, Astoria, 718-545-5588