Place: Ovelia Psistaria Bar
Neighborhood: Astoria, Queens, 34-01 30th Ave. (at 34th St.)
The scoop: I was headed to Astoria for a party, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to check out a brunch in the area. I did some research and decided on Ovelia Psistaria Bar, which is located on bustling 30th Ave and is just a short walk from the 30th Avenue station on the N and Q lines. I made a reservation to be safe, but since I was brunching solo, getting a table wouldn’t have been an issue. Ovelia has outdoor seating, but on a 98-degree day, I went with dining in the AC. The restaurant has a Miami vibe — it was open, airy, bright and sun-drenched. The music playing was a bit too loud and techno-ish for my taste. It made me wonder if the large party seated next to me had trouble hearing each other talk. I’m not sure if Ovelia turns into a lounge at night, but I could definitely see that. The service was good; the server made recommendations and explained dishes, and my water was refilled frequently. After I finished my meal, the check was presented in a cool, neon case (see photo below).
Bottoms up: All brunch entrées come with a bloody Mary or mimosa and orange juice, milk, coffee or tea. I went with the mimosa, which was strong and refreshing. The drink was champagne heavy. After such a big meal, I had a hard time finishing the mimosa. I didn’t get a second beverage as I’m not a coffee or tea drinker.
Chew on this:
Stuffed French toast $15.50 / With Greek yogurt and honey whip; Greek sausage
I was deciding among three dishes, and the server recommended the French toast instantly. When the plate was placed in front of me, all I could smell was cinnamon — a very good sign. I also noticed that I was given sausage instead of bacon, which is what I asked for. The sausage looked different from the links or patties you are normally served at brunch. This sausage was in a small-circular shape. One bite into the juicy and flavorful sausage, and I was glad they mixed up my order. My server informed me it was American-friendly Greek sausage. The French toast had decent flavor. I’m still trying to convert from regular yogurt to Greek yogurt, and I was a bit worried there would be too much yogurt stuffed into the bread making it overpowering, but that wasn’t the case (although I did scrape off some here and there). The yogurt added a tasty twist to a traditional brunch dish, which also came with chopped apples, melon and green grapes on the side. The French toast wasn’t the only thing stuffed as I was very full after this meal (I don’t know if I’d classify this dish as light like the server said). I do think $15.50 for French toast is expensive, but since it came with two drinks, I’m going to let it slide.
The final bite: I wouldn’t mind going back to Ovelia to try one of their sandwiches (I saw them on other people’s plates, and they looked good). If you’re in Astoria on the search for some good food and won’t be bothered by a loud atmosphere, check out Ovelia.
Reviewed by: Stephanie