Salvatoria Kitchen and Bar
Salvatoria is a sparkling new addition to Astoria’s dining scene, offering cool, casual dining, and hearty, flavorful cuisine from El Salvador. El Salvador is a small Central American nation known for its Pacific Ocean beaches, mountainous landscape, coffee plantations, and delicious food which you ought to discover.
First, discover Salvatoria’s entrance, on 32nd Street, between Broadway and 34th Avenue in Astoria. It’s easy to spot with tables outside to enjoy a drink or a meal while the weather still allows. Inside, the sleek interior has a cleverly designed puzzle-piece ceiling, red leather chairs, wood tables and soft lighting. There’s a cool, tidy bar where their fabulous cocktails are mixed, and 2 muted screens for watching futbol or soccer. We tried some excellent mojitos and margaritas, all made with fresh fruit juices, not pre-made mixes. Piña colada, Manhattan, Dark and Stormy, and 5 Boros are some of the other great drinks, along with nice wines and Central American beers called Suprema and Famosa.
Astrid, the friendly, charming owner, grew up in the restaurant business and greets you with a smile. She’s happy to suggest some of the more traditional El Salvadoran dishes, as most folks are unfamiliar with this honest cuisine. We started with appetizers called tamales. Chicken tamales are made with fresh corn meal and seasoned chicken, steamed in a banana leaf. The corn tamale is steamed inside a corn husk and both are great for sharing. The national snack of El Salvador is the papusa, which, according to Astrid, can be eaten any time of day. This little “pouch” is filled with savory cheese and pork, beans, or jalapeño, served with a homemade, vinegary cole slaw and dipping sauce. For just $3-$4 each, share a couple of papusas with friends at the bar, along with drinks, or as an appetizer, as we did. Picadas are mini skewers with chunks of chorizo sausage, chicken breast, yucca and cheese, served with slaw. Tacos are great too, filled with tender skirt steak, chicken, or chorizo, served with refried beans, cheese, and avocado slices. Chicken wings are on hand too if you’re looking for standard fare.
Salvatoria’s entrées reflect the rich, hearty cuisine of El Salvador and include meat, chicken, seafood and fish, thanks to its position on the Pacific Ocean. Ceviche is a mélange of fish and seafood, marinated in citrus juice that’s cool and refreshingly delicious, scented with cilantro. On a cool evening the shellfish soup made with crab, clams, and shrimp will warm your soul, while the beef soup is hearty and flavorful. For dinner we tried the pollo guisado (or chicken stew) made with tender chicken that falls off the bone, and big chunks of potato in a savory gravy ($16). Grilled shrimp are plump and perfectly cooked, served with rice, salad, and buttery avocado slices. You can also order the shrimp to be breaded and fried to a golden finish. Seafood Salvadoreño is a combination of seafood in a creamy Creole sauce, served with rice, salad, and tortillas to soak up the delicious sauce.
Sink into a juicy skirt steak, flank steak or steak with onions. Eggs are not just for breakfast in El Salvador. They are eaten any time of day and often combined with a juicy steak, sausages, beans, rice, and sweet plantains. Try it, you’ll like it! Also try a juicy burger, grilled chicken sandwich, or steak sandwich, reasonably priced at $10-$12. Portions here are generous so come hungry or be prepared to pack up the leftovers for a great lunch the next day. We were stuffed, but had to sample a dessert. The sweet empanada is filled with sweet plantains and creamy milk, dusted with powdered sugar.
Salvatoria has a nice weekend brunch, served Saturday and Sunday from 12-4pm. For just $20 you’ll get one hour of brunch cocktails plus breakfast tortillas filled with scrambled eggs, beans, cheese, avocado and sour cream, or enchiladas with beef, hard cooked eggs and cheese. There are burgers and steak and eggs too.
For something new and different, visit Salvatoria Kitchen and Bar for fabulous cocktails, appetizers, dinner, and weekend Brunch. They are open six days a week for dinner from 4pm, and Sunday Brunch from 12pm- 4pm, with dinner service afterward. They are closed Monday and accept credit cards. Explore the honest, hearty, flavorful cuisine of El Salvador, delight your palate, and warm your soul.
31-18 Broadway, Astoria
www.salvatoriakitchenbar.com Follow them on Face book, Twitter, Yelp