The Bonnie's New Menu Will "Spring" You Into Warmer Months
There are restaurants, and then there are restaurants that you return to. The Bonnie belongs in the latter category, and in our case, we return to it again and again, as each seasonal menu is more delicious than the last.
There are so many things to love about The Bonnie, located on 23rd Avenue in Astoria, Queens. For one thing, their interior is everything you could hope for in an upscale, trendy gastropub that decidedly lacks the pretension of its peers. Its cozy little tables are topped with re-purposed water jars, candles, and flowers, and The Arctic Monkeys or The Black Keys play from speakers in the event it’s not one of their live music nights.
The Bonnie is also an incredibly versatile venue and knows how to make the most of its space, with three separate rooms plus an outdoor garden. It’s compact, but not crowded; buzzing, but not overwhelming. In the front of the restaurant are several picturesque tables for two, with a couple of smaller picnic tables flanking the streetside windows overlooking bustling 23rd Avenue. Behind them is a large bar (where the magic is made!) and a couple of rustic picnic tables for bigger groups. An even larger bar is situated in the back of the restaurant, with a couple of scattered two-seater high tops, which give off a more traditional bar scene vibe. Sandwiched between the two bars is a cozy, private enclave, perfect for an intimate date or dinner with a friend where the two of you actually want to hear one another.
And of course, in the warmer months, The Bonnie opens up its outdoor garden and features live music on Thursday nights, which makes it the perfect bar for transitioning into summer.
A few weeks ago, The Bonnie debuted their updated Spring menu, and we knew we had to give some of these seasonal newcomers a try.
First, let’s start with drinks (because drinks—especially when it comes to the creative and eclectic cocktails at The Bonnie—are always the best place to start). As a girl who loves all things pink, watermelon, and tequila, “The Wayside” (Tequila, Mezcal, Watermelon, Hibiscus, Ancho Chile, Campari, Lime) was calling my name. It was everything I had expected and more, deliciously refreshing but with a slight kick thanks to the chili-rimmed glass. Kyle opted for the classically-cool Madman-esque “Rags to Riches,” which was a smooth mix of Benham's Gin, Cappelletti, Madeira Doce, and Sour Cherry.
Our appetites thoroughly whetted by our bespoke cocktails, we could now fully focus our attention on the delightful Spring menu. We began with a selection of some of The Bonnie’s freshest seasonal appetizers, which included roasted carrot hummus served with seeded flatbread and endive for dipping. The crispy endive leaves provided the perfect contrasting crunch to the smooth and creamy hummus. They were also probably the healthiest thing we ate that night, as our next sampling—Spring Onion Frites—took whole, fresh, crispy onions (edible green stems and all!), dipped them in batter, and fried them. The crispy fried morsels came out piping hot with a couple of different dipping sauces in what could be considered a very unique spin on “Onion Rings.”
Our favorite of the three appetizers we had were, hands down, the Coconut Shrimp with sweet chili sauce. You know how at most restaurants when you get fried shrimp it’s mostly just breading and you’re left wondering where the actual shrimp you’ve paid for is? Not so at The Bonnie, where the shrimp are meaty, tender, and juicy, with the perfect crispy coconut covering and the most delicious sweet chili sauce. Pretty sure we were left fighting over who got the last shrimp…I’m not kidding!
After polishing off our apps, we were more than ready for our second round of drinks. At this point, we were both in the mood for something sweet and tropical. We ended up with two new cocktails, both beautifully served over a heaping mound of crushed ice. Kyle got pulled in by the coconut cream in the “Duck Dive” (Cachaça, Mezcal, Pisco, Coconut Cream, Caribbean Shrub, Orgeat, Guava Gose, Bitters), which with one sip instantly transported you to a faraway island. I stuck with the more fruity and floral vibe of the “First Dance” (Barr Hill Gin, Bertoux Brandy, Blueberry, White Peony Tea, Buckwheat Honey, Cardamom, Lemon). Both were equally good, and perfectly complimentary for our mains.
By this point, we were pretty stuffed and hardly had room for our main courses (+ sides!), but we somehow managed.
The Bonnie has always been known for its eclectic mix of bar foods (The Bonnie Burger is a year-round favorite) as well as a healthy selection of vegan/vegetable forward dishes. Because they rely on fresh, seasonal ingredients, their menu changes to incorporate in-season produce. With this in mind, I opted to try their Charred String Bean Salad, which was a decadent, hearty salad of charred green beans, burrata, pistachio, and golden beets drizzled with a honey balsamic dressing and served over a bed of arugula. It was refreshing and delicious, the perfect main course after some heavy appetizers.
Wavering between a couple of menu items, Kyle took the advice of our superb water, Zach, and went for the Salmon Burger. I don’t even like salmon all that much, but The Bonnie’s salmon burger was every bit as decadent, delicious, and mouthwateringly yummy as it looked. Kyle was in a veritable heaven—I don’t think he looked up from his burger until it was gone.
We obviously ordered both of these with a HUGE side of cheese fries because how could you NOT order fries when they are topped with cheddar, cheese curds, and bacon? This plate of fries was so big that we could honestly have just ordered a side of fries to split and have still left The Bonnie good and full. Of course, that didn’t stop us from ordering my personal favorite item on the menu: Buffalo Sprouts.
Buffalo Sprouts are The Bonnie’s take on the classic roasted brussels sprouts. In this dish, they are roasted until crispy, then covered in a hot buffalo sauce and topped with crumbled blue cheese—a most delicious of combinations. My mouth is seriously watering as I write this.
The Buffalo Sprouts are typically an item on The Bonnie’s Winter Menu, but are unsurprisingly a fan favorite (*side note: I once made Kyle take me to The Bonnie at 11pm after a late-night concert at MSG specifically for these Buffalo Sprouts). A little birdie says that they’re on the menu a little while longer, but that’s subject to change. As such, Music & Mojitos highly recommends you take the N/W to Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard and get yourself a table at The Bonnie before these beauties disappear. In fact, you should probably get there regardless to check out their bangin’ new menu while it’s still Spring. Don’t forget to order some Coconut Shrimp while you’re at it.
29-12 23rd Ave, Astoria, NY 11105 (last stop on the N/W train to Astoria-Ditmars)
Phone: (718) 274-2105
Monday - Thursday: 3:00pm - 2:00am
Friday: 12:00pm - 4:00am
Saturday: 10:00am - 4:00am
Sunday: 10:00am - 2:00am
Brunch: Weekends 10 am - 4 pm
Late Nigh Food: Kitchen open nightly until 1AM
HAPPY HOUR SPECIALS:
Monday - Thursday: 3:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday: 3:00pm - 6:00pm