After 3 years of planning, building, executing, and a soft opening, the Astor Center has been officially opened. And what an opening! These people know how to throw a party. The Astor Center has the potential to be the culinary hub in this food and wine obsessed city.
The cocktails were superb. Different cocktail lounges and their star mixologists took shifts at the bars creating signature cocktails “Please Don’t Tell”, a cocktail bar on St. Mark’s Place sent out killer Apple Daiquiris. There was a cilantro/pineapple margarita, a brave concoction with scotch, fizzes and sours and serious contemplation of ingredients. My two personal favorites were “The French Pearl” from Pegu and the prettiest cocktail that I’ve ever seen, ” The Poisoned Rose”, concocted by Charlotte Voisey. The Poison Rose was finished with a floating red rose petal sprinkled with silver flakes, it was romantic and dramatic and sippingly delicious.
I’m wondering just how many glasses were used last night; it had to be a staggering number.
The nibbles that came in a steady flow from the kitchen were nothing short of fantastic. Who can argue with absolutely pristine, fresh, cold oysters shucked by charming, handsome shuckers? Seamus Mullen of Boqueria and Suba fame was responsible for the sinful duck liver beignets, oxtail croquettes with squash aioli, perfect bites of grilled lamb, brandade on crunchy toasts, fried artichokes with tapenade and that’s just a few of the highlights. There was even a meatball slider that was just about perfect. To finish off the evening, a staggering supply of Magnolia cupcakes made the rounds while these crazy violinists took the stage. This was a food and cocktail lover’s Mecca.
We wish Doug Duda and his incredible staff the very best of luck on this venture. They are doing everything just the way you want to see it done. Bravi!