Hello Fellow Brunch Buddies,
The Baron is here. Still single-handedly reviewing the best of Astoria brunches. Actually, I’m hoping by the next time I write a review, I’ll be back to my normal, two-handed, hunt-and-peck typing.
This past Sunday, the crew ventured out to DiWine, 4115 31st Ave: http://www.diwineonline.com.
Our numbers were a bit bigger than last week as The Neighbors replaced The Boys, and the Red Queen and the Lady of the Book were back from their respective adventures.
I showed up wearing my ridiculous looking serapa (a South American woolen poncho), because I couldn’t fit my normal coats over my sling. It was a beautiful Sunday and spirits were high. As often the case with our group (because we brunch at 11am), we were the first to arrive.
DiWine has sort of a modern-rustic feel, with everything made of wood, but clean sharp lines. Kind of like Ikea meeting a ski lodge, but not hokey. I wish I was better at describing interior design, but that’s not really my balliwick.
Anyway, since DiWine had just opened for the day, our server, Martin, was also working behind the bar. This proved pivotal, as with the $13 brunch deal comes a free choice of coffee or tea and a cocktail (OJ, mimosa, bellini, or bloody mary). For an extra $6, you get unlimited drinks. Just RQ, the Generalissimo, and I took advantage of this. The Mayor doesn’t drink, so Susie Q got his drink as well. Since the Lady was off to “Gatz” (a seven hour reading of the Great Gatsby), she wisely decided not to go for unlimited drinks. Our drinks came out and RQ, El Generalissimo and I all got the bloody mary. There was some serious disappointment as the alcohol was strong enough, but the mix was almost tasteless. We were about to send them back, when Martin came over to find out how the drinks were. He apologized before we mentioned anything, saying that he doesn’t normally mix drinks. When we told him about the issues with the bloody maries, he immediately went and whipped up another batch for free. The second round was much better. Not brilliant, but acceptable.
Now DiWine is known for its breakfast pizzas. I’d had breakfast pizzas before, and while I understood the concept – bread, cheese, eggs, maybe tomatoes and meat (all breakfast items), I was never fully comfortable with it as a brunch food. That is, until
I had Diwine’s. They key to the pizza is the dough. Light and tasty, it elevates the pizza into something brunchable. Also, the tomato sauce is another light touch on the pizza – a complement, rather than overwhelming the flavors of the toppings. Even though the pizzas were good sized, we all managed to finish our own without feeling overstuffed or sick.
I had the breakfast pizza with eggs and lox on top.
Salty and satisfying, I didn't really want to share, but I did so I could taste others' food. Unfortunately, by the time I decided to give up a slice, RQ and Susie Q had finished their veggie frittatas. According to them, it was very good, although the "toast" that came with it was just warmed bread.
The Mayor ordered the Capricossa, with mushrooms, eggs, and wonderfully spicy pepperocini. The pepperocini made the pizza, and I was glad he agreed to the exchange.
El Generalissimo ordered a meat pizza, of course. It was the Gigi, with smoked beef, capers, and mushrooms. Although I didn't try any (long, involved story about eating sustainably, etc), he seemed quite pleased and was the first one done. Though again, that wasn't unexpected.
RQ and the Lady split a Bianca, which would have been my second choice, so I was glad I got to try it. While not quite as inventive as the breakfast pizza or as spicy as the Capricossa, it had a nice balance among the herbed ricotta, mozzarella and roasted peppers.
So to sum up, if you're hungover and dying for some pizza, don't go for that cold crap in your fridge, check out DiWine. You won't be disappointed by the selection.