I ate at CINA Romanian Restaurant last night in Astoria, 28th Ave b/t 45th and 46th St (2.5 blocks east of Piccola Venezia, and had a wonderful experience. There is no discussion of this place in the chow-archives, and I went on the recommendation of a local. This was my first Romanian meal, so my lack of experience may be putting my head on the board's chopping block, but I would recommend some Astoria 'hounds to try it and start a discussion.
The restaurant is tucked away in a quiet part of the neighborhood and is very pleasantly decorated. The service really stood out-top shelf in all categories. The waiter was talkative, friendly, and displayed a pride which showed he really wanted us to enjoy our meal(He even refolded my napkin after a trip to the restroom-all w/o hovering over us.) The entress average out at about $10.00- house specialties of stuffed cabbage or sausages w/ sauerkraut at about $8.00 and the fish/steak items around $12.00-15.00. A large bottle of Drax is $3.50. All this adds up to quite a value imho.
I started with a delicious tripe soup in a buttery broth served w/ chopped garlic and sour cream which when added really stepped it up so much that the few fans of tripe should try it when there. Do sample the eggplant spread appetizers- there are a few, all delicious. The grilled sausages and sauerkraut entree was nicely prepared and could be described as both a solid and satisfying rendition. All the presentations were very attractive.
Sorry about the length of this, but it wasn't very busy for a Friday night and hope it stays as it a great addition to my list of local restaurants. Give it try and let me know what you think.
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