Went back to Trattoria L'Incontro for the second time yesterday afternoon.
The first time was wonderful, this time even better.
I love love LOVE this restaurant!
Blood orange and fennel salad - paper-thin slices of fennel, marinated in vinaigrette, topped with thinly-sliced blood orange, and chopped arugula. Wonderful combination of flavors, very refreshing.
Crab salad - excellent crabmeat in a light lemony dressing, mixed with tiny cubes of barely-ripe mango and carrot, and chopped frisee, served over a split choux-pastry shell - three roughly tennis-ball sized loose mounds to an order, topped with a cracked crab claw. Divine.
Wild boar sausage, 3 to an order, grilled and served with perfectly-cooked green beans sauteed with garlic, and roast potato. This was beyond good - the sausage was perfectly seasoned, it even had little bits of blood orange in it.
Venison tenderloin, grilled medium-rare (to a gorgeous deep rose color), served in a raspberry reduction, with mashed potatoes - nice and salty, obviously fresh homemade - and the green beans. My only quibble was that the raspberry sauce was a tiny bit too sweet for my taste.
Mandarin, lemon, and raspberry sorbets, served in a martini glass with a puff pastry straw.
A fantastic bottle (no. 608 on the list, forget the name, $25.00) of Primitivo/Cabernet blend, Primitivo giving it the berry oomph and Cabernet a touch of refinement. Excellent with the food.
The wine list is very interesting and reasonably-priced with a large number of bottles at $25.00.
Regular coffee and exemplary espresso.
The food and beverage tab was only $113.00 before tip, a true bargain anywhere for the quality and care of the cooking.
Note: the printed menu only lists the standard dishes, everything we had was from the list of specials recited by the affable waiters.
Only regret is that we may never be able to bring ourselves to forgo this place for any of the other restaurants in Astoria!
(Subway directions: N to Ditmars,walk north toward Ditmars, restaurant is just past Ditmars on the left side, past the diner on the corner).