718 Restaurant
35-01 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria

When I moved into Astoria nearly 6 years ago, 718 Restaurant was one of the first places I came across. I was still a Manhattan snob and didn’t think Astoria really measured up. I thought “7-1-8” – wow, that’s a really cheesy Queens name, it’s probably a really bad club or over-priced eatery with crappy food. So, I judged the place by its name and facade and wrote it off for over 5 years. In the past few months, I have come to realize that it was a huge mistake. 718 is one of the best French restaurants in the area, has a very appealing menu, and is a great value.

We have dined at 718 for dinner, lunch, and brunch are have been thoroughly pleased each time. The brunch deal is pretty amazing. At $22 it is one of the priciest in the area, but includes the whole menu: appetizer, main, dessert and bloody mary or mimosa. But let me explain the choices: We ordered onion soup, pain perdu (French toast), but there is also salad nicoise, escargots and ham & brie baguette – and that’s just appetizers! Mains include these thin crust pizzas (les tartes flambees – I like the onion, bacon, and gruyere), pastas, mussels, steak frites, eggs benedict (with both Canadian bacon and spinach), and so many others. There is usually only one dessert choice, but I was so full I couldn’t even eat the apple tart. The atmosphere is rich and cozy and the staff is relaxed and will leave you alone for a prolonged meal.

So if you want to go out for a nice brunch, classy lunch, and or solid date night, don’t overlook 718, like I did. You will be hard-pressed to find better French food in the area code.

Note: The sauteed gnocchi and artichoke side is a delicious steal at $5