Spud first reviewed Il Bambino in 2008, and in the past few years our love for this local favorite has only grown. Their soup is our favorite in the entire city! The bold flavors and quality ingredients make for extremely satisfying lunch of soup and crostini. They are known for their panninis, with ingredients like speck, fontina and savory jams. These are real Italian panninis, not the dry, limp Midtown version. We recently tried the peanut butter hot chocolate, which was, of course. amazing. Besides the food, it is really the vibe that draws us in here. The music they play is great and the service is some of the friendliest we have encountered in NYC. The staff believes in the restaurant and it really shows. They are open until midnight on the weekends, to satisfy those late ante dessert cravings.
Check out Spud’s 2008 review – it’s still true!
34-08 31st Avenue (34/35), Astoria
Go to Il Bambino if you live in Astoria. Even if you don’t live in Astoria, you should go to Il Bambino. Why? Because it’s exactly what a local eatery should be. The menu is small…..only a few crostini, salads and paninis. The establishment is small, it only seats 24. The man who runs it is behind the counter and there is a large pig painted on the wall to illustrate where every cut of delicious pig meat is from. Really, it’s quite educational. As you dive into your crusty panini with a small layer of salty prosciutto, arugula and lemon oil you can stare at the pig and learn that that cured delicacy you are eating is found in the flank of the beast. The vibe here is cool, as are the wait staff who are attentive, yet laid-back. We dined on a salad of chickpeas and spicy arugula with croutons and shared the egg salad crostini sprinkled with white truffle oil and crunched into a perfect panini. It reminded us exactly of how wonderfully simplistic and fresh real Italian cuisine is. In fact, I believe that Il Bambino is as close as you will get to the real thing……those of you that have been to Italy understand the simplicity and beauty of the food, and Il Bambino respects that.
Best and certainly not least, you must have one, (or more) or the delicious cupcakes that Il Bambino makes. We eat a lot of cupcakes, but Il Bambino’s are some of the best we’ve had! We have tried all different kinds (thanks to Litza for bringing so many to our SuperBowl gathering)…..there are cherry cheesecake, PB&J, Brownie, lemon, strawberry, chocolate, snowball…..ect. So tasty and super-worth it! The coffee is rich and lovely as well.
Go there and live la dolce vita!!!