Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Drina Daisy

Back in July, while in Astoria after the Mirror Image school, I ate lunch at an excellent little Bosnian restaurant called Drina Daisy.

Drina Daisy is located in downtown Astoria, on 915 Commercial Street. That block was hit pretty hard by a fire years back, and still hasn't recovered. There are a lot of empty storefronts around Drina Daisy, but the eatery seems to be doing all right for themselves. The interior is tastefully decorated, and managed to capture some of that old world charm. The service is friendly, attentive, and prompt. At no time did I feel rushed, nor neglected. My only complaint is that the bar chairs are bolted to the ground, and a little too close to the bar for me to be comfortable. That shouldn't be a problem for anyone with an inseam less than 36 inches though. They play Bosnian artists over the speakers, and the music is quite complementary to the theme as a whole.

While the service and ambiance are important, the key to a good place to eat is to have good food to eat. Drina Daisy has that. The menu is Bistro sized, 8-12 entrees, but the chef knows how to cook. She's a third generation chef who ran her own restaurant in Bosnia for 20 years. They have a decent selection of imported beers to complete the Balkan dining experience. They lack a bartender with experience with cocktails however, so if your looking for something other than a straight shot to quench your thirst for liquor, you might be disappointed. But believe me, the food makes up for it.

I ordered some bread for an appetizer. The bread was cooked in house, and was fluffy without tasting bland. To drink I ordered a bottle of a Bosnian pilsner, which is sadly the only Bosnian beer they can get with regularity. It was good, a little sharper than mainstream American pilsners. For the meal I had a rack of lamb. It was exquisite. Cooked perfectly, it was served with a side of assorted fruit slices that set off perfectly with the spices uses. It came with a spiced red bell pepper paste, normally I hate bell pepper, but this was pretty good. A piece of baklava for desert finished off a transcendent meal.

They have an website they're in the process of putting together, you can access it here. Drina Daisy was quite a find for me. You can be assured, that the next time I'm in Astoria, I'm going to be eating there. 9/10.

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