Vesta has long been lauded for its year-round, locally sourced, seasonal menu, so it is no surprise that this summer’s offerings are fresh, delicious, and an absolutely perfect accompaniment as temperatures creep higher and higher. We stopped in this past Sunday evening, grabbed our favorite seats at the bar, and with the sun still high in the sky, embarked on a perfect summer meal.
First up were the Steamed PEI Mussels, an ample bowlful for $10, dressed with spring onion and parsley. A light, savory white wine broth proved an excellent bath for the mollusks and we eagerly soaked it up with slabs of hearty bread.
The always friendly staff at Vesta let us know that the Chilled Watermelon Gazpacho, on special that night and throughout the summer, was not to be missed. This soup was an excellent surprise, in part because it is 100% vegan – I’ve been having a lot of great vegan dishes lately, check out also the Roasted Mushroom and Cauliflower Sandwich at Blissville Kitchen. But back to the soup at hand, this dish blended watermelon, pecans, breadcrumbs and olive oil drizzle, into a stunning soup. Sunken sliced grapes bobbed about, adding whimsy and enhancing the outdoor picnic on a hot day in July vibe of the dish.
Next up, we ordered a menu staple and old favorite, the Margherita Pizza. Served on Vesta’s signature cracker crisp and thin pizza crust, with ample bright, tart tomato sauce, this pizza always tastes brand new to me in the summer, even though I’ve ordered it dozens of times over the years.
Last, and most surprising, we ordered and adored the crisp sugar snap peas, brown butter yogurt and candied pignoli nuts. For those of you missing the signature brussels sprouts on the menu at Vesta during the colder seasons, look no further for your new vegetable side dish obsession. That’s right, you heard it here first, snap peas are the new brussels sprouts. Now get to Vesta, try all these dishes, and have an awesome summer Astoria!
Vesta – 21-02 30th Ave, Astoria