Il Bambino: Panini Perfection
By Ilija Sekulovski
The restaurant itself isn’t huge – it’s not overly decadent. It’s simple, comfortable – and to the point. During the summer days, we love sitting in the back patio and enjoying the fresh air.
But that’s not what we’re here to talk about: you guys want to hear about the food.
The menu here has antipasti, insalata and tapas, crostinis, and of course, paninis. One of our favorites from the insalata and tapas category is the Fingerling Potato Salad – which is made with fingerling potatoes, truffle aioli, fried shallots, and clearly a good dose of pecorino.
The crostinis are great for when you’re craving something smaller – or when you want to try more than one. If you like fish – the tuna crostini is a great mix of soft and crunchy, and it’s pretty tasty. But hands down our favorite is the egg salad, smoked bacon, and spicy mayo. If you’re into food that has a little bit of a kick behind it – this crostini is amazing. The spicy mayo and egg salad work together perfectly – it’s like a notch up from the classic egg salad we’re used to. Actually, a few notches up. It’s great.
NOW LET’S TALK PANINIS. Oh gosh. Okay, sometimes paninis are too crunchy and they cut the top of your mouth – or sometimes they’re overgrilled and the bread doesn’t taste as amazing. But sometimes…sometimes they’re perfect. When you make enough paninis, you figure out exactly how long to press them, and Il Bambino pulls out a perfect panini every time.
If it’s your first time having a panini – first of all how have you gone this long without trying one!? And second of all – start with the classic. Fresh mozarella, tomato and basil pesto. It’s like a right of passage.
We really love the Avocado Panini – there’s roast chicken, mozarella, arugula, and spicy mayo in it (can you tell we love spicy mayo?). The avocado in it makes it perfectly smooth and creamy. A second favorite is the Chorizo – with spicy roast potatoes, scallions, Russian Dressing, and goat cheese. But our absolute favorite is out of this world. During brunch, there’s an amazing panini with pork – Gettin’ Piggy With It, and it’s absolutely heavenly.
34-08 31st Ave
Astoria, NY 11106