Snowdonia Brings Trappist-Style Gastropub to Astoria

By Jeanmarie Evelly on March 19, 2013 7:23am 

ASTORIA — A long-anticipated trappist-style gastropub is set to open its doors in Queens this spring and will feature a menu that's heavy on hops, with beer a key ingredient in almost all its dishes.

Snowdonia Pub is set to open at 34-55 32nd St. in May, with a style-inspired by the beer-brewing Trappist Monastaries of the Netherlands. It will offer an extensive craft beer menu, and the brews will be used in nearly all the food.

"The concept is that we're cooking with beer," said co-owner Carrie Spiller, an Astoria resident who is opening the eatery with her husband, Tom Davies, and their business partner Carlos Beltran, another Queens resident.

"At least 98 percent of the menu is going to be prepared with some of the beer that we're featuring."

Snowdonia was originally slated to open this past winter, but the original location fell through, Spiller said. The three owners recently signed the lease on the new 32nd Street space, which was formerly Lucas Steakhouse, and are starting renovations now with the goal of opening in early May.

"Thankfully, the restaurant was in really good shape. It's just a matter of making it ours," Spiller said, saying the site will a typical pub setup, with seating for both diners and drinkers.

"The feel that we want is kind of ski lodge-monastery," she said. "It's sounds like an odd mixture...[but] it's going to be a real comfortable place."

A finalized menu is still being hammered out, but Spiller said they plan to serve gastropub fare like a beer-based fish and chips and an Indian Pale Ale chicken entree. The new pub's chef is Will Lubold, formerly of 'inoteca on the Lower East Side.

"He really knows the flavors of the beer," Spiller said, saying beer suds be featured in almost all menu items "up to and including dessert."

"It's beer-centric," Spiller said, saying she and her husband both worked for years as bar managers for a Broadway theater chain. "I happen to be a beer person, and it's just amazing how much is out there."

Snowdonia will have 10 beers on tap and a number of others available in cans, plus a special menu of beer cocktails, Spiller said, in addition to some wine options a few high-quality bourbons.

"We're going to try and keep in simple," she said. "We're still fine-tuning what we're going to have. We don’t want people to have to think for 40 minutes with a three-page liquor menu."

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