Astoria is home to some serious movie magic. Productions like Sesame Street, Orange is the New Black, Nurse Jackie, and Blue Bloods, have all been created right here at Kaufman Astoria Studios. Maybe you’ve heard of the studio itself, but if you haven’t visited George’s restaurant next door at 35-11 35th Ave you’re missing out!
George’s at Kaufman Astoria Studios is a national landmark that contains an expansive history. The campus was founded by Adolph Zukor and Jesse Laskey and later became home to Paramount Pictures. Within their twenty-year residence over 120 silent films and “talkies” were produced on site.
In WW2, the establishment was taken over by the US Army and became a top-secret base which produced every moving image seen by the armed forces until the ’70s. The studio remained in disuse until what we now know as The Museum of the Moving Image, reopened the stages for a 1977 production of “The Wiz”.
However, it was in 1980, that George S. Kaufman would be recruited to renovate and expand the national landmark, thus reviving the neighborhood with it.
Today, George’s restaurant has a beautiful dining room with original marble tiles. The newspaper style menu offers meals inspired by movie stars favorite dishes like Gloria Swanson’s veggie plate and Groucho Marx’s clam chowder.
If you happen to go to George’s be sure to try their beef tartar as an appetizer. This unbelievable blend is made of diced filet mignon and topped with a scotch egg.
Drinks at George’s are made by their talented bartender Jamie.
She served us up two of George’s most popular drinks. “George’s”, a fusion of George Kaufman’s two favorite things: scotch and cookies. This drink blends scotch and Frangelico for a new spin on a “Godfather” style cocktail. The next drink we tried was the aptly named, “Marx Brother’s Mezcal” which brought together mezcal, mango, jalapeno, and grapefruit bitters.
For dinner, try Georges famous six-foot long Valentino pasta. This dish is made tableside and is made up of fresh spaghetti, Italian sausage, mushrooms and Valentino’s own tomato sauce recipe.