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Don Coqui in Astoria, Queens: Puerto Rican Cuisine
After so much hype in the Latino media about the opening of Don Coqui second location in Astoria, I decided to check out the place for myself. Don Coqui is owned by Jimmy Rodriguez and his daughters. The original location is in New Rochelle and I’ve heard that location is very happening place but never been because is not accessible unless you drive!For those who are not familiar with Jimmy, he previously owned Sofrito and Jimmy Bronx Café before former Mets player Carlos Beltran and JR Morales took it over.
I have to say the space in Astoria is MASSIVE! It takes almost a whole block. It’s divided into three areas. The first is a private dining area with its own entrance, second is a huge dance floor/lounge area which is shared with the main dining room. Live DJ is present Wed-Sat night after 10pm and it gets rocking. Crowd is pretty sexy too!
As for the FOOD! Yum!!! They literally took most of the menu of Sofrito and made it significantly tastier. My mom had ordered the house special which was a huge stuffed lobster with shrimp and lobster shreds with a side of mash yuca ($48). OMG, it was so freaking gooood and worth every damn dime! The dish tasted so original. This is the most expensive dish on the menu but if you can treat yourself, why not?For appetizer we ordered beef and vegetable empanadas.
We also ordered the following dishes: Mofongo with Shrimp ($19), T-Bone with Tostones ($34), Churrasco Steak and Shrimp served Pigeon Peas Rice ($36) and the Seafood Paella ($26). Listen to this Puerto Rican writing this, every dish we ordered was made like if it came directly from Puerto Rico! Very authentic! Done way better than any other PR restaurant in NY. They serve you like at home with exaggerated portions. Very easy to doggy bag it but the reality is that once you start biting into this, forget about it! You will attempt to finish it because it’s really that enjoyable.
For drinks we ordered two pitchers of white and red sangria ($40 each) and as expected very good. They should have added more fruit to give it a bit more flavor but all worth it.
As you can imagine, our tab was a bit hefty but affordable if you divided by five which was in ourcase. Our total came out to $344.10 which included a 20% gratuity charge. I’m alright with the added tip because this restaurant is busy and the waiters work very hard to provide good service. We wouldn’t want some cheap ass to ruin their day!
As for dress code, dress up a bit. The owners of Don Coqui invested a whole lot of money in the place. Don’t be tacky and dress down. If you want to dress down, then go to a Cuchifrito. Seriously!