Bottomless and outdoors are two words that, when combined, always cause a stir. Keep your pants on — we aren’t suggesting dropping your trousers. We are talking about the new bottomless brunch at Mojave on 31st Street near Ditmars.
The recently renovated space features a fantastic new bar stretching a majestic span up by the front windows, which is the source of mimosas, Bloody Marys, sangrias and margaritas that can flow endlessly for an hour and a half of your choosing on the weekends between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Step beyond the bar and the expansive candlelit dining room, wave at the chef as you pass the kitchen, and get ready for one of the most beautiful and spacious gated patios in the neighborhood. Seating is available in the thatched hut shade, or gulp up your Vitamin D direct from the source. On a sunny day alongside the water fountain, the drinks and the decor will transport you to a south-of-the-border getaway, but the real gems are the plates that come from the kitchen.
Guacamole is prepared en molcajete, but you can add lumps of crabmeat or even tiny bits of diced mango, pineapple and habanero.
Or choose your egg-zact favorite preparation of uovo, with the crab benedict, huevos rancheros, or the hash brown benedict — which arrives swimming in sweet tomatillo and crowned with a dash of avocado and mango relish.
Service is exceptional, and drinks are refilled often without request. You can order a single cocktail for $16.95, or endless drinks for $27.95, both of which include coffee or tea.
The dining experience beyond brunch is certainly no less of a fiesta, beginning with an order of tequila-infused queso fundido. Sizzling skillets of bubbling cheese are laced with crabmeat, chorizo, or spinach and mushrooms. Homemade empanadas are available in everything but the typical combinations, like the roasted plantain with a trio of cheeses and black beans.
Tacos teeter on the unique end of the spectrum as well, with blue-corn-crusted fried oysters stealing the spotlight, brightened with a pina salsa and chipotle crema. The pasilla chili-braised short rib taco with queso Oaxaca and pico de gallo is a close second.
The dinner entrees are where Mojave shines the brightest, from the mole-kissed duck enchiladas topped with cactus and tequila cream to the ridiculously tender beer-braised short ribs and the yellow mole-blanketed salmon served with roasted corn mash. My go-to favorite, which has endured several menu changes, is the playfully delicious shepherd’s pie. Corkscrew spirals of cavatapi are tossed in a spicy blend of tender pork and medallions of beef that have been braised in wine, and layered with golden crusted jack cheese.
But do not forget the Serranito Burger. Ten ounces of grilled sirloin is stuffed with Gorgonzola cheese, serrano peppers, cilantro and chihuahua cheese, all garnished with lettuce, tomato and a rich Gorgonzola cream.
Now that is the kind of fiesta that is usually followed by a sweet siesta.
Mojave Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar
22-36 31st St., Astoria
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