30-09 34th St., nr. 30th Ave., Astoria 718-777-2570
As per the norm in the still-churning gastropub movement, the lighting at Sweet Afton is low, the décor rustic, the bricks exposed, and the overhead beams massive and wooden. What’s not so expected is its location: a former tobacconist’s around the corner from beauty-salon heaven in the heart of Astoria. The bar’s owners—who also run the West Village hot spot Wilfie & Nell—haven’t let their unflashy surroundings downgrade the high-end perks: The menu is graced with Pat La Frieda meat, Rollo Mio burger buns, and Riviera vegetables. There are eleven craft beers on tap, and the cocktail menu features a lip-smacking McClure’s-pickle martini ($9).