Queens Restaurants

December, 2012

Kew Gardens

Roka: Kew Gardens welcomes big Turkish tastes

Last spring I was all excited that a Turkish restaurant had opened up on Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills. I was impressed, in more or less equal parts, by the quality of the food, and by the fact that there was a new cuisine in this rather Italian-heavy stretch of geography. As often happens in the restaurant business, the relationship between the two partners began to fray. Eventually Annette Dulger broke away to found a new Turkish restaurant Roka, less than a quarter of a mile west on Metropolitan Avenue in Kew Gardens. Comment

Tip of the week

Long Island City

Casa Enrique: Unfamiliar Mexican tastes in LIC

We couldn’t be more delighted that Long Island City newcomer Casa Enrique is offering its patrons a new take on Mexican food. Chef Cosme Aguila includes recipes from Chiapas, Puebla and San Luis Potosi regions that set this eatery apart from usual Mexican establishments. These influences make for a lighter and brighter Mexican. Comment

November, 2012


Local pizzeria shares its wares

Due to the power shortage, there was a pizzeria, at 1300 Jericho Tnpk. in New Hyde Park, called Jessie’s Fireshack and Pizzeria that gave pizza and food to shelters and people in need around the neighborhood. Comment
Jamaica Hills

Tietz celebrates opening of fully kosher kitchen

The cafeteria at Margaret Tietz’s Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was packed with hungry people late last month as staff members, elected officials, rabbis and other community revelers gathered for the grand opening of the facility’s now completely kosher kitchen. Comment

HinoMaru Ramen: Astoria’s new Japanese gem

Enthusiastic shouts of “Irasshaimase” by the young, attractive staff, welcomed us to HinoMaru Ramen, a newish Japanese noodle restaurant in Astoria. The greeting transported us back to our visit to the Land Of The Rising Sun a few years ago. In Japan, you will hear that greeting over and over, at high decibel levels, at almost every retail establishment you enter. You will probably also eat a lot of noodles, as ramen joints are both ubiquitous and affordable there. Comment

October, 2012


Tip of the week


Turn your kitchen into a bazaar

If you love to watch cooking shows, why not do it up close and personal at the Turkish Cultural Center Queens? Turkish cooking classes, a project of the TCCCQ Womens’ Association headed by Deniz Ozbudak, are held there monthly on the second Wednesday. Comment
Forest Hills

Jack and Nellie’s: A Forest Hills hint of Europe

We had been circling, watching attentively for signs of life, ever since their sign went up in midsummer. The sign with simple white all-cap lettering on a black background announcing Jack & Nellie’s implied the aesthetic of either a steak joint, or a traditional pub. We were wrong on both counts. Aaarrr, begorra, ‘tis a wine bar. A tapas bar. An ooneria. An enoteca. A gastropub. It’s all of those things, owned and run by Cyril Burke, a nice Irish boy from County Wicklow. Comment

Japanese cuisine with a side of American

Japanese restaurants are a common sight on Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria, but Aji Sushi House serves dishes from the Land of the Rising Sun with an American twist. Comments (1)
Long Island City

No horse meat at M. Wells

Sarah Obraitis, half of the team behind the much-mourned French-Quebecois diner M. Wells, is furious over a controversy spurred after she and husband Hugue Dufor had considered adding horse meat dishes to their new spot at art institution MoMA PS1. Comments (1)
Kew Gardens

Popular staples join Queens Restaurant Week

Local epicures and other connoisseurs of fine cuisine will want to take note: Queens’ ninth annual Restaurant Week will commence this year from Oct. 8-11 and Oct. 15-18, featuring more than 100 local restaurants in more than 30 neighborhoods across the borough. The majority of eateries will offer three-course, prix fixe meals for $25 but specials may vary. Comment

September, 2012


Cana: Bayside’s Korean answer to home cooking

Who doesn’t love mom’s home cooking? If your mom happens to be Korean, you can refresh your childhood memories at Cana, a cozy Korean eatery occupying a quiet corner in a mostly residential part of Bayside. Comment
Jamaica Hills

Jamaica nursing center kitchen goes completely kosher

The Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, a facility that originally started to accommodate Holocaust survivors, has recently opened a completely kosher kitchen. Comment
East Elmhurst

El Picante: A Bolivian adventure in E. Elmhurst

Bolivian expats in Queens number only a fraction of those from neighboring countries. That is reflected in the small number (perhaps three?) restaurants in the borough specializing in Bolivian cuisine compared to that of Peru or Ecuador. Elizabeth Murphy, a friend of mine of Bolivian (on her mother’s side) descent had been rhapsodizing about her native delicacies for years. When I learned of El Picante in East Elmhurst, I asked her to guide me through an exploration of the joys of Bolivian food. Comment

August, 2012


L’Artiste: A mixed French experience in Astoria

First impressions do matter, and host Youssef Echyabi at L’Artiste in Astoria blew it big time. He greeted us in a T-shirt emblazoned with a witticism that included the “f-word.” We know that formality may be a thing of the past, but we don’t think that dress down needs to go that far down. We had a child in our party and that wasn’t something he needed to see. To add insult to injury, a female member of our party arrived early, and was not offered so much as a glass of water, let alone a cocktail while she waited. Comments (2)
Budget Bites

Rose’s ravioli pizza is a knockout

Cheap eats in Queens can boast an international flair not found in many other places. The frugal forager can experience cuisine from around the world without leaving the borough or draining the bank account. Comment

A Better Solution

City Councilman Leroy Comrie has taken on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on soft drinks of more than 16 ounces. He’s right when he says there ought to be a more effective way to limit the amount of calories children consume. Comment

Flushing Food Fest hosts best Asian fare

Flushing is a food haven like no other in the city, and some of the neighborhood’s best restaurants gathered to form the ultimate feast Friday at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel. Comment

July, 2012


Golden Piggy: Authentic Korean BBQ in Bayside

The thing about Korean cuisine is that the more you delve, the more rewards you’re likely to find. Comment
Budget Bites

TimesLedger announces new food blog: Budget Bites

Queens has the best restaurants in the city. There. We said it. Comment
Budget Bites

TimesLedger announces new food blog: Budget Bites

Queens has the best restaurants in the city. There. We said it. Comment
Budget Bites

Sample delicious dumplings in Flushing for under $10

At Jie Jie Sheng, a no-frills Union Street dumpling shop, they let the food do the talking. Comment

Reminisce about Bayside nightlife

A Bell Boulevard reunion is scheduled for July 21, where patrons, bartenders, workers and anyone else with fond memories of Bayside nightlife from the late 1960s can gather to remember a simpler time. Comment

Gregory’s 26 Taverna: A skilled grill in Astoria

When current events draw our attention to a particular geographic location, our gut reaction (literally) is to start contemplating the native cuisine. While others might be obsessing over the financial or political implications of Greece’s economic woes, we start wondering whether they will increase the number of Greek émigrés to Queens, and what effect that will have on the number and quality of Greek restaurants in Queens. Comment

June, 2012


Patrizia’s Italian eatery replaces Valentino’s on Green in Bayside

A Bayside restaurant known for its classy approach to dining has changed hands and its name in exchange for a more affordable alternative. Comments (4)
Forest Hills

Court orders Sizzler to pay assault victim

A Forest Hills Sizzler has been ordered to pay $25,000 to a transgender woman after a court ruled that staff and diners had attacked her because of her sexual orientation during an incident in September 2010. Comment
Bayside BKNY

Big Thailand taste by way of Bayside

BKNY Thai looks less like a quality restaurant, than it does a slightly disreputable nightclub. The view from the parking lot is overseen by a colorful graffiti-style mural of Bangkok. The dim, cavernous interior is dominated by a large u-shaped bar with plenty of large TVs. We came early, and wondered when the real party animals arrive. Comments (1)

When great food minds unite in Astoria

When it comes to pairing Mexican food and American barbecue, the owners of Astoria’s MexiBBQ say there is more to the combination than Tex-Mex. Comment
Jackson Heights

Queens’ tastemaster leads Fiesta Crawl

Tasting tours, and other culinary events are more of a calling than a business proposition to Jeff Orlick. Comment
Long Island City

Fusing food, flare and comfort

Good food brings people together, and knowing how to cook well is a true talent. Comment

May, 2012

Fresh Meadows

Turquoise Kosher: A Fresh Meadows fish flop

Kosher restaurants fall into two absolutely separate categories: those that serve meat, and those that don’t. Virtually all New Yorkers have at least a passing acquaintance with kosher-style meats like corned beef and pastrami, and outside of New York, restaurants will even refer to those delicacies as “New York-style.” Comments (1)

Sunnyside baker wins $10K on ‘Sweet Genius’ show

Sunnyside resident Angela Cuervo became a baker after watching a cooking show when she was 19. Six years later, she won one. Comment

Job market heats up at new Jamaica BBQ

City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) is lending a helping hand to a Queens restaurateur who is bringing some Southern barbecue flavor to Jamaica via Springfield Gardens and Afghanistan. Comment

Woodside Café: An exotic slice of Nepali cuisine

Where but Queens would you see a restaurant touting “Italian ·American · Nepali · Indian Food”? On Broadway in Woodside, just such a sign caught my eye at the Woodside Café Bar and Restaurant. Our curiosity was piqued, only to find out that they’ve thrown in the towel on Italian food while pizza, promoted by a “2 slices and a can of soda for $3” sign in the window is also on its way out. And the word “bar” in the name is a cruel joke, as they don’t serve alcohol. What they do serve is the cuisine of the Newari, an Comment

Italian oasis in Flushing offers variety

There are hundreds of restaurants in Flushing serving up cuisines from all across Asia, but unbeknownst to many, a Sicilian family has been serving expertly prepared Italian food for years tucked away on a quiet downtown side street. Comments (2)

April, 2012

Richmond Hill

Queens Sikhs need to feed

Cooking for 50,000 people takes time — and a lot of volunteers. Comment
St. Albans

Healthy demand for fresh produce grows in St. Albans

Long after St. Albans’ farms were developed into the homes of the neighborhood’s legendary jazz greats, the demand for fresh food still exists. Comment
Forest Hills

Taci’s: Quality Turkish cuisine in Forest Hills

When Taci’s sign went up last summer on Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills heralding the arrival of a Turkish restaurant, we were positively salivating. We knew of the highly regarded Brooklyn establishment similarly named Taci’s Beyti and hoped for a clone. What we got about two weeks ago was, if not a clone, a spin-off. Comments (1)
Jamaica Estates

Blaze ends Cooking with Jazz for Queens chef

A unique eatery pairing music and food will play its last chord and boil its last crawfish April 22 after the owner decided the stress was not worth the cost. Comment
St. Albans

Head-chef-turned owner offers soul food in St. Albans

After 16 years, her name is finally out front. Comment
Forest Hills

Hospital wins culinary prize

Hospital food usually gets a bad rap, but chefs from 11 North Shore-LIJ hospitals set out to change that perception by competing in the health system’s first-ever cooking challenge — and Forest Hills Hospital prepared a first-place gourmet meal. Comment

March, 2012


L.I. farmer talks produce to Flushing group

The Flushing Community Supported Agriculture Group hosted a green thumb from Long Island last Saturday who might be making the trek to Queens on a regular basis. Comment

Satisfy that Korean snack craving in Flushing

One of our guilty pleasures is watching food-themed Korean melodramas. Their plots combine cheesy, but chaste romance with food porn. Comments (1)
Hollis Hills

Hollis Hills pizzeria serves upper-crust pies

For more than a decade, a Hollis Hills pizzeria has been serving meals that are affordable and decidedly gourmet — and they come by the slice. Comment

Bayside steakhouse owner hits the road to stardom

Bayside’s most avuncular steakhouse owner will be dishing out his particular brand of tough advice to restaurateurs across the country for a new television show. Comments (2)

Thymari: Not a typical Astoria Greek restaurant

Denizens of Astoria’s Greek restaurants have come to expect a certain repertoire. A selection of garlicky dips, salads with feta, grilled seafood, a lamb dish or two, maybe moussaka are all tasty if done well, but predictable. Comment

Flushing eatery cooks unreal shark fin soup

State legislation that could ban the sale of shark fins used in traditional Chinese soup is either bad for business, good for the environment or just not a big deal depending on who you talk to, but one Flushing restaurant has a recipe to serve the dish legally even if it is outlawed. Comments (3)

February, 2012


Bayside restaurant sets the table for young culinarians

On Saturdays, chef Grace Lupo offers classes at her Bayside restaurant where she teaches her adult students how to prepare authentic Italian cuisine, but once a month the kitchen at L’Italiano Trattoria fills with a younger crowd, and the recipes become a bit more basic. Comment

Flushing set to receive organic produce supplier

Flushing foodies and locavores rejoice: The neighborhood is getting its own Community Supported Agriculture group. Comment
Dining Out

Alobar: A bit of ‘Portlandia’ in Long Island City

Get over your Brooklyn envy. Locavore artisanal restaurants, passionate about their food and drink, are popping up around western Queens like fungi after a rainy spring. Not only that, but they’ve breached the final barrier to restaurant wonderfulness: service. We’ve previously lamented, usually to ourselves, the undeniable resemblance of Queens’ wait staff to extras on “Jersey Shore.” Happily, that stereotype seems to have given way to the Inner Borough’s tendency to hire savvy aspirants to the arts waiting for their big break. At least thatR Comments (2)

Taste of Bayside brings savory samples to Bell Blvd.

Sensuous flavors, enticing aromas and a jovial atmosphere combined to transform the ballroom at the Adria Hotel last week into one of the most eclectic restaurants in town at this year’s Taste of Bayside. Comment

Boro residents must show support for local diners

It is a sad day for all Queens residents with the closing of both the Gold Star Diner in Bayside and the Palace Diner in Flushing (“Gold Star Diner shuts its doors after being sold,” Bayside Times, Dec. 29, 2011-Jan. 4, 2012). Comment

January, 2012


Taste of Bayside welcomes food lovers this week

The Taste of Bayside will give patrons the opportunity this Wednesday to sample a smorgasbord of eastern Queens’ flavors in a convenient setting. Comment

Hunan Kitchen: Grand Sichuan taste in Flushing

Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan may not be for everyone, but if you’re not put off by intense spiciness, offal on the menu, an abundance of oil, or picking meat or fish off the bone, the food here is fantastic. Consider yourself warned. Comments (1)
Jackson Heights

New city permit process gave Elmhurst restaurant early start

Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited a new Elmhurst restaurant, Tacos Tulcingo, Tuesday to announce the success of the city’s New Business Acceleration Team, which has allowed restaurants to open 72 days earlier than before. Comment

Sample a Taste of Bayside

Offering patrons the opportunity to sample a smorgasbord of eastern Queens’ flavors in a convenient setting, Taste of Bayside will return Jan 25. Comment
Dishing with Dee

Old year ends on sad note with closing of Palace Diner

Happy New Year to everyone! We hope 2012 is one of the best-ever new years for you. Don’t make too many resolutions, as we all know that even with the best of intentions they are hard to keep after the first few weeks. Comment


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