Queens Restaurants

December, 2013

Long Island City

Newest link in the M. Wells chain shines in LIC

They could have gone anywhere, after the adulation their previous ventures received, but Hugue Dufour and Sarah Obraitis stayed loyal to Queens. Comment

Celebrate Christmas the Italian way with seafood

The Feast of the Seven Fishes (festa dei sette pesci), celebrated on Christmas Eve and also known as The Vigil (La Vigilia), is believed to have originated in southern Italy. Comment

Japanese noodles star of Astoria eatery’s menu

If you ever visit Japan, unless you’re part of the 1 percent, you will probably eat a lot of ramen. It may be the only thing you can afford to eat there. It’s Japan’s most beloved restaurant comfort food. In the last few years, a sort of ramen craze has taken hold in New York, and ramen places have popping up like hidden charges on a phone bill. Comment

November, 2013

Long Island City

LIC restaurant group to host tasting party

The Long Island City Restaurant Association is less than a month old and the owners involved are already working on their first event. Comments (2)
Long Island City

M. Wells Steakhouse makes its return to Long Island City

The long-awaited opening of M. Wells Steakhouse in Long Island City took place when owner Hugue Dufour invited friends, family and associates to dinner seatings Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Comment
Long Island City

Astoria trio take invention to Caribbean

The breakout stars of the LIC Flea’s inaugural season were front and center all along. Ice Riders NYC, three transplanted Southerners now living in Astoria, saw their business explode thanks to a unique invention and a prime spot at the flea market that closed for the season last Sunday. Comment

Adventures in dining at Astoria’s Loukoumi Taverna

I recently dined with the Gastronauts at Loukoumi Taverna in Astoria. The Gastronauts are a loose association of adventurous eaters who come together more or less monthly to share the pleasures of dining on food with an off-the-charts “ee-eew” factor, lubricated with plenty of wine and beer. Comment

Sunnyside to hold its first Restaurant Week

The experimental art group No Longer Empty will return to Queens and be part of the first Sunnyside Restaurant Week beginning Monday. Comment

October, 2013

Jackson Heights

El Chivito D’Oro serves Uruguayan cuisine well done

Always on the lookout for a new cuisine to sample, I was intrigued when a friend with connections to South America raved over El Chivito D’Oro, a restaurant which he described as a Uruguayan steak house. Comments (1)

Flushing shop dishes out SiChuan cuisine

Flushing is awash in Chinese restaurants, but on closer inspection many eateries, like Cheng Du Tian Fu, pay homage to the enormous country’s specific regions and cuisines, which can vary widely. Comment

Astoria’s Mar’s offers out-of-this-world cuisine

Aaaaarrrr. No, it’s not the punch line of a pirate joke, but the letter that must be found in the name of a month in which it’s safe to eat oysters. While that bit of folk wisdom is not necessarily true, it’s as good a reason as any to hit an oyster bar in September (or October or November, and so on). Mar’s, a newish Astoria watering hole offering mollusks and crustaceans, was our target. Comment

September, 2013

South Richmond Hill

Patrons dine like royalty at Veggie Castle

The restaurant business has always been part of Alex Bernard’s life. Comments (2)

Maspeth Italian eatery reintroduces chef to SW Queens

We used to have a favorite Italian restaurant, tucked away in an obscure part of Glendale. La Tavernetta had everything — great food, modest prices and warm hospitality. It had the added cachet of being far enough off the beaten track that you had to know about it to know about it. Comments (1)

Whitestone chef stirs up Food Network show

Whitestone resident Alessandra Ciuffo has spent nearly a decade in the kitchen honing her culinary skills. Comment

Startup bakery biz dishes Dixieland desserts

Southern-style sweet treats make any event orders of magnitude better, but nothing is as sweet as kicking up your feet and letting someone else sweat it out in the kitchen. Comment

Corona cart vendor nominated for culinary prize

For the past 26 years, Maria Teresa Crespo has been dishing up Ecuadorian specialities from a street corner in Corona, and she was recently recognized for her tasty treats as part of an annual food truck competition. Comment

August, 2013


A Calabrian fantasyland located right in Corona

It’s hard to say which is more impressive at Cucino A Modo Mio in Corona, the Calabrian-style Italian food or the site specific folk art installation that passes for decor here. It’s kitschy and wonderful, or maybe wonderfully kitschy. Comment

Flushing tofu competition shows diversity of veggie staple

It was a battle of the bean curds. Comment

Dragon Boat Festival: Culinary delights from past and present come together

The Dragon Boat Festival is a rite of the Chinese holiday, the Fifth Moon Festival. Celebrated throughout Asia, it is also known as the Double Fifth, Tuen Ng in Cantonese, or Duānwǔ Jié in Mandarin. Comment

Dragon Boat Festival Recipe: Savor zongzi in honor of dragon boat races

Spoon: Chinese porcelain soup spoon; large pot Comment

Dragon Boat Festival Recipe: Craft dragon rolls for festivities

The dragon roll is a thick sushi roll of eel and cucumber covered with thinly sliced avocado. Comment

July, 2013


CityRib fills sit-down dining void in Jamaica

Walk past the Italian Renaissance-style facade of the old Queens Family Courthouse around Happy Hour, and you’re likely to view a scene downtown Jamaica has been waiting on for some time. Comments (1)

MP Taverna brings Mediterranean to Astoria

MP Taverna has replaced Mezzo-Mezzo on Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria. When initials are presumed to produce recognition it’s a clue that the restaurateur has achieved celebrity chefdom. In this case, the media darling is Michael Psilakis, a winner of culinary awards, a TV personality and a cookbook author. The Astoria location is the latest addition to his restaurant empire consisting of three places in Manhattan, one in Westchester and one in Roslyn. The MP moniker seems to be reserved for restaurants outside of Manhattan. Comment
Forest Hills

Forest Hills moviehouse gets makeover

Business is heating up for the newest Buffalo Wild Wings in New York City. Comment

La Rioja serves up flavors of Spain in Queens

Jose Rodriguez, a native Spaniard from that country’s Galicia region, imported all the right ingredients to make an authentic Spanish restaurant in the center of Astoria. Comment
St. Albans

Sample the best of Jamaica at Jerk Festival

Jamaica celebrates everything musical, edible and traditional from its Caribbean namesake this Sunday at the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival in Roy Wilkins Park. Comment

Visit Ho Chi Min City by way of Ridgewood, Queens

We would be hard-pressed to find a more unlikely or inhospitable spot to open an eatery than the stretch of Metropolitan Avenue, near Queen’s western frontier, where Bunker has hunkered down. It’s across from a junk yard and next to a sewage treatment plant. Yet inaccessibility may actually work in Bunker’s favor. Comment

Flushing chef whips up top prize in cooking competition

This past spring, Flushing resident Alexis Chamoff received the American Culinary Federation’s Northeast Region Student Chef of the Year Award. Chamoff, who recently graduated from SUNY Delhi with a degree in culinary-arts management, heads to Las Vegas next month to compete in the national championship. Comment

June, 2013


LIC shop uniquely caters to your sweet tooth

Everyone knows the zombie apocalypse is coming, but how many preppers’ survival kits include chocolate-covered jalapenos? Comment
Jackson Heights

Alchemy: Jx Hts joint turns meat into culinary gold

When we heard that Queens’ own BBQ luminary Robbie Richter had his farewell party at Alchemy, Texas BBQ in Jackson Heights before heading for the Coast, we knew we had to check this place out. Comment
Rego Park

Ben’s Best Deli names matzo dish for Baysider who won spelling bee

It won him the Scripps National Spelling Bee title, and now Bayside’s own Arvind Mahankali and the “knaidel,” the Yiddish word for matzo ball, will forever be linked after a Rego Park deli named a special version of the dish for the whiz kid. Comment

Parks concession prepares for new beginning in Bayside

Another restaurant operated by the city Parks Department on the site once occupied by Caffe on the Green should open under a new name later this month, management said. Comments (1)

Flushing Food Festival features neighborhood’s best nosh

The Flushing Food Festival’s first year going public was so successful that the 450 lucky ticket holders devoured the entire stockpile of curries, noodles, sandwiches and sushi before the event was scheduled to close last Saturday. Comment

Smokin’ Aces bistro replaces Strawberry’s

For months, head chef Brian Tolisano has had to tell passers-by when Smokin’ Aces would open its doors to Douglaston. Comments (1)

May, 2013


Qns greenmarkets see rise in food stamp customers

Greenmarkets sales to food stamp users rose by 30 percent in the past year in what City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) called proof that “all New Yorkers will buy health foods when given the opportunity.” Comment
Murray Hill

Head up to Murray Hill for Korean-style BBQ pork

When we invited our friends to dine with us at a Korean restaurant in Murray Hill, they wondered when Manhattan became our beat. Of course, we didn’t mean that Murray Hill. The one we were talking about is a section of Flushing that extends approximately from Union Street to Francis Lewis Boulevard for several blocks north and south of Northern Boulevard. Comment

Sample everything the borough has to offer

Queens’ vast dining options will be on full display next week at the annual Taste of Queens celebration. Taking place at Citi Field’s Caesars Club on Tuesday, May 14, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m, the event brings together almost 50 restaurants from across the borough, offering eats as diverse as Queens itself. Comments (1)

April, 2013

Forest Hills

Forest Hills’ My Kitchen cooks up new Italian fare

Long time Forest Hillsians might remember the original My Kitchen from the ‘80s, when it was a popular Austin Street eatery. After disappearing from the scene for over a decade, it re-emerged on Metropolitan Avenue in a spiffy new space with a restaurant and a party room. It started off with great promise, but gradually entered a state of inexorable decline. Comment

Eatery impresses with unique array of food and drinks

The power and majesty of a great sandwich is undeniable. Loaded with fresh ingredients and handled with care, a truly remarkable sandwich melds together tastes from across the flavor palate into one cohesive mouthful. Comments (1)

Gluten-free Dessert Tasting

Rudy’s Pastry Shop in Ridgewood will host a gluten-free dessert tasting for $15, which includes five pastries and a cup of coffee. Comment

Sample all the flavors of Ridgewood

What do James Cagney, Harry Houdini and Rosie Perez have in common? Well, at one time they all lived in Ridgewood. Comment

Allergic to Salad presents cooking class with Vesta chefs

Allergic to Salad, an organization devoted to changing the minds of children who refuse to eat greens, will be hosting a series of free cooking classes for children of ages 5-12. Comment
Long Island City

Bear: Nouvelle European restaurant charms in LIC

We were thinking about going to the Bear, in Long Island City, for Valentine’s Day, but other obligations got in the way. Our instincts were validated, though, because this is a very romantic place. Comment

March, 2013


Patrizia’s of Bayside undergoes another change in management

The city Parks Department announced a change in ownership for Patrizia’s of Bayside after the Italian eatery cut back its operations to only providing catering services earlier this year but now has a reopening date about two months away. Comments (1)

Tasty Nepalese fare offers new culinary adventure

Who knew that just a quick fixed-gear bike ride away from the hipster heartland, a Nepali community has been thriving? We made this discovery during a visit to the Nepali Indian Restaurant on Seneca Avenue in Ridgewood. There may be a more visible Nepali presence in the Jackson Heights/Woodside area, but a burgeoning number of Nepalis call Ridgewood home. Comment

February, 2013


Are Food Carts Fair?

In the past year there has been an explosion in the number of food carts in Queens and the other outerboroughs. These carts are nothing new in Manhattan, but in Queens they are beginning to ruffle some feathers. Comment
Jackson Heights

Jax Heights tour guide honors nabe’s best halal cart

To their surprise and confusion, a vendy operating at 74th Street near 37th Avenue received a lamb-topped trophy last week for being the best halal food cart in the Roosevelt Avenue area of Jackson Heights. Comment

Chili creators face off during Whitestone competition

Ten teams prepared their most savory chili and battled for votes during a recent chili cook-off at Grace Episcopal Church in Whitestone. Comment

Lake Pavilion: Haute Cantonese cuisine in Flushing

The only things that the much-mourned Palace Diner had in common with its replacement were an encyclopedic menu, lighting adequate to read the change of terms insert in your credit card statement, and plenty of glitz. It’s Cantonese, but not your parents’ Cantonese, unless, in fact, your parents happen to be Cantonese. Lake Pavilion emphasizes some of the haute cuisine of Cantonese dishes, catering to folks who know from Chinese food. Comment

January, 2013


Pub grub haven lives on as Woodside pair purchase bar

A pub food institution in Woodside will keep serving hearty cuisine after a pair of neighborhood guys bought the restaurant from the outgoing owner. Comment

Takesushi: Rare Japanese cuisine shines in Sunnyside

Compared to the former occupants, nothing seemed scary about Takesushi, a Japanese restaurant taking over the space previously occupied by Transylvania, a Romanian one. No more cheesy vampire jokes. Then we scanned the menu at Takesushi and saw FUGU!!! That’s something scary for real—a fish that can kill you if not properly prepared. The organs of fugu, aka puffer fish or blowfish, contain a potentially lethal poison, tetrodotoxin, which must be removed by an expert to prevent dire consequences. Comment

Patrizia’s pivots business to only catering parties

After a change in identity and ownership less than six months ago, a Bayside restaurant has closed its lunch and dinner offerings, the city Parks Department said. Comments (2)


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