Posts tagged restaurant

Venturo Osteria & Wine Bar in Sunnyside is now open, and the food is phenomenal…  From the same team that brought us Vesta Trattoria and Pachanga Patterson come some incredible new dishes.  Pictured: Roasted Beet & Mascarpone Pansotti, Stracchino Pizza (with roasted chantarelles, spinach pesto, & fried egg), The Torino cocktail (served with a sidecar bottle of San Bitter Rosso), Espresso Granita (shaved ice with homemade mascarpone and cacao nibs), and Toasted Almond Semifreddo (with fudge brownie, chocolate almond butter, & chocolate meringues). Tonight & tomorrow they are still in ‘soft opening’ from 6-9PM, but beginning Thursday they serve dinner from 5-10PM seven days a week.  44-07 Queens Blvd, Sunnyside, NY 11104.

The Thirsty Koala officially opens its doors later today at 4 p.m.  This unique, friendly, and delicious new restaurants fills in a gap previously untapped in Queens… Australian fare.  These herb-crusted lamb lollies (chops) over caramelized pumpkin join a line-up of unique crostini (with homemade chèvre), boomerang tacos, Aussie desserts (a Tim-Tam tiramisu), and other fresh bites (with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options, like the edamame chili above).  Welcome to the neighborhood, guys!  The Thirsty Koala * 35-12 Ditmars * 718-626-5430

Really enjoying the pomegranate touches on the small plates at Mezze Place—puree in the red lentil kofte and seeds in the tabouli. Mezze Place * 31-18 #E Broadway, Astoria * 718-777-2829 * www.mezzeplace.com

Stove remains one of Astoria’s best-kept secrets.  If you haven’t been in awhile, check out their new menu, featuring mesquite pork loin with frizzled onions and BBQ butter, honey five-spiced ribs with ginger slaw, and Chef Declan’s baked treats, like warm apple pie with creme anglaise.  Be sure to try their Sunday brunch, with Irish classics like corned beef hash.  Stove | 45-17 28th Ave, Astoria | http://www.stoveastoria.com

Recently really impressed with a terrific banh mi (Vietnamese ham, roasted ground pork, paté, pickled daikon, carrots, cilantro, cucumber, sriracha, & soy sauce) at Cyclo, the new Vietnamese restaurant in Long Island City.  They also serve a tasty beef pho in oxtail broth, as well as several other Vietnamese dishes… great lunch specials, too (banh mi with veggie soup for $6.50)… Cyclo * 5-51 47th Ave, Long Island City * http://www.cyclolic.com

The Queens Kickshaw introduces its brand new “egg-centric” brunch starting today!  Be sure to check out the outrageously inventive and delicious dishes, like these cold-poached eggs… an umami benedict with miso butter and pickled mustard seed “caviar” on cranberry walnut toast.  Brunch will be served Saturdays and Sundays from 9 to 4…  The Queens Kickshaw | 40-17 Broadway, Astoria | http://www.thequeenskickshaw.com/

The Queens Kickshaw introduces its brand new “egg-centric” brunch starting today!  Be sure to check out the outrageously inventive and delicious dishes, like these cold-poached eggs… an umami benedict with miso butter and pickled mustard seed “caviar” on cranberry walnut toast.  Brunch will be served Saturdays and Sundays from 9 to 4…  The Queens Kickshaw | 40-17 Broadway, Astoria | http://www.thequeenskickshaw.com/

Yesterday, Butcher Bar celebrated Greek Orthodox Easter by opening its backyard patio and grill.  Family, friends, and patrons gathered to enjoy two whole lambs slow roasted on a spit, as well as Butcher Bar favorites (like these decadently sticky, sweet, and tender burnt ends), bowls of traditional magiritsa (a fragrant dill avgolemono made with the offal of the lamb), and several rounds of tsougrisma, where friends attempt to crack one another’s red eggs… the final uncracked egg a promise for luck in the new year.  Butcher Bar, 37-08 30th Ave, Astoria; (718) 606-8140; http://www.butcherbar.com/

The Jumbo 32 oz. Bloody Mary at Bear is one of the best brunch cocktails I’ve found, made with organic vegetable and tomato juice, premium vodka, and crowned with marinated mushrooms, onions, capers, pickles, olives, hot peppers, a hard-boiled egg, and candied bacon. Bear, 12-14 31st Ave, Long Island City; (917) 396-4939; http://www.bearnyc.com/

The Jumbo 32 oz. Bloody Mary at Bear is one of the best brunch cocktails I’ve found, made with organic vegetable and tomato juice, premium vodka, and crowned with marinated mushrooms, onions, capers, pickles, olives, hot peppers, a hard-boiled egg, and candied bacon. Bear, 12-14 31st Ave, Long Island City; (917) 396-4939; http://www.bearnyc.com/

The edamame potstickers at JJ’s Asian Fusion are some of the best in the city—little dumplings filled with pureed edamame beans, draped in a wasabi cream sauce with a drizzle of basil-infused olive oil.  For some crazy flavor fireworks, the bonito tataki is ridiculously delicious—seared tuna with a garlic pomegranate soy reduction, lime zest, and paprika.  Or for fusion at its finest, try the ahi-apple napoleon—a terrine of crisp apple chips, guacamole, wasabi aioli, tomato-yuzu puree, ahi tuna, and chopped spicy tuna with Peruvian aji amarillo.  JJ’s Asian Fusion, 37-05 31st Ave., Astoria, NY 11103; (718) 626-8888; http://www.jjsfusion.com/

HinoMaru Ramen officially opened on Ditmars in Astoria this week, and I stopped by last night to check it out (here’s my post on GrubStreet).  It’s dinner service only until next week when lunch will start.  They offer eight regional ramen bowls with a whole list of add-ins (they’ll refill your broth with more noodles for $2 Kaedama), and pork buns, gyoza, donburi, and this refreshing watermelon salad with tomato, yuzu vinaigrette, and scallions. HinoMaru Ramen, 33-18 Ditmar Blvd., Astoria; (718) 777-0228

So I am a little obsessed with this crispy poached egg that comes on the pork belly cobb salad, as well as the benedict and brunch burger at William Hallet (named after Astoria’s original landowner in 1659).  They also make a delicious turducken (turkey, duck, & chicken) meatloaf sandwich with bourbon ketchup & bacon on a soft onion roll, as well as scotch quail eggs (wrapped in spicy lamb, beef, & merguez sausage — do you call that lambeefage?!?) with sweetbread remoulade. William Hallet, 36-20 30th Ave, Astoria; (718) 269-3443; http://www.williamhallet.com/

One of the best lunch specials in Astoria, Yajai Thai offers any curry (red, green, panang, massaman, or karee), noodle (pad thai, glass noodle, pad see-ew, singapore, egg noodle, or noodle soup), or fried rice with your choice of chicken, beef, tofu, or mixed vegetables for just $6.95 (which includes soup AND salad)… shrimp or calamari is $1 extra.  It’s a no-frills, cozy, dive restaurant with generous portions, silk flowers, and a warm staff.  The thai iced tea comes in a giant frosted mug.  Lunch special available from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays.  Yajai Thai, 33-16 30th Ave., Astoria; (718) 956-9559; http://yajaithaifood.com/

A rather impressive Indian lunch buffet is available daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $11.95 at Namaste, which opened a few weeks ago on 30th ave near the N/Q station.  Selections include vegetable samosas, paneer, pakoras, chicken tikka masala, biryani, tandoori chicken, and this fantastic lobster curry, with claw, knuckle, and tail meat stewed with mustard seeds, peppercorn, fresh red chilies, and coconut milk.  Naan is baked to order for the table.  Traditional desserts (not included) are delicious, like these Gulab Jamun, fried cheese spheres served warm in rosewater syrup. Namaste, 31-15 30th Ave., Astoria; (718) 626-2783