Over the weekend, Grub Street celebrated the harmony between old and new when it comes to eating in Ridgewood. Despite the artist spillover from Bushwick and new hip arrivals like Bunker (Vietnamese) and Houdini’s Kitchen Labratory (wood-fired pizza), the neighborhood also boasts old-time establishments still dishing out excellent food. The food blog compiled a list of both old and new spots — 17 in total — to check out. They include Catania Bakery, where you should try the cannoli cream, the new American restaurant Ltauha, popular bakery/cafe Norma’s, the 90-year-old taproom and banquet hall Gottscheer Hall (pictured), and Rosa’s Pizza & Pasta, known for its Sicilian and Grandma pies.
Tonight from 7 to 10 pm, the Queens Museum is hosting This Ain’t Havana: Paladar in Queens. It’s a food/art/architecture collaboration by the artist Craig Shillitto and the Museum’s Cuban architects-in-residence Yoandy Rizo Fiallo and Osmany García Fuentes. Here’s what to look forward to: attendees will get to try a variety of Caribbean, Central and South American barbecue for free. Here are event details from the website:
Bringing together Queens pit and grill masters from an array of Latin American barbecue traditions, ‘This Ain’t Havana’ uses their small dishes as a symbolic journey throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America. Guests will gather at a ‘migrating’ table that during the course of the installation will be simultaneously added to and deconstructed, its materials being used to fuel the BBQ that is providing the evening’s fare. With food, drink, and fire, this participatory art project has something for everyone.
Sounds like our kind of thing. While the event is free, you must RSVP. You can do that here.
Yesterday, the folks behind the restaurant Mundo posted the above photo to their Facebook account. It’s a very promising glimpse of their new space at the Paper Factory Hotel; the popular restaurant is relocating from Astoria. The blog We Heart LIC has tracked the opening with anticipation, and posted this video interview with the owners back in May.
The restaurant should open in the hotel this summer. Here are some details about the food, from the website: “Mundo’s menu highlights the best of earthy Mediterranean and unique global flavors with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients from local vendors and farms, and homemade dishes.” Mundo is especially known for its Red Sonja, a Turkish dish made from red lentil and bulgur wheat served on lettuce with fresh lemon. Can’t wait!
Welcome to the Q’Stoner food feature, Signature Dish! Once a week we check in with Queens restaurants and ask the owners about the all-time favorite dishes they serve. If you know of a dish you’d like to see featured here, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Spot: Alobar, 46-42 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City.
The Deal: When your restaurant’s philosophy revolves around farm-fresh produce and seasonal dishes, it’s imperative that the menu reflects the changing seasons. So although patrons may miss a favorite hearty dish – such as late winter’s Signature Dish of the Loaded Baked Potato Gnocchi – summer is just an opportunity to find a new favorite.
Unbeknownst to us, the M. Wells team opened up a small bar on the rooftop of MoMA PS1 for the summer. Tastoria checked out the space this weekend, which is also where M. Wells grows vegetables and herbs for its Dinette outpost downstairs. (Check out more photos of the garden right here.) There are now some tables and chairs to enjoy the incredible view, and a bar cart serving up beer and wine. Roof visitors can also check out a small-scale Richard Serra piece on display in an alcove on the roof.
The garden is open during normal museum hours, weather permitting, but is closed during Warm Up Saturdays.
Manhattan has the inspiring Empire State Building. Paris has the romantic Eiffel Tower. Queens has authentic, affordable and amazing restaurants. Lots of them. A culinary tour company that debuts this weekend, Local Finds: Queens Food Tours, hopes to bring taste-conscious tourists to as many borough establishments as possible. This two-person agency will organize weekly food sampling and cultural walking tours of Long Island City for now with hopes to expand to Flushing, Jamaica, Richmond Hill and the Rockaways as soon as possible. One of the company’s two founders, Queens native Sergey Kadinsky, will lead three-hour journeys every Sunday morning, starting at 11 am. Kadinsky, who also works for City Council Member Karen Koslowitz, will bring patrons to six local establishments, including a micro-brewery, a hip coffee shop and Manducatis Rustica (photo), where signature dishes will be awaiting. Plus, participants will receive a brochure with a neighborhood map, list of attractions, and recommendations for about 30 other great eateries in the area.
“When it comes to good eats, Queens is the king of the boroughs,” stated Richard Mumith, the other founder and a former Council Member Koslowitz employee. “We are all about discovering, eating, and supporting…local.”
A list of other Queens food tour guides is on the jump page.
This weekend, Le Fooding Beach Club comes to Rockaway Beach. It’s three days of eating, in which five chefs serve picnic dishes to celebrate the return of the Beach 97 concessions after the destruction of Hurricane Sandy. Today Gothamist chatted with three of the chefs participating, Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi, LA-based chef Ludo Lefebvre and the man behind Rockaway Taco, Andrew Fields. Fields shared his thoughts on the current food scene in the Rockaways and how the neighborhood has changed since rebuilding:
Rockaway Beach has been through a hefty share of ups and downs in its one hundred year existence. Last year was really chaotic in getting things put back together. It was really awesome to see everyone in the neighborhood stay focused on positive change and everyone was forced to upgrade infrastructure of homes and businesses. The movement this summer feels much more composed and plentiful. There is still plenty to do to in the ongoing rebuild, but the overall tone is to continue to make progress!
There are no more tickets for the Saturday and Sunday festivities, but you can still attend the noon and 2:15 pm seatings this Friday. Ten percent of each ticket goes toward a charity involved in restoring the Rockaways.
Astoria’s getting a brand new bar: Judy & Punch, now under construction at 34-08 30th Avenue. Queens Courier reports that the establishment, run by three Manhattan bar owners, should open in August. The 25-foot-long bar will serve up 14 lines of draft beers, bottles and cans, cocktails and light snacks. The 13,000-square-foot space also includes a dining area and small backyard patio, and the owners plan to host lots of events here.
The bar’s name comes from the puppet show “Punch and Judy.” According to the Courier, “This will also lead to a small carnival theme for the bar’s look and menu.” Check out more in-construction photos over at Facebook.
The Deal: Bear Restaurant serves modern Eastern European cuisine on the western edge of Astoria. This summer Chef Natasha Pogrebinsky has introduced a Summer Dumpling House pop-up in the same space.
Dumpling House will serve plates of sharable Serbian-style dumplings, perfect for splitting with groups.
“Russian dumplings are unique because they are smaller in size so it makes for a perfect bite. The dough is much lighter and thinner, therefore you don’t feel ‘stuffed,’” Pogrebinsky says. “It’s a perfect ratio of dough to filling. Russian dumplings are also served in distinctive sauces unlike any Asian-style dumpling.”
The menu will be served as prix fixe orders of five starting at $14. The dinner tasting menu includes four flavors of dumplings and an appetizer for $50. The sauces featured are light yogurt and dill, infused vinegars and clarified butter with caraway.
Read about the Signature Dish, after the jump…(more…)
A new restaurant and bar has been approved to open in a former pizzeria at 46-19 48th Avenue in Sunnyside. The restaurant, to be called Amanecer Caliente, will be small, just 10 tables and six stools at the bar and will be open for breakfast at 7 AM and stay open all day and into the night.
The exact hours, however, were a sticking point between the owner and Community Board 2 (which has already been the focal point of complaints about its blanket rejections of outdoor seating requests from other restaurants). The owner of Amanecer Caliente wanted to stay open as a bar until 2 AM Sunday through Wednesday and until 4 AM from Thursday through Sunday. He explained that he planned to sell food at about a break even price and that all of his profit would come from liquor sales at the small establishment. The community board, however, curtailed his hours, forcing him to close at 11 PM on weeknights and midnight on weekends, citing concerns about rowdiness in the area at night.