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: Dutch Kills Centraal, 38-40 29th Street, Long Island City.
The Deal: Dutch Kills Centraal is still a relative newcomer to the poorly underserved area north of Queens Plaza, having just opened last year after two years of planning and construction.
The owner, Dominic Stiller, found the space abandoned two blocks from his home and, as a longtime community activist and Queens resident, wanted to create a place for the neighborhood to gather. So began the renovations: He added additional windows, repaired the walls, and installed reclaimed furniture, including a long communal table down the center of the room. Throughout it all, Stiller kept the original flooring and, of course, the bar that originally drew him in.
The Dish: Dutch Kills Centraal is a bar, and like any quality bar, the star on the menu is the burger. As Ken Holiday, in charge of marketing for the restaurant, says, “Every gastro-pub should have a burger on the menu. Our food is defiantly more upscale than a bar, but we want a place comfortable to everyone.” Centraal sources its meats and produce from local purveyors, and serves the burger on a butter-glazed brioche bun, topped with a homemade siracha sauce.
“To have a familiar item, in a cozy place, in an area called Dutch Kills makes it taste all the better,” says Holiday. “Elevated comfort, charm, a hospitality is what we aim for.”