Forest Hills, you’re officially on the NYC hipster map! Edge of the City reports that the neighborhood’s got its first indie, organic coffee shop. It’s called Red Pipe Cafe and it’s located at 71-60 Austin Street, the former Stoa Jewelry store. The space is open from 7 am to 10 pm and serves coffee, tea, sandwiches, salads, soups and desserts — everything is organic. There’s a decent amount of seating, and Edge of the City says the baristas make a mean cappuccino. Seems like a no brainer that a spot like this will do well along Austin Street.
Kennedy’s Restaurant, shuttered nearly two years due to Hurricane Sandy, is planning to reopen later this month in Breezy Point. (The original hope was to reopen this summer.) Rockawayist noticed that the building scaffolding just came down, “revealing a beautiful new clapboard façade that blends in effortlessly on the shore.” The owners also added a new glassy space to accommodate 50 more seats.
The historic restaurant, located right on the waterfront with views of Manhattan, opened in 1910 and was originally a casino.
Don Korean Cuisine has set up shop in Astoria, at 42-06 30th Avenue off 42nd Street. We Heart Astoria spotted signage up but couldn’t find any sign of the business on the internet. No word of the opening date, but WAH expects it to be ready for business soon.
Don Korean Cuisine joins another Korean restaurant under construction in the neighborhood, Mokja. It’s moving into the old 1-800 Flowers space at 35-19 Broadway.
The Deal: No one knows better what a neighborhood needs than the people who live there. So when Astorians Gary Anza and George Rallis noticed the lack of late-night American fare deep in Astoria, they started planning, and in July 2011 the restaurant William Hallet opened.
“The great thing about American food is you can take a little from each culture and create new dishes, which is where we wanted to take the menu when we conceived Hallet,” says Rallis.
The bar and restaurant focuses on late-night bites, perfect for sharing with a crowd, and over the last three years the crowd has been changing.
“There is a greater concentration of young single people, as opposed to ethnic family-centric households,” Rallis explains. “And although we try to cater to the new Astorians, when we create a new menu we still take cues from the ethnic diversity that is still prevalent in the neighborhood.”
And William Hallet will be there, with a selection of shareable dishes, whiskey, and draft beers.
Read about William Hallet’s Signature Dish after the jump… (more…)
The Big Six Towers, Queens Boulevard between 59th and 61st Streets, were developed, like Electchester in Flushing, by a trade union. In 1961 the New York Typographical Union (Local 6) completed the project in 1963 and one-third of its current tenants are active or retired union members. The AFL-CIO invested heavily in the towers in 2008 to help keep its apartments affordable for middle-class families. There are still some retired lithographers and printers among the residents.
While other large residential developments have joined the Big Six Towers on this stretch of Queens Boulevard, the small terra cotta former Childs’ restaurant outlet holds firm on the NW corner of 60th Street. The building hosts a laundromat, bodega, Irish bar and pizza parlor on the ground floor.
On Wednesday, the Michelin Guide released its 2015 list for New York City restaurants. The Michelin folks awarded stars to 874 restaurants throughout the city, and four restaurants in Queens were granted one star each — even though everybody knows Queens trumps pretty much any borough when it comes to eating. (One star, according to the Michelin Guide, marks “a very good restaurant in its category, offering cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard.”)
Queens Courier notes the four restaurants now in the ranks: Casa Enrique and M. Wells Steakhouse in Long Island City, Danny Brown Wine Bar and Kitchen (pictured) in Forest Hills and Zabb Elee in Jackson Heights. It’s the first star for Casa Enrique, a Mexican restaurant, M. Wells Steakhouse and Zabb Elee, a Thai spot. Danny Brown, a European-inspired restaurant, received its first Michelin star back in 2011.
You’ve got lots of eating to look forward to this month, with two different restaurant weeks happening in the borough. The first takes place in Sunnyside, from October 20th to the 24th. There are 32 restaurants participating — twice as many as last year — including Venturo, Salt & Fat, Tibetan Dumpling Cafe and Murphy’s Lobster Grill. Check out the full list of participating restaurants at Sunnyside Shines. Each restaurant will serve a three-course dinner menu for $25; other spots will offer a special lunch menu. The arts collaborative No Longer Empty will also bring site-specific art installations to five of the participating restaurants, and three will feature local artists in Sunnyside. The five restaurants participating are Bucharest Restaurant, Los Verdes, PJ Horgan’s, Salt and Fat and Venturo.
Then from October 13th until October 31st, it’s full-on Queens Restaurant Week. More than 100 different restaurants in 30 different neighborhoods will offer special prix fixe meals — most places will set up a three-course dinner for $25 and lunch for $14. Check out the long list of participants at the It’s In Queens! website.
Andrea Lynn’s book “Queens: A Culinary Passport: Exploring Ethnic Cuisine in New York City’s Most Diverse Borough” was just released today — all interested Queens foodies can pick it up on Amazon. The book is a guide to more than 40 borough restaurants and food carts; it also includes chef profiles and favorite recipes. Here’s more from the summary: “Also included are highlights of not-to-be-missed hidden spots, like ethnic grocery stores stocked with Greek essentials, fish markets that boast of visitors like chef Lidia Bastianich, and delis that turn out freshly made mozzarella and sopressata.”
The book details subway directions and offers walking tours of each neighborhood for those who aren’t familiar with certain areas of Queens. The author, who also works as a freelance food writer and recipe developer, lives in Astoria.
The restaurants at Elmhurst’s new “Restaurant Row,” a formerly vacant lot next door to the Queens Center Mall, plan to open in October. DNAinfo writes that an Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and Joe’s Crab Shack are all hiring workers, then the Olive Garden is scheduled to open October 27th and the Longhorn Steakhouse will open October 11th. There’s no set date for Joe’s Crab Shack yet.
The Mattone Group started construction on the new development earlier this year. (Their original plans called for a movie theater here, but it fell through.) The “restaurant row” plans caused controversy with local pols, who believed the developers weren’t upfront about the development to the community. There was also concern about increased traffic in the area.
The Deal: Over the last year, the site of a former French restaurant on Broadway in Astoria has become the bustling craft beer gastropub. A main focus of Oliver’s Astoria has been making the restaurant a friendly neighborhood location, through its décor, events and provisioning.
On a warm Friday afternoon, the windows and doors are thrown open so the inside restaurant blends into the outdoor café, and plenty of patrons are idling over a late lunch and one of the rotating tap beers.
Oliver’s has a one-and-done keg policy that keeps the selection fresh and new. Although co-founder and general manager Rob Williamson says that it is more work than a typical bar, it’s helpful for bringing in special brewery guests and appealing to beer fans. The next guest brewery will be Dogfish Head on Thursday, October 9th.
“I’ve worked in beer bars forever,” he says. “The spectrum of beer is fantastic. Not all of them are winners but when they hit, they hit.”
To further the local vibe, Williamson says the restaurant works with local businesses to meet the menu needs. They purchase from the butcher and baker on the block.
“It’s always easier to shop in your backyard,” he says.
Oliver’s continues to expand its offerings and events, from Monday night trivia to brunch with $3 cocktails. The brunch menu has recently expanded to weekdays to accommodate Astoria’s large population of restaurant industry employees.
Read about Oliver’s Signature Dish after the jump… (more…)