The Spot:Breezy’s, 97th St Concession Stand, Rockaway Beach.
The Deal: The concession stand at Rockaway Beach is back and one of the restaurants taking advantage of the summer crowds is the new BBQ joint Breezy’s. The evolving restaurant began as a food truck in Williamsburg.
“We experimented with our BBQ in a food truck in Williamsburg last year and had been looking for a place to set up shop,” says Amy Tichenor. “We didn’t want to do a restaurant or a take-out joint, the Rockaway concession felt like the perfect fit between food truck and restaurant.”
Now Tichenor and friends sling BBQ to hungry beach goers every day but Tuesdays at the busy cash-only spot, nestled between the other family-owned businesses at the concession stands.
“The 97th Street Concession has such a diverse group of family-run local restaurants, offering beach-goers a number of options, if they are looking for a quick bite to eat on the weekends or if they want to go out to dinner on the beach during the week, the concession is the perfect beach-side dining in The Rockaways,” Tichenor says.
Read about Breezy’s Signature Dish after the jump… (more…)
We are getting oh-so-ready for Astoria Coffee to open its cafe/bar at 30-04 30th Street, off 30th Avenue. Yesterday they posted the above photo to their Facebook account, showing an almost-ready interior. Looks beautiful, too. The Astoria Coffee website says that the owners hope to open sometime in August; they initially hoped to open up in June.
Astoria Coffee, who roasts and distributes its own beans, plans to serve coffee, tea, beer, wine and baked goods at its brick and mortar location.
The Deal: Murphy’s Lobster Grill opened last October, an extension of the owner’s next-door namesake bar. Murphy’s Bar has been a Skillman Avenue staple for the last 10 years.
“When the space next door became available I decided to expand and run a seafood restaurant. There’s none in this part of Queens, and I have experience from my other restaurant in Mineola, Long Island,” says owner Mike Murphy.
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.