07/08/14 12:30pm

dumpling house menu bear_700

The Spot: The Dumpling House at Bear Restaurant, 12-14 31st Avenue, Astoria.

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…)

07/07/14 2:00pm

Latin rest

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.

Latin Bar/Restaurant to Open on 48th Avenue Between 46th and 47th Streets [Sunnyside Post]
LIC Restaurant Owners Complain That They Are Blocked From Offering Outdoor Seating

Photo: Scott Binter via PropertyShark

07/01/14 2:00pm

arepa lady

After decades of selling arepas from a cart on Roosevelt Avenue on weekend nights, Maria Cano, best known as the Arepa Lady, has finally opened a restaurant. She will run the new establishment, which opened its doors on Saturday, with help from her children.

Chopsticks + Marrow blogger Joe DiStefano stopped by on opening day and reports, “The arepa de choclo I had Saturday night was as good as ever. Cheesy, salty gooey, and thoroughly satisfying, seasoned with a goodly amount of national pride.” She still plans to take the food cart out on weekend nights as long as the weather is good. The new restaurant is at 77-022A Roosevelt Avenue.

Tastes Like Team Spirit, Arepa Lady’s Restaurant Now Open [Chopsticks + Marrow]

Photo: Arepa Lady’s Facebook page

07/01/14 12:30pm


The Spot: Rèst-âü-Ránt, 30-01 35th Avenue, Astoria

The Deal: By this point, most Astoria residents have probably visited Rèst-âü-Ránt. It has been an Astoria institution for the last seven years. The cleverly named establishment could be called a wine bar, a craft beer hall or a small plates restaurant and each description would be accurate. The menus focus on carefully curated wines and beers and dishes of easily sharable nibbles in equal measure, creating a friendly, social atmosphere that has keep locals returning and first-timers venturing out for the busy schedule of happy hours, comedy shows and live music.

Owner Tina Stipanovic began in the restaurant industry (or in this case, it’s the Rèst-âü-Ránt industry) to support her artistic pursuits. Eventually she combined her two passions into the successful endeavor. Stipanovic built much of the interior woodwork by hand – including the convivial U-shaped bar – and manages the menu with as much care. She ensures that everything is made in house and, as often as possible, ingredients are sourced locally.

More after the jump (more…)


Some Long Island City restaurant owners say that the city has prohibited them from offering backyard seating at their establishments, going so far as to say that there was a “moratorium” on new permits. Jeff Blath, the owner of Alobar, told The Daily News that he offered to install high fences, ban outdoor speakers and close at 10 PM but has been rejected by Community Board 2 twice in the last four years.

Jonathan Sterling and Faye Hess, owners of 51st Bakery and Café were approved for a backyard dining area and say they spent $8,000 building out the garden. Then the city told them they couldn’t open after an anonymous complaint claimed that the business did not have the correct certificate of occupancy to open the garden.

The community board is concerned about noise as more restaurants push to allow their customers to enjoy an al fresco dining experience. According to the Daily News, there are only four restaurants in Long Island City that have backyard seating.

What do you think? Are restaurant gardens too loud and a nuisance for neighbors or a welcome addition to the growing dining scene?

Long Island City Restauranteurs Hit Roadblocks in Bids for Backyard Seating [NY Daily News]


A few days ago the folks at Mu Ramen posted Facebook photos of its brick and mortar restaurant now under construction. The owners, who were serving ramen out of Bricktown Bagel in Long Island City, decided to open a restaurant after growing popularity. The permanent location, also in Long Island City, is at 12-09 Jackson Avenue between 48th Avenue and 47th Road. (That’s the former Malu ice cream shop.) From the photos the space looks small but charming. Last we heard they were hoping to open up this summer. You can check out the menu for the popup location here.

Mu Ramen coverage [Q'Stoner] GMAP

06/24/14 12:30pm


The Spot: Neir’s Tavern, 87-48 78th Street, Woodhaven.

The Deal: Looking through lists of New York City’s oldest bars, there is often a glaring omission: Neir’s Tavern. The Woodhaven pub has been in continuous operation (barring that time called Prohibition) and in the same location since 1829. That’s 25 years longer than McSorley’s, if you’re counting.

Although Neir’s may not always get the recognition it deserves, the pub has played host to a remarkable number of bold-face names. “Neir’s is known as the tavern where Mae West first performed, where actors such as W.C. Fields and businessmen like Fred Trump (Donald’s father) would gather for a drink,” says owner Loycent Gordon.

The Woodhaven mainstay has also been the backdrop to the Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas and the Ben Stiller flick Tower Heist.

The Dish: Like any quality, low-key pub that prides itself on its cold beer, the signature dish at Neir’s Tavern is the burger. The Goodfella burger, named – obviously – after the film, is a half-pound burger topped with sautéed onions, grilled tomatoes, pepperjack cheese, and a chipotle-honey mayo—for just a hint of a kick.

The menu includes other dishes named in homage to the pub’s star-studded past, including the Tower Heist steak sandwich and the Mae West burger. Perhaps you could come out and see them sometime?


Now under construction in Long Island City: The Mill, a coffee shop at 44-61 11th Street, on the corner of 44th Road. We Heart LIC spotted the above photo on the Long Island City Facebook page. We Heart LIC reports: “They’re in the midst of renovations, including installing bathroom and kitchen fixtures into their 600 square foot space, and removing old partitions and adding new ones. The paperwork was all scanned in March, so it’s possible they’ll be open this summer.” GMAP

Photo via Facebook

06/18/14 2:00pm


A Q’Stoner reader sent the above photo of The POP BAR, a restaurant and bar under construction at 12-21 Astoria Boulevard, on the northwest corner of 14th Street and Astoria Boulevard. As We Heart Astoria previously reported, this is the former Hell Gate Tiki location.

The roll-down gate is painted by Shiro One, a female graffiti artist from Japan. POP BAR will have murals from 5 Pointz artists gracing the interior, as well as a backyard space. The menu includes tiki tots, a bacon-wrapped hot dog, cheeses and charcuterie. And the bar will serve cans and bottles, cocktails, wines and drafts. The plan is to open up this month. GMAP

06/17/14 2:00pm


According to Bushwick Daily, popular Brooklyn restaurant Roberta’s is officially serving pizza in the Rockaways. The pizza stand is located at Beach 96th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard, right near Rockaway Taco. It’ll be open every weekend this summer, on Fridays from 12:30 to 6:30 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 am to 6:30 pm. We haven’t seen a menu yet, but we assume they’re strictly serving up a selection of their popular pies.

Roberta’s Officially Opened a Pizza Stand in the Rockaways! [Bushwick Daily]
Roberta’s Pizza May Open Second Location in the Rockaways [Q'Stoner] GMAP

Photo via Tumblr