04/09/14 3:00pm

bourbon-street-bayside

Bourbon Street, the Cajun-style eatery located at 40-12 Bell Boulevard in Bayside, hopes to build out a rooftop bar for the summertime. The Daily News reports that “patrons would dine and drink al fresco in the 2,500-square-foot outdoor seating space, lit with Louisiana lantern-style street lights… there would also be an open-face barbecue pit and raw seafood bar on the roof.” Sounds lovely! There aren’t any other rooftop bars like it in the neighborhood. The owner of Bourbon Street hopes to open the space by the restaurant’s 15th anniversary, which is this summer. They still do not have approval from the New York State Liquor Authority or the Department of Buildings.

First Rooftop Bar Planned for Bustling Bayside Boulevard [NY Daily News] GMAP

Photo via Facebook

04/08/14 4:00pm

mumbar-restaurant-astoria

Today the Village Voice compiled a list of the five best restaurants in Little Egypt, the short stretch of Steinway Street between Astoria Boulevard and 28th Avenue. The top picks? Kabab Cafe at 25-12 Steinway Street (one of the most popular Egyptian spots on Steinway), Mombar at 25-22 Steinway Street (run by the brother of Kabab Cafe’s owner), Duzan at 24-11 Steinway Street (known for its fast food-like service), Sabry’s at 24-25 Steinway Street and Zeit W Zatar (for dessert) at 25-78 Steinway Street. Now we’re hungry…

The Five Best Restaurants in Little Egypt [Village Voice]

Photo via Yelp

04/08/14 2:00pm

yelp-drinks-queens

Thanks to We Heart Astoria for pointing us in the direction of Yelp Drinks Queens, a Yelp event taking place all this week offering discounted drinks to Queens bar hoppers. Check out the full list of participating bars right here — businesses include the Mosaic Cafe (pictured above), O’Neill’s Maspeth, Station House, Z Hotel and the Astor Room. (You can also see all the locations on this handy map.) Basically just visit any of the participating businesses during normal business hours until April 13th, ask for the Yelp Drinks menu, and get discounts up to 50 percent off. Nice!

Photo via Yelp

04/08/14 12:30pm

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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 emily@brownstoner.com.

The Spot: Zenon Taverna, 34-10 31st Avenue, Astoria.

The Deal: The Greek restaurant Zenon Taverna, located in the heart of Astoria, has been under the management of the same family since 1988. Stelios Papageorgiou trained as a chef in his native Cyprus and, after immigrating, wanted to serve “the food from his mother country to Astoria,” says his daughter and one of the managers, Elena Papageorgiou. “We strive to transport our customers to a taverna in Cyprus, for them to experience and enjoy it as if they were there.”

After 26 years, additional family members have stepped in to help in various roles from serving to managing to cooking, but Stelios is still active in the running of the restaurant. “He does all the ordering himself and goes to the markets to pick out things like our seafood,” Elena explains. “My father has tried to keep our prices as low as possible while still keeping the best quality.”

When customers need more than just a meal, Zenon Taverna also has a banquet room and offers catering services. Also be sure to follow the restaurant’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for rotating specials. Be sure to bring cash though; another traditional aspect of this taverna is that they don’t accept credit cards.

The Dish: For an authentic Cyprus dish, stop by Zenon Taverna on a Thursday or Sunday to try the Kleftico, a lamb entrée served with potatoes, celery, carrots, onions, herbs, and spices. “The folk story, as my father knows it, says Kleftico got its name from the word kleftes, which is Greek for robbers,” says Elena. “Robbers would steal lamb from farmers, and go somewhere far from the village to cook it so they wouldn’t be seen. They would dig a hole in the ground, skin, and cut up the meat. In this hole they would put firewood and start up some fire. They would put the meat and seasoning back into the lamb skin, and seal it tightly. They would then put the lamb in the hole, and cover it with dirt for the lamb to roast. They would return the next day to feast upon it.”

The taverna’s modern version eschews the robbery and dirt hole for wax paper and aluminum foil although the cooking concept remains the same: Keep the meat tightly sealed and allow it to cook in its own juice for many hours. Each serving is wrapped separately to keep the juice from escaping. Come early to try this dish because quantities are limited.

Elena says, “Although the recipe is a traditional one, in Cyprus, my father never put the vegetables (carrots, celery, onion); this was something he added when making it here at the restaurant.”

04/07/14 2:00pm

dish-ridgewood-open

Locally-owned gastropub Dish Ridgewood is now open at 57-42 Myrtle Avenue, between Weirfield and Centre Streets. According to the Facebook page, Dish will serve “Country Breakfast, Hand Smashed Burgers, and delicious BBQ.” There’s no menu available yet, although we know the focus will be on the BBQ. If you try the spot out, send your review to our tipline and we’ll publish it on Q’Stoner.

Barbecue Restaurant Called Dish Is Under Construction in Ridgewood [Q'Stoner] GMAP

Photo via Facebook

04/04/14 2:00pm

Reef-forest-hills

A Q’Stoner commenter wrote in with word of the brand new seafood restaurant in Forest Hills, Reef:

Reef opened on Wednesday, April 2nd. I ate there last night and the food was incredible. The transformation of the space is unbelievable. Everyone was super nice and it is a great new spot!

We had a trio of dips — including a smokey eggplant and a spicy cheese dip, the soup which is a light chowder, and the best calamari, so tender not rubbery at all. The scallops, grilled shrimp, and whole fish entrees were great too. Lots of options for sides. Good wines. Menu also had pasta, steaks, and a variety of salads, and some vegetarian options. So seems like something for everyone, but a focus on seafood with a Mediterranean influence.

DNAinfo profiled the restaurant a few days ago and reported that the menu includes grilled octopus, baked clams, fried calamari, raw fish dishes and grilled whole fish. The spot, located at 108-02 72nd Avenue, is now open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. If any other Forest Hills residents got to check the place out this week, leave your reviews in the comments!

New Seafood Restaurant for Forest Hills [Q'Stoner] GMAP

Photo by Edge of the City

04/02/14 2:00pm

35-19-ditmars-bouelvard-milo-cafe

The photograph of the under-construction restaurant pictured above comes from Astoria Haiku. The spot is at 35-19 Ditmars Boulevard, on the corner of 36th Street. Astoria Haiku hears this will a Mediterranean/Greek themed restaurant called Milo Cafe. It should be similar to MP Taverna, also located on Ditmars. Although work is officially underway here, there is no news of when it’s expected to open. GMAP

Photo via Twitter

04/01/14 12:30pm

Burnt Ends_700

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 emily@brownstoner.com.

The Spot: Butcher Bar, 37-08 30th Avenue, Astoria.

The Deal: Astoria’s first local, organic, and natural butcher shop opened in 2011 but serves more than just raw meat; it also serves Kansas City-style BBQ.

“Our humble little shop, Butcher Bar is a butcher shop first, and a BBQ restaurant second,” says Matthew Katakis, the restaurant’s founder and Queens native. As a Queens native, Katakis was familiar with the Astoria restaurant scene and pounced on an open space across on 30th Avenue to expand the area’s offerings.

“We wanted to give options to our community and only offer hormone-free, antibiotic-free and pasture-raised-and-grazed animals that were given a humane lifestyle and a respectful death and conversion to our dinner tables,” says Katakis.

The Dish: Burnt Ends have been on the menu of this Astoria BBQ restaurant since its opening. If you want them, arrive early: They are always the first dish to sell out each day. “These ‘meat candy’ are made from the fatty deckle, off the top of the brisket which needs extra smoking time to melt the fat and make it edible,” says Katakis. “Other places end up just cutting it off and throwing it away, but this in fact is a real delicacy.”

The Butcher Bar smokers are running consistently filled with a rotating menu of meats – ribs, pork belly, and sausage among other cuts – but the burnt ends are always on the menu and given special attention. “We smoke them for over 16 hours and add a second rub to them after about 12.5 hours in our smoker,” explains Katakis.

The restaurant’s motto is “Eat less meat, but eat good meat,” but if you want that meat to be Butcher Bar’s burnt ends, you better get to the restaurant before they sell out.

03/31/14 2:00pm

robertas

Today DNAinfo reported that uber-hip pizza joint Roberta’s, located in Bushwick, is eyeing a second space in the Rockaways. According to DNAinfo, “A lease was signed earlier this month for a lot on Beach 96th Street off Rockaway Beach Boulevard” and sources say the new tenant is Roberta’s. The lot, located across the street from Rockaway Taco, now houses a rundown, empty house and garden. Roberta’s isn’t spilling any details on the type of restaurant or the construction timeline. The owners of Roberta’s also operate Rippers, a bar and burger spot at the Beach 86th Street concessions, during the summertime.

Roberta’s Pizza Eyeing Rockaway Outpost, Sources Say [DNAinfo]

Photo via Yelp

03/28/14 2:00pm

coffee-shop-under-construction-astoria

A Q’Stoner tipster sent along the above photo of construction underway on the corner of Ditmars Boulevard and 36th Street, with news that a coffee house is moving in. Actually, We Heart Astoria published a rumor last year that Avenue Cafe, located at 35-27 30th Avenue, planned to open a second location on that very corner. We gave Avenue Cafe a call and while the employee we spoke with did not have details, he said he knew the owners were working on something on Ditmars and 36th. From the looks of the photo, the space still has a ways to go. Stay tuned for more details… GMAP