04/07/14 2:00pm


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


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


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


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


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

03/28/14 10:30am


We Heart Astoria announced its 2014 Best of Astoria winners, selected by We Heart Astoria readers. Big winners this year include Il Bambino as the favorite restaurant of the neighborhood (runner-up: Queens Comfort), Sanford’s for favorite brunch, Sweet Afton (pictured) for favorite bar, BareBurger for favorite burger joint and Mar’s Oyster Bar as the best new arrival of 2013. Check out the entire list of winners over here!

Photo via Facebook

03/26/14 4:00pm


Queens is known for a lot of things, but many New Yorkers consider it the borough of diverse, cheap, crazy, fun, adventurous eating. And so our favorite Queens food blogger Joe DiStefano compiled the “10 Commandments of Adventurous Eating” for Serious Eats. His commandments include trying everything at least once, exploring the bakeries and always trying the house-made hot sauce. Do not be afraid of street eats, try your best to speak the language, and just accept that you’ll never eat it all. Of course, the full article is worth a read — check it out right here.

The 10 Commandments of Adventurous Eating [Serious Eats]

Photo by Joe DiStefano via Chopsticks and Marrow


As of this month, Bocaito Wine Bar is up and running at 81-15 Northern Boulevard, between 81st and 82nd Streets in Jackson Heights. The reviews from Jackson Heights Life and Yelp commenters so far seem good. On top of wine, the spot serves cocktails and a menu of Spanish food like empanadas, chicken relleno, churrasco and fondue. The meat and cheese comes from Despaña. According to JH Life, they are serving brunch on Sundays, and plan to open a small backyard space in the summertime. Looks lovely! GMAP

Photos via Jackson Heights Life/Yelp

03/25/14 12:30pm

mushroom stroganoff_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: Bear Restaurant, 12-14 31st Avenue, Long Island City.

The Deal: Bear Restaurant was opened by siblings Natasha and Sasha Pogrebinsky and serves the Eastern European cuisine of their childhood, with a local twist. Sasha mixes and develops cocktails while Natasha runs the kitchen.

“Traditions and culture are what drives the design of our menu, which changes frequently based on what is fresh and available at the local farmer’s markets,” says Natasha.

The cash-only restaurant has drawn the attention of the New York Times and Michelin Guides.

The Dish: When at Bear, try the as-seen-on-TV dish of mushroom stroganoff. Natasha prepared a variation of the dish when competing on Food Network’s Chopped (Season 16, Episode 14), and it has been a customer favorite since debuting on the menu.

The mushroom stew is made daily and combines stewed mushrooms, caramelized onions, fresh herbs and finished with sunflower and truffle butter. It’s then served over house-made pasta, which is cut by hand.

“Steeped in tradition, culture and history, Bear tries to transcend time by reinventing this age-old recipe from Eastern Europe and bring it into a more comfortable, modern and relaxed feel of the Bear dining room,” Natasha says.

For a refreshing drink, try Sasha’s St. Dill Martini, a sophisticated twist on the ubiquitous pickleback: a vodka and pickle martini.