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: The Baroness, 41-26 Crescent Street, Long Island City.
The Deal: The Baroness Bar exploded – almost literally – in a vastly underserved area of Queens dining landscape. The craft beer and wine bar has drawn the attention of the city’s bloggers by teaching customers “the art of Sabrage a Champagne,” or how to open a bottle of champagne with a saber. In a cordoned-off area of a bar, patrons who purchase a bottle of champagne are handed a saber and told to slide it down the bottle hard and fast to make the cork pop off. The bar also offers some perfect bar nibbles of cheeses, meats, and flatbreads.
The Dish: The flatbreads have quickly become a popular accompaniment to the specialty wines and beers. Out of the regular selection of seven pizzas – including a rotating special – one has stood out above the rest: the Som’bitch. The house-made crust is dusted with fennel and topped with chorizo, hot dry milanos, spicy tasso ham, and the homemade spicy sauce and blistering mozerella.
“It is definitely set apart from your traditional ‘pizzas,’ considering the level of quality of the ingredients. It is not reinventing the wheel ‑- more like making it work better than others,” says owner Kyle Radzyminski.
Try with caution. The name was chosen for a reason.
The New York Times profiled the $45,000,000 facelift that came to Queens Plaza: new crosswalks, bike paths, sidewalks, a pedestrian walkway, timed traffic signals and a park that replaced a commuter parking lot. Since the 2001 rezoning, development flourished along Queens Plaza. Of the 5,000 new apartments, about half of them are within two blocks of Queens Plaza, and developers have already built more than a dozen hotels in the vicinity. Two more hotels are under construction near the new park.
Turning the area into a central business district, however, didn’t quite meet the Bloomberg administration’s expectations. Met Life moved two-thirds of its employees back to Manhattan in 2006, although Jet Blue moved its headquarters into the area in 2012. And according to the Times, Tishman Speyer worked hard to find a tenant — ultimately the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene — for 2 Gotham Center. (Tishman Speyer did not comment on its inaction regarding the rest of the Gotham Center plan.)
Overall, the plaza upgrades have made a notable difference in the area, especially when compared to the days when Queens Plaza was known for drug-dealing, prostitution and its dangerous lanes of traffic. Justin Elghanayan, the president of Rockrose Development Corporation, says this of all the small changes in motion: “They have laid out the canvas that all these developments are going to be painted on.”
A few days ago, the redoubtable MTA announced that their tradition of presenting vintage Subway trains during the holiday season will continue in 2013. There will also be vintage buses running on 42nd street in the city, but let’s face it, fellow Queensicans — we don’t go there on the weekends unless we absolutely have to. Why would you, if you live in a place as great as Queens?
The “Nostalgia Special,” as MTA calls it, will be running along the M line between Queens and Manhattan again this year during the first four Sundays in December and offers a ride on trains which can date back as far as the 1930′s.
Heatherwood Communities will develop a 58-story tower at 42-12 28th Street, right near Queens Plaza and Heatherwood’s luxury rental development 27 on 27th. BuzzBuzzHome spotted a Department of Buildings application for 477 units, ground-floor retail, storage, bike storage, parking, a third-floor pool, gym and roof terraces. It’ll be designed by Goldstein, Hill and West Architects. Heatherwood’s development joins this planned twelve-story project off Queens Plaza North and The World-Wide Group’s under-construction rental at 24th Street and Queens Plaza North.
As many will recall, there used to be a gas station in Queens Plaza, one which has been shuttered for at least a couple of years at the time of this writing.
I’ve probably been walking past this sign for better than a year. Never actually took the time to notice it, let alone grab a shot or two. A casual glance caused me to register its message and delightful usage of the English language, and froze me in my tracks. You’ll notice a lot of signage in usage around Western Queens which betrays the fact that for the signmaker, English is their secondary tongue.
A new bar named The Baroness is coming to 41-26 Crescent Street, near Queens Plaza in Long Island City. The yellow legal paper taped in the window promises a new locally owned and operated establishment serving “wine, craft beer, flatbreads, cheese, charcuterie, and more.” The new watering hole will be a welcome addition to the blocks north of Queens Plaza, an area that is growing rapidly but currently lacks a neighborhood joint. Tucked in an older building next to two new luxury apartment buildings, the bar seems well-positioned for success. (Packard Square is located next door, and the Crescent Club is across the street.) Queens Plaza South is also seeing a new diner and bar opening soon. Peeking through the windows, work has barely started on the interior, so it could be a while before The Baroness begins pouring drinks for residents and JetBlue employees. Click through for one more photo. GMAP(more…)
For nearly fifty years, the Bank of Manhattan tower facing the new Queens Plaza and the elevated train tangle was the undisputed king of all Queens buildings. The 15-story building, finished in 1927, looks like something The Fountainhead’s Howard Roark himself might have designed. That year, American architecture was shedding Beaux Arts and adopting the more streamlined motifs of the Machine Age. (more…)
Next stop…80 years ago. At five times today and again next Sunday, December 23 and 30, vintage subway cars from 1930s and 1940s will pull into Queens Plaza and Court Sq.-23rd St. in Long Island City and rattle riders of the F and M lines to Manhattan. As QNYC wrote on December 5, part of the fun will be watching unknowing passengers’ faces as they see these relics — some made when Herbert Hoover was president. In addition to the classic doors, lights, seats, straps and poles, the cars will be adorned with advertisements for Rockaways Playland, Crisco and other favorites of the day.
Catch A Vintage Subway
Sundays, December 23 and December 30
Queens Plaza and Court Sq.-23rd St. Stations, Long Island City
10:44 am, 12:14 pm, 1:43 pm, 3:14 pm and 4:44 pm | $2.25 (MetroCard accepted)
If you are looking to Buy, Rent or Sell stop by our offices in Williamsburg, LIC or Astoria.
Welcome to the third installment of LIC for Brooklynites. So far we’ve brought you neighborhood recommendations for places to eat - great restaurants and bars serving everything from comfort food, to Vietnamese pho, to classic cocktails; things to do - visit museums, take classes, and even go kayaking for free; and now we’re turning on sights on where to live in this beautiful area.While LIC is a ‘neighborhood,’ it’s actually comprised of a bunch of smaller neighborhoods, including Hunters Point, Queens Plaza, Court Square, and Dutch Kills.
If you’ve gotten on or off the E, M, or R Trains at Queens Plaza, you may have noticed an old, elegant, tan-colored office building topped with a clock-tower situated across from the park, rising above the elevated curve of the N train.