45 Degrees Supper Club is in the process of evolving into a prestigious, high-profile restaurant. It already is an intriguing place to visit with its two bars, large table-laden dance floor and multi-level seating. With its modern hanging fabric d/cor accented by colorful black, white and coral walls, it simply cries out for a party!
Even as a “party of two,” we were immediately in a party mood when we saw the seating arrangements, the festive decoration, the audio-visual equipment and the bandstand stage for entertainment arranged by a professional promoter.
If this were all that this place had going for it, it would be enough. Nevertheless, the father and son owners have found a true gem in Chef Tony Karame to augment the food dimension of their establishment.
Chef Tony comes with impeccable credentials of having worked with celebrity chefs at well-known restaurants such as Tavern on the Green, The Plaza etc. Born and educated in France (Cordon Bleu) and having sharpened his skills in Manhattan, Chef Tony now brings his expertise (and his family) to Queens.
When we arrived, we were greeted by John Cascio, the parental partner, and Joanna Cummings, multi-tasking Hostess/Bartender/Manager, who led us to our table where she gave us her list of signature mixed drinks in 45 flavors which she personally designed. Being rather conservative, we ordered and enjoyed a Melon Colada and a Mango Margarita ($8 each).
Although there is a six-course “Chef Tasting Menu,” we wisely asked John (his son’s name is Jon Carlo) and Chef Tony to choose combinations of their popular and “house special” creations. It turns out that Chef Tony is also a baker and a pastry chef so he first presented us with fresh-baked flat bread and three dipping sauces. The triangular shaped flat bread went well with the humus and the parsley-sprinkled olive oil. Our favorite was the white truffle-flavored apple butter — rich and creamy!
The appetizers that followed were seared Diver Scallops ($11), Sea Mussels ($9) and a large Crab Cake ($11). The scallops arrived surrounded by a cauliflower puree and arugula in saffron oil. Also in the large bowl of mussels were cherry tomatoes, garlic, shallots, herbs, butter and fish fume. The crab cake of jumbo lump crabmeat was adorned with avocado and a red and yellow cherry tomato salad with Miso dressing. All were attractively presented and filling.
For our entrees, we had Chilean Sea Bass ($23) and Filet Mignon ($25). The sea bass was well cooked to remain flaky, with a crispy, blackened topping and served with mango, jalapeno and tomato salad and lemon vinaigrette - spicy and nice! The filet mignon arrived resting atop a thick potato pate patty and with tomato confit. The strips of filet were medium rare tender and the “brick” of mashed potatoes containing blue cheese was held in shape by a thin Chinese wrap. White and red wines (also blush) are available by the glass (most at $7 or $8) for those who want wine with their meal.
For the desserts, Chef Tony displayed his art by featuring the difficult-to-make, thin-and-brittle, shaped tuiles (tiles in French) curved around sorbet and resting atop the desserts. All desserts and the tuiles are made on the premises. The Granny Apple Tart ($8) with cream Auglaize was topped by coconut sorbet in tuiles. The Brownie Explosion ($8) contained bittersweet chocolate, walnuts, chocolate chips and was decorated with chocolate ice cream in the blossom-shaped tuiles.
45 Degrees Supper Club
43-36 Ditmars Blvd. (in LaGuardia Center Mall)
Astoria, NY 11105
HOURS: Open Wednesday to Friday from 5 to 11 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 3 to 11 p.m.
Closed on Monday and Tuesday.
CUISINE: French and Mediterranean (website has menu with pictures).
AMBIANCE: Modern and warm.
PRICES: Appetizers: $9-$11, Pasta: $15-$18, Seafood: $19-$25, Meats: $19-$26, Desserts: $6-$8.
PARKING: In mall or curbside
HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE: Yes including toilet