Tag Archives: CityRib

Queens Restaurant Week draws diners

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


As Queens Restaurant Week has officially begun, eatery owners are hoping more diners will gobble up deals being served throughout the borough.

The 10th annual promotion started Monday, September 30, and includes three-course dinners for $28 and three-course lunches for $14 at most participating Queens restaurants.

Ellen LaPerna, manager of Bourbon Street, said she has already seen a moderate amount of people take advantage of deals at the Bayside establishment.

“So far, so good,” she said.

This is Bourbon Street’s sixth year in the program, LaPerna said.

“People do come out and participate,” she said. “I think the community likes it. It’s just another reason for people to come out and try our food.”

Queens Restaurant Week ran until October 3 and will pick up again October 7 through 10.

Manager Colleen Bowerman of Austin’s Ale House & Trackside Café said her Kew Gardens eatery has participated in the promotion every year.

The restaurant typically sees a jump in diners during the extended second week, Bowerman said.

“We’re hoping it’ll pick up,” she said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

Dan Dolacinski, manager of CityRib in Jamaica, also has his fingers crossed.

This marks the barbecue joint’s first year participating after opening up this July.

“Every year, people like Restaurant Week,” he said. “We expect people to know we’re here in the community.”

Restaurant Week is presented by the Queens Tourism Council and is sponsored by Melrose Credit Union, jetBlue, Resorts World Casino New York City, Restaurant Depot, Tequila Sunrise of Bayside, The Queens Courier and The Best of the Boro.

The long list of participating restaurants, which features all sorts of Mexican, Cajun, Mediterranean and Asian cuisines, can be found at www.itsinqueens.com/restaurantweek/Queens/.



Jamaica puts on its bib for newcomer CityRib

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Bradley Hawks

As you approach 89th Avenue traveling along Parsons Boulevard through the heart of Jamaica, you cannot help but take immediate notice of the pristine white and tinted glass façade protruding from the Italian architecture of the Moda building—formerly the Queens Family Courthouse.  It is Jamaica’s newest sit-down restaurant, CityRib.

CityRib arrives on the scene as a long overdue dining addition to a popular shopping mecca, previously only catered to by Applebee’s a few blocks around the corner on Jamaica Avenue.  Considering its proximity to JFK Airport and a nearby public transportation hub, a specialty restaurant of this degree has been a long-awaited addition to the area.  It marks the first venture outside of Manhattan for HPH, which also owns Harry’s Steak and Harry’s Italian in the Financial District.

The 200-seat dining room boasts vaulted ceilings and exposed brick, with stenciled logos emblazoned on the walls, along with a 30-seat, industrial-themed bar, marrying classic stone etched with Roman numerals and galvanized metal.  Fourteen beers are served on tap, as well as a full menu of specialty cocktails, and an intimate wine selection.  But anyone coming to a place called CityRib isn’t coming for just the drinks and atmosphere.

Chef Joe Mollol has taken notable caution to create a menu suited for a broad range of palates.

“A lot of barbecue restaurants only offer starters that are smaller versions of the larger barbecue plates,” said Mollol.

The CityRib starters read as more of a southern approach to tapas, and could quite easily serve as a rewarding meal all on their own.  Cheddar and garlic grits are deep fried.  The deviled eggs are heavenly, with the egg tops removed, the hard-boiled whites piped full of whipped egg yolk, presented like Faberge ornaments standing on end.  Bacon-jeweled smashed potatoes are wrapped in wontons and served as spring rolls blanketed with melted cheddar cheese.  Each small bite is addictive.

“Low and slow is our motto,” explained the chef (referring to temperature and cooking duration), as he presented the first of the barbecue plates.

The menu boasts ribbons of carved brisket, pulled pork shoulder and Kansas City style racks of ribs. A Cajun-buttered grilled salmon with steamed spinach is one of the restaurant’s tastier non-BBQ offerings.  And the price point falls well beneath those of its competitors in the city.

Side dishes include southern favorites like collard greens that sing of bacon and vinegar, a classic rendition of macaroni and cheese, moist buttery squares of corn bread and crunchy fresh green beans.

“We aren’t trying to imitate your mother’s cooking,” said Mollol, “but we have tried to showcase technique and flavors that will appeal to everyone.”

89-04 Parsons Boulevard, Jamaica
Open daily, dinner only from 4 p.m.



Sheraton coming to Jamaica

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Andrew Levenbaum, P.E.

Downtown Jamaica development is under way with the official announcement of a Four Points Sheraton hotel headed to the area.

After the economic downturn of a few years ago, development and investment interest is at long last picking back up, said Laurel Brown, executive director of the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District (BID).

“There is a lot of untapped potential down here. We’re seeing people latch onto that,” she said. “Having Sheraton invest in Jamaica just underscores exactly what we’re saying.”

The 150-room hotel is expected to go up on 94th Avenue near 147th Street, one block away from JFK International Airport’s AirTrain and the Long Island Railroad transportation hub. Groundbreaking is projected for later this year or early 2014, according to Andrew Levenbaum, P.E., the architect for the project.

Community leaders hope that the addition of a well-known name such as Sheraton will bring fliers as well as a more diverse crowd to the area.

Simone Price, executive director of the Sutphin Boulevard BID, said it also had the potential to elevate interest for other businesses to plant roots in Jamaica.

“People always want to see someone else come into the district first,” she said. The Sheraton “will be a great launching pad.”

Price added the hotel will give southeast Queens its first meeting and event space as well as job opportunities.

The BIDs and the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC) are still in talks with various businesses in hopes of getting them to lease space in the area, Brown said.

CityRib, a new Manhattan-based barbecue eatery, is slated to open in the neighborhood as well. Brown said the high-end restaurant will give residents and visitors a different option in a community dominated by fast-food chains.