Tag Archives: Food

Good Greek grub at Aegea


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Victor G. Mimoni

Aegea, located at the “Douglaston Corner” serves up a surprisingly good array of apps, wraps, pasta, pizza, salads, Greek specialties and some of the best burgers in town.

Owner Mike Sackos commands the counter, moving at light-speed to ensure that, even when the place is packed (which is often), the dishes are not only delicious, but also well-presented and a treat to the eye as well as the palate.

Sackos’ forebears hail from the isle of Chios, just off the coast of Turkey – hence his motto, “where the Aegean meets the Mediterranean.” This may also explain the tasty falafel and Turkish gyro listed alongside the fantastic baby lamb chops, moussaka and other Greek specialties.

Aegea features a wide selection of salads for the health conscious, including seasonal selections. The winter salad is red and green for the season – tender spinach leaves, cucumber, red onion, beets, chick peas and crumbled feta, with a creamy vinaigrette dressing.

Other salad selections include Acropolis (with walnuts and goat cheese),  Aegea (with stuffed grape leaves, feta and grilled chicken),  Douglaston (with shredded mozzarella, fried chicken strips and honey mustard dressing) and of course, Greek salads, all well-dressed and beautifully presented.

Having started in the restaurant business at the tender age of 16 and formerly the owner of  Pete’s Pizza on Bell Boulevard, Sackos’ pie bona fides are impeccable, as are his Sicilian round pies, offered with a good selection of toppings. Those too hungry for a just a slice can also opt for the nine-inch “Pita Pizza,” in plain cheese, Greek (lots of olives and feta), Buffalo or pesto chicken varieties.

Pasta lovers can choose from several varieties of spaghetti, baked ziti, penne (whole wheat penne also available) or stuffed shells. The red sauce is piquant and fresh and dishes with red or white clam sauce, or oil and garlic also satisfy.

More than a dozen wraps will satisfy any taste, from vegetarian to tuna, turkey or Angus burger, plus the expected Mediterranean flavors, including shrimp with spinach, souvlaki or gyro filled. For those with no Hellenic inspiration, there’s even a Philly cheesesteak wrap.

Speaking of burgers, the variety of seven-ounce Angus burgers for less than $7 (deluxe for a few dollars more) is an outstanding value. The Aegea burger features American cheese with grilled onions, peppers and mushrooms is juicy and delicious. Soups and sides are also first rate.

If you have room for dessert, the Greek pastry offerings are large, authentic and wonderful.

Mike added a mirror-image double-G to the logo, “Because ‘Aegea’ is a palindrome,” a word that spells correctly forward or backward. Any way you look at it, it’s a place for good food at a great price. Yiasou!

Aegea Gyros and Pizza
242-05 Northern Blvd., Douglaston
718-423-4429
Open 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. every day
Closed Christmas, Thanksgiving Day
Cards accepted for dine in, take out
Free local delivery, cash orders only
Extended delivery for catering orders
Limited on street parking
Q-12 bus, LIRR Douglaston station

VICTOR G. MIMONI

 

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More than just a steakhouse


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Bradley Hawks

It is not your typical steakhouse.  M. Wells is anything and everything besides just a steakhouse.

In a Napoleonic tradition of aristocracy, corks—still attached to the severed necks of champagne bottles—clunk to the floor with the swing of a sabre.  A couple at the Chef’s Counter sipped glasses of Nero Né, while trout swam beneath the glass countertop.  Beside the trout tank sat four panoramas—two yet-to-be decorated.  One of the designs—perhaps representing Chef Hugue Dufour and his wife, Sarah Obraitis—is of a couple relaxing by their cabin in the mountains, surrounded by grapes and mushrooms and decorations of nuts and berries, as if to celebrate the fruits of their labor.

The entire space is like a breathtaking tribute to the dichotomy between work and play.  From the outside, the space appears to be merely an old rundown garage, while in actuality it is an epicurean sanctuary on the inside.

The menu is equally brilliant and baffling.  Appetizers can easily pass for full meals, and there is so much more than simply steak—though it is very much a presence, with or without the bone, intended to serve just one or an entire party.

On my first visit, a bag secured by a drawstring was the first thing presented at the table, and we stared at it, almost waiting for something to crawl out.  Nothing did—of course—and so we passed out the warm pretzel rolls, which are served with a tiny pitcher of mustard, as well as a warm pat of butter.

From the raw bar, we ordered the “Dog Bowl,” which essentially could have served as our meal.  The lobster tails were exquisitely smoky and sweet after being grilled, then slathered in an herbed aioli.  Pickled smelt lay across potato waffles with crème fraiche, smothered in salty golden orbs of trout roe.  Hackleback caviar was pressed into sheets and served on brioche, like tea sandwiches.  A decadent lobster roll arrived  next, dripping with tarragon aioli.  Escargot was lined up and roasted alongside bone marrow.

Everything was luxurious.

Potato gnocchi were stuffed with foie gras medallions, and poutine was served with straws of crispy golden French fries loaded with melted cheese curds, all drizzled in brown gravy.  The Grassfed Cowboy was as exquisite as any steak I have ever enjoyed, the juices burst in my mouth as I would bite.  And I have never, ever had potatoes like these before—almost two parts butter and cheddar to a single portion of spud—stringing from the spoon playfully as I drew my fork.

The meal was outstanding in every possible way.  And there are so many things that still I want to try.  The beef butter sounds divine.  The Caesar salad looks remarkable, covered in a snowfall of pecorino shavings.  At just $15, the bone-in burger looked  delicious.  And the Coquilles St. Féréol is supposed to be like a seafood shepherd’s pie, with scallops buried beneath an afghan of mashed potatoes, which have been carefully piped onto the plate.

We paid the bill without even considering dessert.  Our waitress, who had been incredible, smiled as she handed me the leftovers in a brown bag.  “I snuck in a piece of cheesecake,” she said as she winked, which I had been eyeing on the dessert cart, swimming in a vanilla bean sauce.

M. Wells
43-15 Crescent St., Long Island City
718-786-9060

BRADLEY HAWKS

 

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Osteria Italiana: For a real Italian experience


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Looking for real Italian food, but can’t go to Italy? Then how about Maspeth?

Osteria Italiana, which loosely translates to “Italian restaurant,” opened up over the summer on 61st Street near Grand Avenue with a familiar face.

Head chef and part-owner Michael Zampitelli, who is an Italian native turned Maspeth resident, brings nearly 40 years of Italian cooking experience to the neighborhood. Zampitelli owned a popular restaurant in nearby Glendale, which was forced to close in 2008 due to high rental costs.

Zampitelli, who has worked in the restaurant business starting as a teenager in Rome, wants to bring affordable, authentic Italian food to the neighborhood with Osteria.

Chicken cordon bleu

“Everywhere you go in the city, the neighborhoods are mixed. You can find everything,” Zampitelli said. “Personally I think in Maspeth there are no real Italian restaurants. You find diners and pizzerias, but no real Italian restaurants.”

Aside from Zampitelli’s extensive Italian cooking experience, Osteria’s food is authenticated by the ingredients, such as cheeses and olive oil, which are imported directly from Italy.

The menu at Osteria is wide and can satisfy many taste buds.

Starters include soups, salads and appetizers. One appetizer, the eggplant parmigiana, is covered with fresh mozzarella and Parmigiano cheese with a savory marinara sauce.

Spaghetti alla carbonara 

Entrees include a range of pastas, chicken, veal and fish dishes.

Zampitelli’s spaghetti alla carbonara is a masterpiece at $11.95, for those not watching their waistline. The pasta dish is a mix of pecorino cheese, a creamy sauce and bits of bacon.

The chicken cordon bleu, at $14.95, is a hefty meal with big pieces of tender chicken, served with mushrooms and mashed potatoes.

Desserts on the menu include an Italian cheesecake with ricotta cheese and tiramisu, along with other Italian classics. And of course wines, such as merlot, are on the menu as well.

With Zampitelli’s return, some of his long-time customers have followed him to Osteria. He believes it’s because of the quality of his food and the friendly way he treats his patrons.

“Everyone who comes here we treat like family, that’s why they’ve follow me for many, many years,” Zampitelli said.

Osteria Italiana
57-57 61st Street, Maspeth
718-894-4391
Hours: Monday-Sunday Noon-11 p.m.
Cash only
Wheelchair accessible
Delivery

 

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Cavo: A little bit of something for everyone


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Bradley Hawks

It is a juicy hamburger stuffed with decadent, velvety foie gras—like a gigantic beef ravioli nestled on fluffy brioche.  It sits on a bed of crumbled feta and is topped with a ribbon of kefteri cheese and pickled onions.  It is the filet mignon of burgers, and it is just the tip of the iceberg at CavoAstoria’s premiere restaurant, complete with garden, lounge and club.

For years, Cavo has been serving elevated Mediterranean cuisine in one of the most sophisticated dining rooms this side of the Hudson—and the current menu is certainly no exception.  A front bar splits off to additional seating areas on the side, before opening up to a vaulted dining room with giant cloth-covered chandeliers.  Beyond that, steps descend into a sunken garden with waterfalls and foliage cascading down two-story walls.

Cavo showcases a lovely blend of favorite dishes primarily from Greece and Italy intermixed with accents from all over the world—under the direction and expertise of Omari Dacosta, most recently of Danny Meyer’s barbecue hot spot, Blue Smoke.  Dacosta has also worked in the kitchens of Trestle on Tenth, Pera Mediterranean Brasserie, and Red Rooster in Harlem.

At Cavo, the Greek influences are certainly the most pronounced.  Ravioli is stuffed with Greek cheese and arrives under a blanket of creamy feta with white truffle essence. Exceptionally tender octopus is charcoal grilled with lemon and extra virgin olive oil, presented simply, yet still an outstanding dish.  Jumbo lump crabmeat is forked into hearty cakes, and stacked with fennel shavings and celery root puree.

A watermelon salad sings with tomato and feta, and jumbo shrimp arrive wrapped in phyllo dough.  Entrees range from plates of pasta loaded with fresh seafood, to an artichoke feta risotto, Chilean sea bass, and even a filet mignon with lemon potato gratin.

Desserts are equally sublime.  A granita of strawberries sits on a Greek yogurt panna cotta, dressed with shavings of lime zest. Nutella crepes are stuffed with walnut banana compote.

Cocktails range from Cavo’s famous sangria, to a cucumber basil Collins or lychee martini.  Sweeter spirits range from a chocolate martini to a sparkling raspberry watermelon diva martini.

From start to finish, dining at Cavo will leave you wanting to return.  Perfect for an intimate weekday dinner or a weekend evening of dancing, there’s a little bit of something for everyone.

Cavo
42-18 31st Avenue, Astoria
718-721-1001
Closed Mondays
Open daily at 5 p.m.

BRADLEY HAWKS

 

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Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: A slight chance of showers. Cloudy, with a high near 54. Southwest wind 8 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Wednesday night: A slight chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 46. Southwest wind around 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Local death toll climbs to 35; more than a year to recover

Large swaths of the New York area looked like a post-apocalyptic wasteland yesterday in the aftermath of a colossal hurricane that killed at least 35 people and crippled transit and power networks. It will take a year or more to fully recover from the assault of Hurricane Sandy — the most devastating storm to ever strike the Big Apple. Read more: NY Post

City continues efforts to restore power, transportation following storm

New Yorkers are beginning to pick up the pieces as crews work around-the-clock to restore the city’s power grid and transit system following Sandy’s deadly path of destruction across the five boroughs. An MTA spokesperson says that local and express bus service will mostly run today but adds that buses will be detoured based on road conditions. Read more: NY1

Damage estimates paint bleak picture

It will take deep pockets to pay off this Sandy-soaked bill. Economic damage from superstorm Sandy could cost the region a staggering $10 billion to $20 billion, according to initial estimates. “The storm sort of played out the way we expected it to,” said Bill Keogh, president of EQECAT, a risk-management modeling firm that studies natural disasters for the insurance industry. Read more: NY Post

Widow sues elite security guard company over husband’s death

A company that provides security to the New York Stock Exchange and other big firms must pay for killing “an innocent victim” who was run down by a driver while eating his lunch, a lawsuit charges. Sorel Depas-Medina, a hard-working clerk in the state Attorney General’s Office, was eating on Broad St. when a Honda SUV, driven by a T&M Protection Resources employee, jumped a curb and pinned him against the wall on Aug. 23. Read more: Daily News

Looters ‘swipe’ up the mess in chaos zones

Hurricane Sandy brought out the worst yesterday in some sleazy New Yorkers, who looted stores and homes across the city. Some posed as Con Ed workers to dupe their victims. Police arrested more than a dozen looters in the Rockaways and Coney Island, which had been evacuated, and stood guard outside ravaged stores at the South Street Seaport. Read more: NY Post

Food trucks rolling

There may be no light in the kitchen, but there’s likely food in the pantry. The city’s food network roared back to life yesterday, with trucks rolling in and out of the Hunts Point Cooperative Market in The Bronx and other key distribution hubs. Read more: NY Post

the Kebab House, Middle Eastern Cuisine at It’s Finest


| jlane@queenscourier.com

BY SHEILA DIAMOND
editorial@queenscourier.com

Queens, with its plethora of cuisines, is an epicurean dream.

Luckily, one does not have to travel far for superb Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes, as the Kebab House can be found right on Northern Boulevard in Little Neck.
The night we dined there we were greeted royally by owner Ramazan Ay, who has created a colorful, yet cozy and warm atmosphere for patrons. Ay had the table set with an array of appetizers, fragrant and delectable, which included humus, a grilled eggplant salad called Patlican, stuffed grape leaves, Yalanci Dolma, pan-fried phyllo rolls stuffed with feta cheese, Sigara Borek and an amazing platter of calamari made in a seasonal flour batter sautéed to perfection and served with his very own special sauce made of Italian bread and an egg yolk . . . amazing. There was a choice of beverages including some Turkish wine and soft drinks.

Ay took great delight in describing the freshness of his food and in making sure his customers are happy with his own special touches. The staff was warm and attentive to our needs as well.

We were enjoying the ambiance of his restaurant and all the appetizers thinking we couldn’t possibly eat any more when Ay placed before us a sampling of grilled meats seasoned with Turkish spices. This was served on top of a bed of rice and vegetables. There was Doner Kebab, vertically grilled lamb sliced very thin; Kofte Kebab, char-grilled ground lamb; and chicken shish-kebab served with a cool and refreshing yogurt sauce. There is something for every taste on the menu, from grilled meats to vegetarian dishes and superb fish choices including a char-grilled Branzino and European sea bass marinated in lemon and parsley.

The restaurant was filling up as we were sampling and enjoying and all those around us seemed to be enjoying the warmth, the background Turkish music and the fragrant dishes being served.

The food was so plentiful and again we could not imagine eating any more, but how can one resist dessert? Before us was placed a tray filled with sweets like baklava, rice pudding and Halva and Tahini pasta with pistachios. Delicious!

We thoroughly enjoyed our tasting and the Kebab House’s wonderful hospitality. We traveled to Turkey without ever leaving home.

St. Patrick’s Day around Queens


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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Queens’ St. Patrick’s parades have passed and for those that want to avoid the madness of Manhattan there are a plethora of options right here in the borough. Bars around Queens borough are serving up St. Paddy’s Day specials, so revelers can save some green.

Here are some spots around the borough to celebrate:

Austin Ale House, Kew Gardens:

Live music Friday and Saturday with a complimentary corned beef and cabbage buffet from 3-5 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day and food and drink specials all day.

Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, Astoria:

Receive a St. Paddy’s Day mug with unlimited refills on select beers for just $15. There will also be live music, $4 shots of Bushmills, $5 shots of Jameson, $6 Jager bombs, $7 Irish car bombs and $10 corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and carrots.

Bourbon Street, Bayside:

Friday the restaurant will feature a pre-St. Patrick’s Day happy hour drink specials and “green” giveaways. On St. Paddy’s Day watch the parade from the bar with live music, free corned beef and cabbage from 3-5 p.m. For those suffering a post-holiday hangover the bar has a Sunday brunch with Bloody Mary drink specials.

Donovan’s, Bayside:

The New York institution since 1966 will be serving up a traditional Irish breakfast on St. Patrick’s Day between 9-11:30 a.m. Live Irish music by The Sporting Paddies will be performed between 5-8 p.m.

Gibbons’ Home, Maspeth:

The recently reopened Irish pub will feature live Irish music Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Strawberry’s Sports Grill, Douglaston:

Darryl Strawberry’s restaurant will be featuring drink specials all day including: $2 Coors Lights, $3 domestic drafts, $3 green Jell-O shots, $4 Guinness drafts, $4 Killian’s, $5 Jameson shots and $7 car bombs. Fill up with smoked corned beef and coleslaw specials all day.

Studio Square, Astoria:

Enjoy a free corned beef and cabbage buffet between noon and 5 p.m. Wash that down with a pitcher of Killian’s Irish Red and three shots of Jameson for $18 or $2 Jameson shots.

Safari Beach Club, Bayside:

The bar will open at 8 a.m. and feature $5 Irish coffees. There will be free shots for ladies between 2-6 p.m. and live music beginning at 11 a.m.

Woodside, once the heart of Queens’ Irish-American community, still maintains a strong presence of Irish pride and features some of the best Irish pubs in the city. Stop by Sean Og Tavern, Saints and Sinners, Donovan’s Pub, Molly Blooms in neighboring Sunnyside, amongst a host of others for an authentic pub experience.

 

Taste of Sunnyside


| smosco@queenscourier.com

The Courier Photos

The Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District (BID) joined forces for the 2nd annual Taste of Sunnyside event on Tuesday October 15.

 

The community came out in numbers to sample the best tastes from throughout the neighborhood.

 

As it was last year, this event was a wonderful showcase of the world’s premier food and drinks close to home in western Queens – guests tasted Japanese, Mexican, Italian, Thai, Filipino, Irish, American and much, much more.

Water’s Edge: Stunning setting, fabulous food


| vschneps@queenscourier.com

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Water's Edge on Urbanspoon
Offering the most spectacular views of Manhattan is part of what makes Water’s Edge Restaurant so special. The other part is that the food matches the setting.

After a recent renovation by new owner Singh Hospitality Group, operators of nine restaurants and catering facilities on Long Island, the cherished and respected restaurant has been brought back to its former glamour and quality. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion to dine there for lunch or dinner. The menu has been carefully designed by their master chef.

We began our meal with a crunchy crab cake loaded with fish and light bread crumbs served on a bed of corn spuma. The roasted baby beet tower was beautiful to look at and tasty, too. The goat cheese Mousse Brûlée was piled between the beets in a balsamic reduction. Another winner is also the braised short rib timbale served on braised endive with chanterelles in a red wine reduction. Of course there is the perfectly-prepared classic Caesar Salad served with shaved Reggiano cheese, a nice touch. We also sampled the char-broiled baby octopus. The large portion was served with fingerling potatoes, capers and yellow peppers sprinkled with a jalapeno oil.

For our main courses we were impressed with the two steak dishes. Perfectly prepared to our order, both the filet mignon and the grilled New York strip steak are not to be missed. As a salmon lover the Waters Edge’s offering impressed me. It was a baby artichoke crusted salmon served with spaghetti squash, baby turnips – all in a saffron broth and done to my medium rare order.

For vegetarians, one of our party appreciated the stuffed vegetable trio – mushroom cannelloni, a stuffed tomato and squash. It was a delight to the eye and palate.

There is an extensive and impressive wine list that goes from moderate to expensive and the staff can advise you on your selection.

We couldn’t miss the desserts and Water’s Edge has outstanding choices. My husband had his favorite, a warmed apple crisp topped by vanilla ice cream. My friend loved the banana bread pudding served with a caramel sauce. For me, my decadent side was satisfied by the chocolate molten lava cake served with vanilla ice cream. I tried to leave some over out of respect to my figure but this one was irresistible.

Of course, if you are having a party the second floor is perfect with its floor-to-ceiling windows and marvelous food that we sampled in the dining room. They can accommodate up to 350 people.

The attentive staff and superb food make Water’s Edge in Long Island City a destination location wherever you live. There is even a weekend ferry boat that brings guests from Manhattan to their deck on the East River.

Try it, you’ll love it!

Water’s Edge Restaurant

The East River at 44th Drive

Long Island City, N.Y. 11101

Phone 718-482-0033

Fax 718-937-8817

www.watersedgenyc.com

Dinner Monday through Saturday

5:30 to 11 p.m.

Lunch Monday through Friday

noon to 3 p.m.

Free and valet parking on-site.

 

Thai Rock: This place rocks


| jlane@queenscourier.com

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Now there’s another reason to go to the beach – even in the off season.

That’s right folks – Thai food and rock and roll.

Thai Rock on Rockaway Beach, where the food rocks — and so does the music – offers Rock and Roll Friday and Saturday; Jazz Sunday and karaoke Monday.

Come for the paintings alone – they are displayed in their own special space. Geoff Rawling is the artist.

Drive to Far Rockaway – go down Cross Bay Boulevard, past Howard Beach – breeze through Broad Channel, pay the toll, cross the bridge, stay left and you’re there – Thai Rock & Roll – a new compelling place to eat on the water – not to be missed.

You can literally eat outdoors while gazing out on the water, sky, bridge and dock. This is Queens – too good to be true.

The food is amazing — everything you expect and more. We ate appetizers including fried tofu with peanut sauce, crispy spring rolls –carrot, cabbage and bean noodle — Curry Puff (sweet potato, peas and carrots) and vegetable dumplings. All were beyond good. Each dish is homemade and served with ginger, peanut and chili sauces.

Our main courses, recommended by Robert, our host and owner, who with Meeta his partner and wife runs a great establishment, were Big Bowl (steamed shrimp, glass noodle, baby corn, white onion, shitake, ginger, bell pepper and scallion with sesame oil in white wine sauce) and Flying Tiger – a marinated strip steak with sticky rice. Both dishes were exceptional.

The dessert was an awesome way to end to the meal – Bangkok Ice Cream – coconut or green tea ice cream with Lambutan.

The music started at 10 p.m. We sat outside on a large open deck surrounded by water – with drifting clouds – attended to by our wonderful server Joanne. Sometimes life is perfect.

Thai Rock

375 Beach 92nd Street, near Beach Channel Drive,

Rockaway Beach

Phone: 646-455-3991

thairock.us

Hours: Sunday through Thursday, noon to 10 p.m.

Weekends noon to 11 p.m.

Bar open later

Handicap accessible

Private parties

Eat-in/take-out/delivery

All major credit cards accepted

Grand opening of Five Guys


| jlane@queenscourier.com

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Five Guys Burgers and Fries had customers waiting outside their restaurant for their grand opening on Monday, September 19 in the Sky View Center.

“Before 11 a.m., there was a line with about 10 people waiting for us to open,” said Monique Jimenez, employee of Five Guys.

The fast food chain opened on level B of the regional mall. This 2,000-square-foot Five Guys marked the third Queens location for the burger joint.

“We don’t have any holding units, such as freezers, so everything goes freshly prepped on the grill,” said Rob LaMarca, store manager of Five Guys.

Founded in 1986 by Janie and Jerry Murrel, Five Guys continues to be family-owned by their five sons. The company, which originated in Arlington, Virginia, has quickly expanded from a local favorite to an international brand. Known for their double-patty burgers, the restaurant’s signature look continues to be their red and white checked design scheme.

“Everything we cook is with 100 percent peanut oil. We also offer free peanuts while you eat; fresh quality products are what we serve,” said LaMarca.

Located in Downtown Flushing and a short distance away from other heavily-populated Queens neighborhoods, Sky View Center retailers stand to benefit from a large population density. It’s also easily accessible by both car and mass transit. The regularly expanding shopping destination currently offers three hours of free parking seven days a week.

Vote for your favorite Queens bars, restaurants & catering halls


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Best Of The Boro

Over 8,000 votes have already been cast by residents in The Queens Courier’s Best of the Boro Competition.

There is only one way to make sure your favorite bar, restaurant or catering hall wins – vote. You vote, they win.

The cultural diversity in Queens is matched by the array of cuisine served up by the borough’s restaurants. Looking for a good Thai, Greek, Italian, American, Indian, Japanese, Mexican or Latin American restaurant visit the Best of the Boro voting page and see who Queens residents consider the best. Then try a couple in the category and decide who deserves your vote as the very best.

There are 44 categories of food and drink for residents to vote in: ranging from best happy hour and beer selection to best cup of coffee and dessert; from best calamari and bakery to best sports bar and catering hall. Each category will have a winner crowned Best of the Boro.

Keep your eye out for each of 150 eateries with a Best of the Boro poster in the window indicating they’ve been nominated. Restaurants will also have postcards urging customers to vote for them.

Click here to vote for your favorite restaurant or watering hole is easy. There you can vote for your favorite in each of category.

All you need to vote is a valid email and live in the continental United States. One vote per email address per day is allowed. The results are tabulated by a third party company.

To stay up-to-the-minute on the competition like the Best of the Boro page on Facebook and follow @BestOfTheBoro on Twitter.

Discover Queens Restaurant Week Returns


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Discover Queens Restaurant Week

“Maybe in the near future, we will be celebrating Discover Queens restaurant month,” said Borough President Helen Marshall speaking about the past successes of Discover Queens Restaurant Week now in its eighth year. Beginning on September 19 through the 22nd and September 26 through the 29th, close to 100 restaurants from around the borough will participate in specially prepared menus at reasonable prices with the intention of showing off what Queens eateries have to offer. Many of those restaurants participated at the kick-off event in front of Queensborough Hall where passers-by and local employees got a taste of things to come.

“We look forward to restaurant week every year,” said Les Barnes, owner of London Lennies in Rego Park who was serving up hot New England clam chowder to a long line of patrons. “It’s an opportunity for our customers and Queens residents to taste the great cuisine of the borough.”

Most of the growing list of participating restaurants will adhere to a three-course prix fixe menu for $25 like Pop Diner in Elmhurst who took first place at the Queens Economic Development Corporations (QEDC) A Taste of the World event for their plantain wrapped seasoned ground beef earlier this year.

“We will have a new, extensive menu,” said Angel Almonte, general manager. “We are hoping we will see a lot of business in the coming weeks.”

Other dishes served in front of Queensborough Hall included empanadas from El Coyote restaurant in Jackson Heights, penne a la vodka from Uncle Peter’s in Jackson Heights, sliced steak and Sambuca shrimp from Austin’s Steakhouse in Kew Gardens and Asian delicacies from Jade in Flushing. Seth Bornstein, executive director of the QEDC, hopes that this year will be even more successful than last year’s record setting number of participating restaurants.

“The Discover Queens Restaurant Week is the most delicious bargain in New York City,” said Bornstein. “There truly is something for every palate.”

Discover Queens Restaurant Week is sponsored by TD Bank, JetBlue Airlines, The Queens Courier, Restaurant Depot, Il Bacco Ristorante Italiano and Trattoria Thirty Five. For a full list of participating restaurants, visit www.discoverqueens.info.