Tag Archives: LIC Market

Top five brunch spots in Astoria and LIC

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via The Queens Kickshaw Facebook page


With jaw-dropping city views and an impressive roster of fun weekend activities and outdoor events, Astoria and Long Island City have become premier summer destinations in the city.

Whether you’re enjoying a concert in Astoria Park, browsing the LIC Flea Market, exploring art at MoMA PS1 or sneaking a peek at some of the area’s amazing open houses, kick off your weekend by fueling up at one of the neighborhoods’ top brunch spots.

LIC Market
21-52 44th Dr., Long Island City
Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This cozy eatery is part American bistro, part rustic general store, with exposed white brick walls, chalkboard menu and wooden, farmhouse-style bar. The menu at LIC Market is frequently updated according to season and freshness, with much of their produce picked within a day of serving.

Photo courtesy of LIC Market

Photo courtesy of LIC Market

Brunch favorites include the slow roasted duck hash ($14), dirty rice frittata ($12) and buttermilk pancakes ($14) served with homemade berry jam, toasted pumpkin seed butter and maple syrup. For those seeking lighter fare, the ricotta and pignoli salad ($10) is a bounty of fresh arugula, golden raisins, toasted pine nuts, orange slices and roasted shallot vinaigrette. Sip on the traditional mimosa ($8) or a cup of freshly brewed, organic coffee sourced from direct trade micro-lots and roasted in Long Island ($2).

LIC Market is also a purveyor of homemade delights, such as strawberry and black pepper jam, and roasted cashew butter, for sale in little glass jars and cans on its quaint general store shelves.

12-14 31st Ave., Long Island City
Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Bear

This LIC restaurant and bar was founded back in 2011 by Executive Chef and Owner Natasha Pogrebinsky, who blends culinary traditions from the family’s native Kiev, along with Ukrainian and traditional French cuisine, to create flavorful, innovative dishes.

The dill poached potatoes ($5) and beet salad ($5) reflect Pogrebinsky’s Eastern European roots. A $15 prix-fixe brunch menu offers chicken kiev and waffles, as well as hearty borscht with a side of garlic and egg buns. Summer brunch favorites include the chilled tomato gazpacho ($9), farmer’s market mixed greens ($9) and tomato and onion sunflower salad ($7). All of Bear’s produce is locally sourced from farms in New York and New Jersey, as well as handpicked by Chef Pogrebinsky on weekly trips to the Union Square Farmers Market.

Unlike traditional brunch libations, the bloody mary at Bear is a feast for the eyes and palette, complete with a slice of candied bacon, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, jumbo celery stalk, pickles, and hard-boiled egg and olive skewer ($9).

The Queens Kickshaw
40-17 Broadway, Astoria
Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Photo via The Queens Kickshaw Facebook page

Photo via The Queens Kickshaw Facebook page

This specialty coffee shop and cider bar serves up delicious, flavorful brunch fare on weekends and special holidays. The Kickshaw’s ranchers’ eggs ($14) is a zesty mix of jalapeño cornbread, guacamole, pico de gallo and sunny side up eggs. Hungry Astorians in the mood to indulge would love the mac ‘n’ cheese ($12.50), a hearty blend of Gruyère, smoked mozzarella, French beans and caramelized onions.

The kitchen sink salad ($12.50) combines a colorful mix of mesclun greens, roasted red and golden beets, and sunchokes topped with blue cheese dressing. The decadent Mast Bros. Mocha ($5) or hot chocolate ($4.50) provides a sweet finish to this brunch outing. Espresso soda ($3.25) and cold-brewed iced coffee ($3.50) are refreshing options for warm summer mornings.

Sugar Freak
36-18 30th Ave., Astoria
Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Midnight brunch: Friday and Saturday from noon to 3 a.m.

Photo via Sugar Freak Facebook page

Photo via Sugar Freak Facebook page

Astoria hot spot Sugar Freak specializes in festive, flavorful New Orleans fare served in a relaxed, homespun atmosphere.

Its brunch beignet sliders ($2 to $8) are a delightful mix of scrambled eggs with praline bacon and pimento cheese. The Sugar Freak breakfast ($14) is a generous platter of three eggs (any style) with homemade boudin sausage and grits in gravy with a biscuit. Waffle varieties range from sweet potato and cornbread to spicy Cajun-filled ($8) and are topped with your choice of specialty sauces, including bananas foster, chili honey, sweet and spicy condensed milk or raspberry (+ $3), oxtail grits ($15-18), chicken fried steak ($16) and the holy trinity ($16), a trifecta of fried oysters, shrimp and catfish, offer a unique spin on traditional brunch dishes. Pair them with the herb-infused green bloody mary ($10) or Creole lady marmalade, a potent gin martini with marmalade, orange liqueur and lemon.

Night owls who wish to indulge in brunch are in luck, as Sugar Freak offers a special midnight brunch to hungry late night crowds every Friday and Saturday from noon to 3 a.m.

34-55 32nd St., Astoria
Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m  to 4 p.m.
Monday from noon to midnight

Photo via Snowdonia Facebook page

Photo via Snowdonia Facebook page

This cozy gastro pub is known for serving up Welsh-inspired dishes two short blocks away from the famous Kaufman Astoria Studios and Museum of the Moving Image.

Snowdonia’s small brunch plates, or “platiau bach ac oer,” include the laverbread and bacon ($6), a welsh bread made from fresh “laver” or seaweed, lemon zest and oatmeal with bacon. The traditional Welsh rarebit ($9) is a rich, melted three cheese blend served on toasted baguette. Brunch entrees include shepherd’s pie ($16), leek bacon and egg pie ($12), brisket and eggs ($15), and the half English breakfast ($15) featuring two eggs any style with vegetarian baked beans, welsh banger and chorizo sausages. The sticky toffee bread pudding ($7) and bourbon brownie ($7) are sweet compliments to the savory fare.

In addition to an extensive menu of craft beer and cider, Snowdonia also features specialty cocktails like the Welsh 75 ($11), a blend of New Amsterdam gin, muddled raspberry, ginger cordial, mint and champagne float. Snowdonia’s brunch dishes are also available all day on Mondays, providing a great start to any week.


Spring is springing: 6 things to do this Sunday in Long Island City

| michael@warrenlewis.com

LIC things to do

Warren Lewis Sotheby’s International Realty is pleased to offer the following tips for explorers considering living in Long Island City.

Come to our Rental Open House at The Fusion
42-51 Hunter St.
2:45 to 3:45 pm

Loft-like living with deluxe finishing touches is yours at the Fusion. This 1,240-square-foot 2BR/2Bath is within eye-shot and minutes of mid-town Manhattan –N,Q,R,E,M,F,G and 7 trains get you everywhere!

And then you can…

Have brunch at LIC Market
21-52 44th Dr.
(Just west of 23rd Street)
Brunch: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Hit the LIC Flea

5-25 46th Ave.
(Outdoor lot by the waterfront at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue)
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
(Photo by  Dominick Totino Photography) 

Visit MoMA PS1

 22-25 Jackson Ave.
(At the intersection of 46th Ave.)
King Britt presents MOONDANCE, A Night in the AfroFuture
12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Walk along the East River at Gantry Plaza State Park

4-09 47th Rd.
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Take in the Whitewash 5Pointz exhibit at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery

21-37 45th Rd.
12 to 6 p.m.

Want to know more about living in LIC?  Ask a local.  Email Michael@warrenlewis.com

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 14,000 sales associates located in approximately 650 offices in 45 countries and territories worldwide. 



Restorative artist rebuilds the past in Long Island City

| aaltman@queenscourier.com


Balanced on wooden supports in Lisa DiClerico’s Long Island City studio was an 18th century European mirror. The 10-foot-tall relic suffered damages during a fire. Its previously ornate, gilded edges were left charred. The mirror’s sculpted glass, once reflecting the image of a figure now long gone, was coated in layers of soot. Many ornamental leaves snapped off during the blaze, leaving an enormous, historic puzzle.

The mirror was in pieces. DiClerico put it back together.

The restorative artist repairs and conserves antique furnishings and fixtures, rejuvenating vestiges from the past to their original splendor.

Growing up in Staten Island, DiClerico acquainted herself with art from an early age. Her grandmother kept an in-home studio where she taught DiClerico oil painting. Her great-grandfather excelled in sculpture, many of his creations still in DiClerico’s possession.

She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, majoring in fine arts before switching to the school’s restoration program. When she graduated in 1999, DiClerico was unsure of her future.

“I wasn’t convinced that I wanted to be a restorer,” she said. “I wanted to paint and sculpt every day. I wanted a really hands-on art job with materials and techniques.”

DiClerico became captivated by the materials and techniques involved with restoration, mixing her own paints, pigments and glues. She adored learning the history behind the design and origins of pieces.

After graduating, DiClerico enrolled in a continuing studies program where she assisted with the restoration of a 13th century fresco in Florence, Italy. She said the experience furthered her perspective on the world of restoration.

After returning from Florence, DiClerico spent two years working with a studio furniture maker, exploring more deeply the techniques of woodworking while learning about the material. The tactile experience provided learning beyond what DiClerico felt she could access in a classroom.

DiClerico left the woodshop, going to work at S. Porter, a studio that focuses on restoration and conservation. To make extra money, she waited tables in restaurants. While waitressing at SoHo hotspot Giorgione, she met her current long-term partner, Alex, who was the restaurant’s executive chef.

As work became steadier, DiClerico left her side job and set up her own studio – a space she shares with a girlfriend from college who is also a restorative artist.

While DiClerico does not specialize in museum-type conservation, she believes staying true to the piece’s original design is imperative. DiClerico only uses antique methods and materials, handcrafting her own shellacs and avoiding contemporary paint. The key to conservation, she says, is reversibility. Anything she does should theoretically have the ability to be undone.

“Over time, if the color starts to oxidize or if 100 years from now someone wants to redo the piece, my additions can be taken out without any damage to the original material,” she said.

Various jobs can take anywhere from half a day to several weeks and differ greatly in need – a work perk DiClerico says keeps her on point and forces her to use creative problem solving. Most of the pieces come from private collectors who purchased them at auctions. She recently refurbished an art deco style child’s chair, recovered from the SS Normandie – a transatlantic luxury liner seized during World War II.

Several years ago, Alex decided to open his own restaurant, convinced by DiClerico to set up shop in Long Island City. Over a year, the couple designed and renovated the space, using found objects from a friend’s 20th century Flushing home before it was knocked down. Salvaged wooden doors became the baseboards for the restaurant’s bar and a gorgeous wrought-iron gate now adorns the eatery’s entryway.

“It was the universe saying ‘here’s a house full of really cool stuff that’s just going to go in the garbage,’” said DiClerico.

July marks two years of the couple as co-owners of LIC Market. Alex spends all day in the kitchen while DiClerico curates the store’s art, keeping the interior fresh with work from budding artists.

“I really love this neighborhood, so it’s neat to have created the place we wanted and to get such positive feedback from people who live here and people who commute too,” said DiClerico. “It’s really rewarding.”

DiClerico commented on Long Island City’s uncommon sense of community and the joy she feels from providing a place that brings people together.

In an effort to collaborate with other artists, DiClerico helped foster and sits on the board of the Artisan’s Guild of America – a network of creatives she hopes will expand across the country.

“We need to preserve these things and raise awareness,” said DiClerico. “They can disappear in this rapidly-changing and evolving world.”