Tag Archives: The Queens Kickshaw

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.


Glendale’s Finback Brewery to launch beer at local bars despite setbacks

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Finback Brewery

Glendale’s Finback Brewery won’t open for a few more months, but the beer is finally coming to the surface.

The brewery, which was originally supposed to open in November last year, has been delayed by construction issues, but founders Basil Lee and Kevin Stafford are introducing three Finback beers at three bars around the city.

The brewery will have launch events for the beer at The Owl Farm bar in Brooklyn on Wednesday, Jimmy’s No. 43 in Manhattan on Thursday, and Forest Hills Station House in Queens on Jan. 28.

The three beers are Pilot X IPA, a citrusy drink filled with Summit, Chinook and Columbus hops, and hints of pink grapefruit; Puffin Smoked Porter, American porter filled with roast subtle hazelnut aroma and a smoky backbone from cherry wood smoked malt, and hints of chocolate; and Double Sess Wit, brewed with Szechuan peppercorns, ginger and chamomile.

The pair hopes to introduce the beer at other bars in the city, including The Queens Kickshaw in Astoria, and are shooting to open the brewery’s tasting room in late February or March, according to the owners.

“We’re working hard to finish the tasting room and open the brewery for beer and tours,” the owners said in an email. “We wish we could welcome you all to the brewery right now, but alas, NYC contractors have their own way of working, or not working…Rest assured we’re busy making beer and getting it out to our favorite local watering holes. Hopefully we’ll get the tasting room open in the next couple months.”



Grown-up grilled cheese and gourmet brews at The Queens Kickshaw

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Bradley Hawks


According to Merriam-Webster, a kickshaw is “a fancy dish; delicacy; trinket; gewgaw.”  While the name The Queens Kickshaw undeniably denotes its location, the double entendre also implies a collection of exquisite and rare morsels fit for royalty, which this café-restaurant certainly is.

With one of the most carefully-edited food and beverage menus in Astoria, a visit to The Queens Kickshaw is an expedition into unique, fantastic tastes in both food and drink, all in a rustic and warm epicurean gallery.

In a renovation that extended well over a year, husband-wife owners Ben Sandler and Jennifer Lim partnered with EcoSystems in Brooklyn to design a uniquely green space, with refurbished, recycled, and reclaimed materials mostly collected by the Sandler and Lim, achieving the intimacy of a downtown coffee shop, but with surprisingly grandiose spaciousness and reclaimed wooden tables of every size and shape imaginable to accommodate individuals to couples or large groups. An always-friendly staff fires orders to the kitchen via mounted iPads.

The menu showcases a collaboration between the husband-wife team and executive chef Youngsun Lee, whose credits include substantial kitchen time at the original Momofuku Noodle Bar, CraftBar, Blue Fin, and even two of his own endeavors, the Kimchi Taco Truck, as well as Persimmon in the East Village.

Grown-up grilled cheese headlines, including a toasted gouda sandwich with black bean hummus, guava jam, and pickled jalapenos. The Great Hill Blue arrives on cranberry walnut bread with sweet prune jam and slivers of fresh pear. Small plates range from mini knishes filled with celery root and blue cheese to a bowl of pepper-studded queso laced with asiago and Scottish ale served with crispy Nixtamal tortilla chips.

Highlights from the larger plates include a wild mushroom shepherds pie with red wine braised root vegetables capped with a whipped cauliflower mash with golden toasted peaks—or savor a generous helping of the gruyere-cheddar-smoked-mozzarella macaroni and cheese, which is glistening with ribbons of French beans and caramelized onions adorned with a diagonal sash of creamy tomato sauce. But be sure to save room for dessert, perhaps a scoop of luxuriously decadent fontina cheesecake, or a mug of mocha which is cocoa-fied with actual crumbles of Mast Bros. chocolate bars.

Chef Lee’s sophisticated whimsy really shines on the brunch menu, with dishes like the umami explosion of Japanese-style cold poached eggs with miso butter and mustard seed ‘caviar’, or the scotch eggs, presented here as quail eggs wrapped in sweet potato puree, dredged in crispy panko shell, over a garlic-leek confit.

The roster of beverages is equally enticing, from cone-capped pour-over coffees to brews from Coffee Lab Roasters in Tarrytown, percolated in the Marzocco Strada machine.  Those vinegars that magically transformed the blueberries for the salad now become drinking cordials spritzed up with soda water—an age-old classic known as a shrub.  The drinks are spirited as well, with rare craft ales (some commissioned exclusively for TQK), nearly 30 alongside wine and mead (also known as honey wine).  In honor of NYC Beer Week, check their website or Facebook page for special events this week, including chef’s tasting menus and the tapping of specialty beers like a cask-conditioned collaboration between Peekskill Brewery and Coffee Lab Roasters on March 2 at 5 p.m.

The Queens Kickshaw
40-17 Broadway, Astoria

Mon-Fri, 7:30 a.m.-1 a.m.
Sat-Sun, 9 a.m.-1 a.m.; brunch weekends/holidays 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Vegetarian, free wi-fi