June 23, 2017

Archives for July 2012

I spy Astoria food scene

Let’s talk about restaurants. First off let me say that, Yes, I am a chef and yes the food matters. BUT it is not all about the food. It is not the scene or the atmosphere or the “farm to table” thing that does it for me. You too(?) perhaps. It is the people who really make it.

Our local restaurants here in Astoria really stand out in this category. These are the places I have started writing about and will continue to share more stories in the coming months. Many of our best places are run by people who care more about more than the bottom line. These people are part of the community. They work in the “Arts” or do community work. Others simply put their life and love into every dish that comes out of the kitchen. That is why your food tastes so good. A few names come to mind here. Evan at the Queens Kickshaw, Chris at The Astor room and Piccola Venezia, Gary at Bistro 33 and William Hallet, Natasha at Bear, Darren at Il Bambino, Michelle at Sugar Freak. Good people, family people, community people. And oh yeah, their food kicks ass and can make your swoon.

I spy Astoria @ Sac’s Place

Dear Jonathan, We’ve been going to our farm in Pennsylvania twice a week to hand-pick fruit, vegetables & herbs. We’ve been featuring fresh produce (tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash, peaches, plums, parsley and basil) in many of our daily specials for the past few weeks and will continue to do so as long as the harvest lasts. It really is a great time of year to be creative and experiment with delicious, home-grown products and we would like to invite everyone to come and share the goodness with us.

We also are featuring live music twice a week. On Mondays, The Larry Luger Trio plays jazz and on Tuesdays, The New Standards Trio plays contemporary standards and old favorites. Both nights are a great deal of fun (and we encourage people to get up and sing).

How was Ramen fest? Lame.

Ok folks, I really wanted to love this event. Probably my own fault. I didn’t realize the Japan block party / Ramen fest was only a sub event of a six block long standard street fair. The Ramen booths looked great BUT, you had to buy a ticket then get on a line from hell for each booth, EACH BOOTH! There were few other booths selling Japanese food but we were there for killer Ramen.

Aurora shooting victim fundraiser @ The Laughing Devil Comedy Club

The good people at The Laughing Devil Comdey Club sent me a letter asking for help spreading the word.

On Monday, July 30th, the Laughing Devil is holding a fundraiser for Caleb Medley, one of the victims of the Batman shooting in Aurora. Caleb is an aspiring comic, and our GM, Scott Sharp, is a former Denver comic who knew Caleb personally. Caleb was shot protecting his 9-month pregnant wife (who has since given birth). The fundraiser is simple – anyone is welcome to come and have a drink with us. It’s $15, which gets each customer one drink. 100% of the cover will be donated

I Spy Astoria @ Ovelia

Looks like we have a new celeb in the ‘hood. Chef Pete over at Ovelia on 30th avenue / 34th street was recently interviewed by E! for a show and qualified to the last round for a new ABC show w Anthony Bourdaine (we hope he gets the gig). Pete was also featured in last week’s episode of Mike Colameco’s Real Food “Pig Island”

As for us locals, we get to enjoy Pete’s non acting skills every time we sit down at Ovelia.

Grub Street’s “Hated food words” list is out!

How many are on your own personal “Hated annoying words” list? I count 7, Ok, maybe 9.

The list (to learn more and how to add your own, click the link).

New York street Ramen fest 2012

Are you ready for it??!?!?!?! Tweet