June 23, 2017

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 & LIC

Wednesday night was the Edible Queens Uncorked event at The Foundry in LIC, NY. So much food, so much wine and so little time. Let’s focus on the highlights and big news from the evening.

The event was hosted by Leah McLaughlin, the wonderfully personable and charming owner of Edible Queens. Leah is a true believer in all things Queens and might be the borough’s biggest booster.

Now for the news.

I Spy Astoria Food News

There’s a lot going on in the ‘hood these days.

Walking up 30th avenue last week one couldn’t help but notice the smell of smoke in the air. Heavenly meat smoker smoke. Our noses led us to an open door at the still under construction Butcher bar. They were testing recipes and the owner invited us in. Mathew introduced us to the chef and a bunch of guys standing at the counter wolfing down, I mean delicately tasting, a variety of smoked bbq products. We sampled burnt ends that were very juicy and tender, brined turkey which had a gentle deliciousness and finally bbq brisket which made me smile even though the chef was unhappy with this particular test specimen. The house made bbq sauce was pretty darn good too. If you need to know more then I guess you might want to know that the place looks good too. Lots of wood and diamond plate, butcher stuff and a nice backyard. There are seats inside and out back. Honestly, if the meat proves to be as good as the test then who cares about the decor.

Eating Peru one chicken at a time


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When I need my Rotisserie chicken fix there is only one way to go. Peruvian style with a lot of cilantro sauce on the side. Where to go is another question. Living in Queens, New York offers up many places to find such fare but if you want the mother lode head on over to Jackson Heights. Specifically on Northern blvd. and Roosevelt ave from 76th to 90th streets. There you will find Peruvian restaurants serving up the best ceviche, seafood, whole roast chickens and the most amazingly chartreuse green cilantro sauce poured from large pitchers into glasses and placed on the table along with your meal. This stuff is crack in a cup.

I Spy Astoria


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Location: 30th avenue Astoria, New York Food update for March 26th 2011 Coming soon we can expect to see a restaurant featuring Southern food from the Louisiana region.  I hear that there will be some pretty amazing baked goods and desserts happening there so get your insulin lined up. The rumor mill is buzzin’ about […]