The Taste of LIC
Rains Fails To Dampen Turnout and Spirits
The weather cooled down this week, dropping into the 50’s accompanied by rain. The streets were wet and it was cloudy above as I made my way through the intermittent drizzle down to the East River waterfront to attend the 10th annual Taste of LIC.
As I approached the East River, I could see the grand white tents in the distance, filled with people, light and the distant murmurs of conversations. I had planned to arrive a bit later at the event, after things had calmed down, so the restaurateurs and chefs at the event would have a bit of time to talk.
Inside the tents the mood was pretty buoyant as I found folks drinking and dining buffet-style, sampling the offerings of a mix of about sixty different restaurants, food producers and beverage makers. Conversations were flowing too about the food, the feast and the other fun things to do in the Long Island City neighborhood.
The Chocolate Factory Theatre is the organizer of the Taste of LIC. The theatre was co-founded by Sheila Lewandowski, the Executive Director; and Brian Rogers, the Artistic Director. They showcase the works of up-and-coming writers, producers, directors and actors / actresses as well as the development of in-house works.
We’ll post more at a later date including a photo slide show.
Mother's Day Restaurants In Queens
Mother's Day Restaurants in Astoria, LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside & Jackson Heights
Queens Restaurants / May 4, 2015. Mother's Day is less than one week away. It's a good time to let your loved one know you care. Flowers, gifts and brunch or dinner are always welcome, as is any thoughtful gesture that provides some measure showing your appreciation of your mother or the mother of your children. After all, without mothers, we would all cease to be.
It's best to book a restaurant reservation for Mother's Day brunch, as on Mother's Day in Queens, many restaurants are full. So if you're thinking about eating out at a restaurant this Mother's Day in Astoria, LIC, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Woodside or Flushing; it's best to do your research early, and call ahead to book Mother's Day restaurant reservations.
Mother's Day History - Restaurants In Queens
The origins of Mother's Day in the United States began with the efforts by Anna Jarvis in honor of her own mother. According to Wikipedia, Anna began the campaign in 1905 - the year her mother died - and in 1910 West Virginia was the first state to adopt it as a holiday. In 1914 Woodrow Wilson made the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to honor mothers.
Click this link to view a brief guide of Mother's Day restaurants in Queens 2015 where you will find links to Queens restaurants we've reviewed. The restaurants we've reviewed include a mix of high, medium and budget priced restaurants that are spread throughout the borough and offer a large variety of ethnic cuisines. Enjoy.
Greek Restaurants In Astoria
Cavo - Modern Greek Cuisine In Queens
Astoria Neighborhood / Astoria Restaurants / Queens Restaurants / Queens Buzz. Cavo is one of the leading modern Greek restaurants in NYC. Cavo is located in the heart of Astoria, just off Steinway Street, only a few blocks walk from the N subway stop.
We had occasion to visit Cavo recently, where we were able to enjoy the restaurant's modern Greek cuisine, airy decor and well mannered clientele. You may click here to read a review of one of the leading Greek Restaurants In Astoria - Cavo.
Restaurants / Wine Bars In Astoria
Winegasm Wine Bar In Astoria Queens
Astoria Neighborhood / Astoria Restaurants / Queens Restaurants / Queens Buzz. Winegasm is a wine and tapas bar in Astoria Queens NY. They offer good service, a nice selection of wines and an appetizing array of finger food as well as a few entrees. We were hosted by one of the restaurant's principals, one of whom is there nearly every evening.
Winegasm is located just off Broadway Street between Steinway Street and 31st Street where one can catch the N Subway train. The following review is of some of the wines sampled, along with a variety of appetizers. Click here to read a full review of Winegasm - Restaurants & Wine Bars in Astoria.
Greek Restaurants In Astoria
Aegean Cove - A Tasteful Blend Of Old & New
Astoria Neighborhood / Astoria Restaurants / Queens Restaurants / Queens Buzz. I visited the Aegean Cove at the north end of Steinway Street in Astoria one Friday evening, to sample their Greek cuisine.
Chef Christos Christou, who grew up on Cyprus, manages the restaurant's cuisine with a staff that has been with him for about a decade. Christos technique is to begin with traditional dishes and old world flavors, and then build upon them by drawing out a particular flavor or by adding something new. Thus the Aegean Cove serves Greek dishes created to delight both those who long for tradition, as well as those who long for something new.
Click this link to see the rest of the story about the Aegean Cove Restaurant in Astoria Queens.
Curated Cuisine At The Taste Of LIC
June 3, 2014 / LIC Neighborhood / LIC Restaurants / Queens Buzz. It was a dark and stormy evening as I began preparing to head down to the Long Island City waterfront to cover the 9th Annual Taste of LIC. I could hear the raindrops falling on my airconditioner, making a sporadic tinny pitter patter that told me I should not go.
An angelic voice whispered in my ear, "You're going to miss the Chocolate Factory's signature event". My tummy grumbled, "I'm sick of your cooking" ... thus making it's voice heard and it's vote counted too ... so soon I was on my way, umbrella opened, walking through the rain to the fabulous #7 subway line - the main artery of public transit in Queens.
As I came up the stairway onto Vernon Blvd, I began to feel like I had made the right decision. To be sure, clouds were overhead, but there weren't any raindrops fallin' on my head. E'nuf said.
As expected, the inclement weather had impacted attendance and thinned out the crowd relative to prior years - but there was still a good turnout - of likely over a thousand people. The attendance provided more opportunity for relaxed interactions and more space to photograph and converse with the restaurateurs. Some of them remarked the same, telling me that in the past they were so busy serving folks that they scarcely had a moment to talk to any of them. But tonight Mother Nature, as sometimes it is her way, took control of the remainder of the day.
Next Monday we'll take you into the tent of the Taste of LIC, share with you a sampling of some of the fine foods, a bit of the fun & fancy, and introduce you to a few beverage makers and a new chocolatier too. Included with this account will be an accompanying photo slide show of the curated cuisine event. Proceeds go to the Chocolate Factory Theatre in LIC and many thanks to Sheila Lewandowski and Brian Rogers, both of whom organized the event.
Bon Appetit & Bon Jour.
Good Taste or just plain Tasty?
Queens Taste, Astoria Spring Fling, Taste of Sunnyside & Taste of LIC
April 28, 2014 / Queens Buzz. Queens Taste is being held this week on April 29th beginning at 6 pm at the Sheraton LaGuardia in Flushing. There's a Spring Fling event featuring food from a number of Astoria restaurants on Wednesday April 29th from 6 - 9 pm at the Astoria Federal Savings at 37-16 30th Avenue in Astoria. Both are featured in the Dining section of the Queens Buzz events calendar.
In May look for the Taste of Sunnyside which is scheduled for May 20th and the Taste of LIC is scheduled for June 3rd - both on Tuesday evenings. Check the Dining section of the May Queens Buzz event calendar [click Things To Do button on the top tool bar] for details each month.
Prior coverage of these delicious events is shown in the stories below. These will give you a flavor of what to expect.
Restaurants In Long Island City LIC
Dining At The Waters Edge
Long Island City Neighborhood / LIC Restaurants / Restaurants In Queens / Queens Buzz. So if you’re considering whether to go to Waters Edge Restaurant let me give it to you in a nutshell. The food was nearly perfect, the setting has a view that’s nearly beyond compare, and the service hit that mark rarely seen – politely being there with information about the food or the menu, or the plate or beverage precisely when you wished it, while floating in the background the rest of the time. The prices were a good value even by the competitive Queens standards. The Waters Edge provides world class food, service and ambiance at reasonable prices and is a steal when compared to its neighbors across the river. Appetizers range from $12 to $21 and entrees range from $28 to $39. The Waters Edge Restaurant is located at the East River on 44th Drive.
So you can skip the rest of this review if you wish, but we have a lot from our experience to impart to the interested reader and some photos to match. Let’s start with the ambiance. Click here to read our report and view photos of the Waters Edge Restaurant in LIC. Click here to view our section on Valentines restaurants in Queens.
Dutch Kills Gentrification: Restaurants & Real Estate
The Making Of The Crescent Grill Restaurant in LIC
July 13, 2013 / Dutch Kills LIC / Restaurants in Queens / Real Estate in Queens / Queens Buzz. Last fall I embarked on a bit of an adventure when Michele Beaudoin of Beaudoin Realty Group [a QB client] introduced me to Daniel and Shaun Dougherty. She had just sold the brothers a two-story, corner building that had been a Beauty Supplies store along Crescent Street in the Dutch Kills neighborhood of Long Island City. The Doughertys had plans to convert the building into a restaurant. Likely the first restaurant of its kind in the Dutch Kills neighborhood of Long Island City.
I went to meet the brothers at the site of what would eventually be their new restaurant. I was given a tour of the facility while it was still, in essence, a recently vacated Beauty Supplies store. But not for long ...
Click here to read the rest of the story about the gentrification of the Dutch Kills neighborhood of Long Island City and the making of the Crescent Grill restaurant in LIC. The story includes information and photos about the design and construction of the renovated building, as well as a review of some of the culinary delights that await those who patronize the restaurant.
Restaurants In Long Island City
Manducatis Italian Restaurant In LIC
Long Island City Neighborhood / LIC Restaurants / Restaurants In Queens / Queens Buzz. This is a review of Manducatis Italian restaurant in the LIC / Long Island City neighborhood of Queens NY. The Italian restaurant has a wide selection of authentic Italian appetizers, main entrees and desserts. It has spacious dining rooms with a warm atmosphere.
Click here to read a restaurant review of Manducatis Restaurant in Long Island City LIC.
A Taste Of LIC 2011
Story & Photos Of Taste Of LIC
June 7, 2011 / Long Island City LIC / Queens Restaurants / Queens Buzz. It was a warm breezy evening as I made my way to the western most edge of Queens. There underneath the twin cranes overlooking Gantry Park were the festive white tents of the 6th annual Taste Of LIC. I was early and the 50 or so participating restaurants and food and beverage suppliers were busy preparing for the big feast. I walked around underneath the tent photographing and talking to those who would accommodate me.
The offerings looked delectable and the people staffing the booths were both knowledgeable and hospitable. There were a number of new entrants in the mix, making their debut on the Long Island City culinary scene. Click here to read our report with photos of Taste Of LIC.
Taste of Sunnyside in Photos
One might think that this location could be distracting with the subway moving to and fro overhead, but with the live musical performances going on in the foreground, I didn't once - during the hour and a half that I was there - notice the subway overhead.
The crowd attending this event has changed over the years. This year the people in attendance seemed to be primarily in their 20's, 30's and 40's. In prior years, many of the attendees had already endured an additional decade or two of wear and tear.
I was informed that there were well in excess of 600 paying attendees, and a number of additional tickets were distributed for business and charitable purposes. Rachel Thieme, Sunnyside Shines Executive Director, was the primary organizer supported by the Board including John Vogt, Chairman and Artie Weiner, Treasurer - all of whom are shown in the slide show included in this report.
Click here to read the rest of our report including a slide show of photos of Taste of Sunnyside 2014.
Taste of Sunnyside
Food, Fun & Fanfare at Taste of Sunnyside 2012
October 15, 2012 / Sunnyside / Sunnyside Restaurants / Queens Buzz. It was a rainy evening as I headed down to the third annual Taste of Sunnyside at the Sunnyside Community Service Center on 39th Street. I looked forward to seeing what new restaurants and people I would encounter - as the restaurants that participate in the Taste of Sunnyside change from year to year.
The main hall seemed less crowded than last year, due in part because the large sit down tables had been moved out to make more space. This had the effect of allowing people more room to mingle; but you pretty much had to stay on your feet throughout most of the event. The crowd that had gathered was ethnically diverse, somewhat youthful and hungry.
Click here to view our report on the Taste of Sunnyside Restaurants.
Turkish Cooking Classes in Queens
Cooking Class Mixes Culture, Cuisine & Comedy In Cool Klatch
February 6, 2013 / Sunnyside / Food in Sunnyside / Queens Buzz. I attended an evening cooking class offered by the Turkish Cultural Center in Queens. They offer one cooking class each month, wherein they teach Turkish cuisine. Seating is limited to about fifteen; and you don’t have to be a member or Turkish to attend. In fact almost all of the people in attendance were not Turkish, and there were a couple of males in attendance too.
My interest in Turkish cuisine has grown over the past few years, as Sunnyside and western Queens has become a small magnet for Turkish immigrants. Turks have a long history of culinary achievement and a number of them have opened grocery stores and restaurants which have become quite popular in their neighborhoods [see review of the Turkish Grill restaurant in Sunnyside].
Click here for our report with photos of Turkish cooking classes in Queens.
Restaurants In Jackson Heights
Arunee Thai Restaurant
Jackson Heights Neighborhood / Jackson Heights Restaurants / Queens Buzz. Tonight I ventured out to a Thai restaurant in Jackson Heights that I had discovered on pure happenstance. I arrived at the restaurant around 7.30 pm on an cool overcast Saturday evening. More than half of the sixty seats had already been filled and it seemed the waiting staff had fallen a bit behind. As I sat there waiting, I began to doubt my choice.
As I surveyed the restaurant I noted that many of the customers were Thai, which I took to be a good sign, as I was looking for real Thai food, not some Americanized version of it. Within the next five to ten minutes, things completely turned. The waiting staff turned up the energy and within minutes it seemed that everyone who had been waiting now had a drink or appetizer sitting in front of them … myself included. Click here to read the full review of Arunee Thai restaurant including photos.
Restaurants In Jackson Heights
LaPortena Argentine Steakhouse
Jackson Heights Neighborhood / Jackson Heights Restaurants / Queens Buzz. La Portena Argentinian Steakhouse isn't exactly the kind of restaurant that would come to mind when you think of Jackson Heights ... that is unless you live there. La Portena Argentinian Steakhouse is located at 74th Street and 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights. It's quite a popular restaurant which is what first caught my attention. While Indian, Bangladeshi, Thai and Nepalese restaurants first come to mind when thinking about Jackson Heights / Elmhurst restaurants, there's an entire Latin American flavor to the restaurant mix in the neighborhood - and the food and service are both very good. Click here to read a the full review of La Portena Argentinian Steakhouse, including more photos.
Jackson Diner In Jackson Heights
This is a review of the Jackson Diner Indian Restaurant which is located in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens NY. The Jackson Diner is an Indian restaurant serving Indian food tailored to suit the American palate in Jackson Heights.
Click here to read our report about the Jackson Diner - Indian restaurants in Jackson Heights.
Viva La Comida - 82nd Street - Jackson Heights
82nd Street Partnership Hosts Festival At Dunningham Triangle
September 24, 2012 / Jackson Heights / Food in Queens / Queens Buzz. On Friday evening the 82nd Street Partnership hosted Viva La Comida at Dunningham Triangle on 82nd Street at Baxter in Jackson Heights. The event was a fun, quirky preamble to the Hispanic Month activities that officially began on Sunday with the Hispanic Day Parade [click for Hispanic Day Parade report & photos].
I arrived while it was still light out. City Councilman Danny Dromm, Seth Taylor and City Councilmember Julissa Ferreras were standing for photos sandwiched between two men who’s names I will try to obtain and post at a later date. A performance by the youngsters from the Mestizo Art Center followed, much to the delight of the warm and enthusiastic crowd.
I made my way over to the food trucks where I tasted some delicacies and met interesting people … click here to read the rest of our report on Viva La Comida festival hosted by the 82nd Street Partnership in Jackson Heights. The photo to your left was taken from the inside of the Solber Pupusa food truck at the Viva La Comida festival on 82nd Street in Jackson Heights.
Dumplings From Five Distant Cultures
Flushing Town Hall Hosts 'Round The World' Dumpling Tour
November 18, 2013 / Flushing / Ethnic Food In Queens / Flushing Restaurants / Queens Buzz. This past weekend I attended a workshop entitled Harvesting Our Diversity at Flushing Town Hall. They had invited five restaurateurs to come to discuss and present the dumplings indigenous to their homelands which they serve in their Flushing restaurants. The presenters would first talk a little about the history of the dumpling in their culture and then provide us with a sample dumpling made in their restaurants.
In the photo to your right the audience is being served samples of Indonesian, Korean and Chinese Korean dumplings at Flushing Town Hall.
The Harvesting Diversity event was designed to take us around the world on a dumpling tour, where we would sample dumplings made by the Italians, the Indians, the Indonesians, the Puerto Ricans / Latin Americans and the Koreans / Chinese. Click here to read the rest of our report on a world tour of dumplings at Flushing Town Hall - served by Flushing restaurants.
Queens Taste 2012
Sampling the Fare of Queens Restaurants & Food Entrepreneurs
May 1, 2012 / Flushing / Queens Restaurants / Food in Queens / Queens Buzz. I arrived at Queens Taste 2012 at Caesars on the fifth floor at Citifield about an hour after the event had begun. The feeding frenzy that generally occurs at the very beginning had passed, and most people had found tables and were pleasantly enjoying the fare and light dinner conversation, along with intermittent people-watching.
Borghese Red & White Wines of LI
I started into the food and beverage area surveying the vendors offerings this year and made my first landing at the Borghese Vineyards wine table. I met Ann Marie Borghese, who along with her husband, bought a farm in the 1970’s in Cutchogue, NY, which is located about in the middle of the northern fork of eastern Long Island.
Click here to view our report of Queens Taste 2012 [formerly Taste of the World].
Festival of Herbal Tonic Soup
Asian Cooking In Flushing Queens
February 11, 2012 / Food & Wine / Flushing / Queens Buzz. I attended an herbal tonic soup class arranged by Dr. Hsing-Lih Chou at Flushing Town Hall. Dr. Chou presents one Asian cooking class each year at the same location, featuring some aspect of traditional Asian home cooking. This year he introduced us to two Asian cooking aficionados: Madame Hwei-Yun Hsieh and Mr. Kelby Leow.
Ms. Hsieh was to treat us to a lesson on how to cook her famous Chinese Sesame Oil Ginger Chicken Soup, while Mr. Leow would introduce us to his famous Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup. Dr. Chou explained that he had selected these two soups in order to ‘balance’ each other, as one had a robust flavor and the other had a more subtle flavoring.
Click here to read more about how to cook Chinese and Korean herbal chicken soups - Asian cooking in Flushing Queens.
Joe's Shanghai Restaurant
Chinese Cuisine / Restaurants In Flushing
Flushing / Queens Buzz. I had the pleasure of visiting Joe's Shanghai Restaurant in Flushing this week. I had heard about Joe's and passed by several times, always taking note that they seemed to be busy. If you're in a hurry, the bottomline on this one is they serve delicious food, provide a broad choice of dishes with very efficient service at very reasonalbe prices in a restaurant that's pretty straightforward in its ambiance. So click here to read the rest of our review of Joe's Shanghai Restaurant in Flushing Queens, including numerous photos of the food and restaurant.
New Years Eve Parties & Restaurants In Queens
Queens Restaurants / December 29, 2014. New Years Eve 2014 is upon us, when revelers ring in the New Year. If the night is done smartly, it includes sensible consumption of food and drink.
The origins of New Years Eve will be posted at a future date. Enjoy the evening.
Click this link to go to a brief guide of New Years Eve parties & restaurants in Queens, where you will find links to Queens restaurants we've reviewed. It's worth noting that most of these reviews are positive because we've selected some of the best restaurants in their categories in Queens. It's also worth noting that most of these restaurants do not currently advertise on this site, so there wasn't any quid pro quo. That said, in time we will certainly try to convince as many of them as we can, into advertising on this site, because we have a large discerning dining audience that includes you. Enjoy.
Jamaican Jerk Festival
Afro Caribbean Cultural Event In Queens
July / Jamaica Neighborhood / Ethnic Food in Queens / Queens Buzz. It was a warm, dry, sunny Sunday, as I made my way into Roy Wilkins Park in Jamaica. Today was the 2nd annual Jamaican Jerk Festival, that I’d been waiting in anticipation for over the past few weeks. The Jamaican Jerk Festival is a combination reggae concert and food festival.
I entered through the gates of Roy Wilkins Park in the southern Jamaica neightborhood of Queens, as a slight breeze willowed its way through the trees and crowd. There were retail vendor tents to my left, with displays of vibrantly colored clothing and fashion jewelry Afro Caribbean style. Caps, hats, dresses, shirts and scarves hung loosely in little white tents, as shoppers and merchants mingled and did business.
Click here to read our report and view photos of the Jamaican Jerk Festival.
Queens Neighborhoods - Neighborhood Links
Click any of the following links to go to that neighborhood in Queens. Links are also located along the left side bar.