Taste of LIC 2019
Taste of LIC Returns Next Week to Astoria / Long Island City
Next week on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 from 5.30 - 8.30 pm the Taste of LIC returns to the Kaufman Astoria Studios Back Lot on 36th Street at 35th Avenue - next to the Museum of the Moving Image. Proceeds from the event go toward the Chocolate Factory Theatre, which is an avante garde theater located in Long Island City.
The Taste of LIC event is one of the biggest culinary taste events in Queens. This year about 50 food and beverage vendors are participating, representing some of the best restaurants and beverage establishments in Astoria and Long Island City.
The Taste of LIC event began 14 years ago. And while attendance can vary because of weather, generally the event has grown in popularity because of the breadth, depth and quality of the participating vendors who oftentimes go out of their way to showcase what makes them special.
The Taste of LIC Founders, Sheila Lewandowski and Brian Rogers, have also added performance art to the event - rounding out the culinary aspects of the evening with an artsy, theatrical dessert. And lastly, but not least, in addition to the food, drinks and entertainment - the Taste of LIC attendees [like you] represent a fun cross section of Queens residents and workers. In recent years I've also met a number of people coming from Brooklyn and Manhattan who have come to join in the festivities.
Admission to the event is $65 / $75 & up and tickets may be purchased at
Taste of LIC 2018 Feeds the Hungry
Culinary Tasting Event at Kaufman Astoria Studios Lot A
The afternoon before the 2018 Taste of LIC it had rained. I paused from my work, contemplating whether the rain would affect attendance at the Taste of LIC which was to begin at 5.30 pm. But by late afternoon, as I began getting ready, it was a beautiful Spring evening full of sunshine and clouds and a slightly warm breeze. Perfect, I thought, … for the Taste of LIC tonight.
Taste of LIC at Kaufman Astoria Studios Lot
I arrived at the Kaufman Astoria Studios Lot, situated in a very changed neighborhood, compared to just ten years ago. After picking up my wristband I made my way under the big top tent sheltering the event. There were in the neighborhood of fifty restaurants and beverage companies participating in the event tonight. I knew I couldn’t sample them all, but I would try to photograph as many as I could. See the slide show at the end of the story to view some of the photos I took.
The first item I sampled was a burger named Priscilla. She was a tall, shapely burger filled with Thai peanut sauce, triple smoked bacon, pepper, cheddar cheese, sea salt and served in a pretzel brioche bun. Yes, she wasn’t your every day burger … and I could tell that from the first bite. The juicy, finely ground beef fought hard to compete for the attention of my taste buds, winning only some of the time.
Taste of LIC & Queens Restaurants
An Established Event Tries out New Venue & Welcomes Newcomers
About a week ago, the Chocolate Factory Theater Company announced the 13th annual Taste of LIC would be returning in June. I attended the 12th annual Taste of LIC at the Kaufman Astoria Studios Lot on 35th Avenue at 36th Street in Astoria / LIC. This was the first year the event was held away from its original waterfront venue under the gantries in Gantry State Park along the East River.
Sheila Lewandowski, one of the co-Founders of the Chocolate Factory Theater Company, told me that they made the change because the chefs weren’t allowed to cook in Gantry State Park. Now, on the Kaufman Astoria Studios Lot chefs can now do live performances of their cooking.
The Chocolate Factory Theater is an avant-garde dance and theater company that hosts live multi-media dance and theatrical performances in LIC. The non-profit theater company has organized the event since its inception. The proceeds help fund the organization’s work. Brian Rogers is the co-Founder of the Chocolate Factory, who we'll meet a bit later in this report.
I arrived about on time for the general admission and made my way in, perusing the entire scene before starting to photograph and sample my way through the tent.
I bumped into Steven Hitt, the Executive Director of the LaGuardia College Performing Arts Center. Steven mentioned that the dance troupe, Rioult, was planning to move into Queens in early 2018, and that they were currently in the process of setting up office space and studios not far from where we stood. Later in the evening he introduced me to Amy Harrison, the Executive Director of Rioult. Steven mentioned that the Joffrey Ballet Company also moved one of its programs to LIC, and is periodically using the LaGuardia College Performing Arts Center as a facility.
It seems while many of the independent artists have left LIC over the past five or so years, many other groups from Manhattan and Brooklyn have been making their way in. The Joffrey and Rioult dance companies have chosen LIC in lieu of Manhattan, due in part to the affordability, convenience and accessibility of the LIC location. I was to learn more of such migratory movements, as the night wore on.
I'll have the rest of this report later this month, including numerous photos of the event.
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.
Restaurants In Long Island City
Tournesol French Bistro in LIC - Background
Long Island City Neighborhood / LIC Restaurants / Restaurants In Queens / Queens Buzz. This is a review of Tournesol Restaurant which is located in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens NY. Tournesol is an authentic French bistro style restaurant which serves french food and wine.
Click here to read our report and view photos of Tournesol French Bistro in LIC Long Island City.
Restaurants In Long Island City
Orphan's Thanksgiving - Like Going Home w/o The Hassle
Long Island City Neighborhood / LIC Restaurants / Restaurants In Queens / Queens Buzz. I spent the better part of Thanksgiving with the 'orphans' of The Creek And The Cave in LIC. Over the past decade, with some exceptions, they've been hosting a free Thanksgiving Dinner for their friends and it's been open to the public, although generally the crew seemed to be comprised of The Creek & The Cave comedians and regulars and a few tag-alongs like me. The Orphan's Thanksgiving is hosted at the Creek and the food preparations began the evening before, just like they do at home, .
This is a story about a Thanksgiving Dinner at The Creek & The Cave, as I became an honorary orphan on this occasion. Click here to view the full story on an Orphan's Thanksgiving at The Creek & The Cave restaurant comedy club in LIC Long Island City.
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.
Restaurants In Long Island City LIC
Dining At The Waters Edge
This restaurant closed in October of 2015.
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.
A Taste Of LIC
Story & Photos Of Taste Of LIC
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.
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
The Crabhouse Seafood Restaurant In LIC
This is a review of the former Waterfront Crab House restaurant in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens NY. The Waterfront Crab House was an historic building that housed a seafood restaurant. The original Waterfront Crabhouse first opened in the historic building back in the 1970's [reportedly in 1977].
This review below was done prior to the closing which took place in February of 2015, a month after the death of Tony Mazzarella, the prior [Waterfront] Crabhouse owner. The LIC Crabhouse then changed ownership, remodeling was done, and the restaurant was re-opened in August of 2016 as the Crabhouse Restaurant with much more modern decor and menu - and it was still a seafood restaurant.
In January of 2018 the restaurant was renamed The Loft LIC and continues to be operated by the same owners as the Crabhouse Restaurant, Joseph Lucil and Skinny Lee of SHI and Skinny's Cantina - both popular Long Island City restaurants. The restaurant cuisine is reportedly surf and turf [seafood and steak] with a Latin influence.
It appears that in Spring of 2018 The Loft LIC closed.
Click here to read our report and view photos of the Waterfront Crabhouse in Long Island City LIC.
Restaurants In Long Island City LIC
Da Gianni's Hits A Home Run
Da Gianni's CLOSED in the second half of 2013. This is a report about Da Gianni's Ristorante, an Italian restaurant in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens. Da Gianni's restaurant serves fresh made pastas, veal, seafood and chicken. Da Gianni's Ristorante is a fun, comfortable Italian restaurant that's only a couple of blocks from the Citicorp center in Long Island City.
The restaurant has patio space in the back which receives ample sunlight and a medium sized room upstairs where they host private dinners and parties. They also have a full bar. Click here to view our report on Da Gianni's Italian Restaurant in Long Island City.
Long Island City LIC Restaurants
Reviews Of Restaurants In LIC Long Island City
This is the Long Island City restaurants section of this site. In this section we publish stories / reviews of many of the restaurants in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens. Long Island City is known for a number of emerging restaurants, restaurants with beautiful Manhattan skyline views and a number of excellent long lasting restaurants that been pleasing their clientele for years.
Click here to view the Long Island City Restaurants LIC section of this site.
Valentine's Day 2021 Restaurants & Events in Queens
UPDATED FOR COVID - Romantic Restaurants For Dinner in Astoria, LIC, Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights & Flushing
UPDATED 2/12/21 - Editor's Note: Previously indoor dining was to resume in NYC on Sunday, February 14th, 2021, Valentine's Day. The Governor moved up the date to Friday, February 12th, so restaurants that may have sold out on Sunday, likely have indoor dining openings over the weekend. This report provides an update on who's open and taking reservations, but also highlights quite a number of local restaurant closures.
Valentine's Day is a bit more than a week away. It's a good time to let your loved one know you care. Flowers, gifts and dinner are always welcome treats, and / or some thoughtful gesture that shows that the lady [or man] you're with still means a lot to you.
This year it's especially important to make restaurant reservations early as restaurants first open for indoor dining at 25% capacity on Friday, February 12th, 2021. And given Valentine's Day is on a weekend, it may be challenging unless you make your reservation now. But that said, restaurants also have outside dining capacity - so depending on the weather - you may have some luck the weekend of Valentine's Day. For dinner in Astoria, LIC, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Woodside or Flushing; it's best to do your research early, and call or go online to make the reservations as soon as you can for this Valentine's Day .
Valentine's Day Brief History - Queens Romantic V Day Restaurants
The origins of Valentine's Day are not well documented. It's believed to have been named after Saint Valentine who was apparently a Catholic martyr who died over 1500 years ago. Today the holiday is not associated with religion so much as flowers, candies, cards and romantic dinners. And the holiday spokesperson is now Cupid, a Roman god of desire, and quite a mischief maker.
UPDATED FOR COVID. 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. Click this link to view a brief guide of Valentine's Day restaurants in Queens / V Day events & romantic restaurants Queens NYC where you will find links to Queens restaurants we've reviewed. Enjoy.
LIC Restaurants Archive
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