Queens is one of the most diverse cities in the world, with every inch of the globe packed into one borough. Here in Woodside, you have Sri Pa Phai, crowned as New York’s spiciest Thai restaurant for years.
The menu features a wide selection of dishes, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself flipping through several pages of appetizers. The variety never ends! The one that really jumped out at us was the Crispy Chinese Watercress Salad — a colorful medley of shrimps, squid and chicken and crunchy watercress on a bed of fresh vegetables. The squid is cooked in a sour, slightly spicy sauce that complements the salad very well. It’s the perfect start to a hearty meal.
Dinner is never a dull moment at Sik Gaek. The Korean restaurant in Woodside is pretty famous for the Sannakji — live octopus — and yes, you can see where this is going.
Even if you’re dead set against having slimy tentacles squirming on a sizzling black plate in front of you, your neighbors at the next table might not share the same disdain. In fact, they might want to order the huge seafood platter with lobsters, crabs and octopus — all alive, of course. Go big or go home, right?
As you can tell, Sik Gaek is not for the faint-hearted. If you can handle the Sannakji, kudos to you! The squishy tentacles are sliced up, so technically, they're not alive (but they're still moving, though). They are coated in sesame oil so the slippery texture helps the tentacles to slide down your throat quite easily. After all, we all try to avoid choking on tentacles. But once you get past the initial fear, the freshness of it is overwhelming.
We know winter won’t be here for another month, but it sure feels like winter already. The temperature dips to crazy digits, followed by icy gusts of wind. It’s kind of annoying that the sky darkens before 5PM, which makes the days appear way shorter than they are. How do you relieve those pre-winter blues?
Hot Pot. That’s how.
Grab a bunch of friends and head over to Baidu Shabu Shabu in Flushing for an enjoyable all-you-can-eat experience. It would help to pick up a big appetite along the way, because you’ll be eating for an hour—maybe two or three.
With an enticing selection of wines and classic cocktails, Venturo is already shaping up to be the place to be for anyone in the area with a desire to drink in style. Their menu, however, is the real draw. Everybody loves Italian food and there are plenty of restaurants that offer it. Venturo sets itself apart by serving house-made versions of three of the best things in life: pasta, bread, and cheese. The osteria also carefully crafts its entrees using fresh ingredients from urban rooftop farm the Brooklyn Grange.
Venturo is located at 44-07 Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside, Queens.
Meat, meat, and more meat. That’s what Korean BBQs are all about. At Picnic Garden in Flushing, you’re in for a real treat. The buffet comprises a wide range of meat and other condiments such as congee, kimchi, vegetables, fried chicken, soup and more. Be warned that getting a table during lunch or dinner time is no picnic.
Upon entering, your nostrils are greeted by the strong aroma of meat sizzling on the grills. Think about all the meat you can devour, from marinated pork to beef to chicken. You’re encouraged to help yourself to as much meat or condiments as you want at the long buffet table.
Carroll Gardens is a strange neighborhood for Manhattanites: the blocks packed with residences and a few businesses, many of which close before 10pm, feels more suburban than New York, but for those willing to make the trek (or perhaps just walk over from bustling Brooklyn neighborhoods), Carroll Gardens is home to many culinary gems.
Marco Polo Ristorante opened in 1983, serving upscale Italian cuisine, from seafood to fresh pastas, in a formal dining room decked out with white tableclothes, a full-size wooden bar, and a piano.
Halloween marks the beginning of the season in which all anybody wants to do is take a break from the constant bombardment of holiday gift-giving propaganda and curl up by a toasty fire with a steaming cup of hot chocolate. This is New York though, and few people have functioning fireplaces let alone the time or patience to “curl up” anywhere.
Fortunately, there is now a far more feasible alternative available to city-dwellers. Taking the place of the People’s Pops summer outpost in Park Slope is an ice cream parlor-style hot chocolate bar offering a cozy respite from the cold. Winter Warmers will serve up milk, dark, white, and butterscotch hot chocolate, apple cider, and the enticingly decadent hot butter batter.
Columbus Avenue hosts a fair share of upscale eateries. So how do you know which is the best of the best? Well, if you're looking for traditional Spanish cusine without having to pay airfare, you need to check out Casa Pomona.
Nestled between W 84th and W 85th streets on Columbus ave, Casa Pomona is a tapas bar serving traditional spanish dishes and drinks like paella and sangria. With wonderful spanish artwork, low lighting, and plenty of seating, Casa Pomona's ambiance feels just like a hip tapas bar in downtown Barcelona.
Chipotle haters finally have a place to congregate and flip the proverbial bird to the taco man: Tres Carnes. We were told the Times dubbed it Chipotle's younger brother with a handlebar mustache, but we beg to differ. This place is the anti-Chipotle. It's the leather-pants-and-Timberlands wearing, punk-rock-and-rap-listening half-sister of Chipotle that attends art school and tags whatever surface she can find. That handlebar mustache? Totally ironic.
Our hats off go to Tres Carnes genius branding tool that has customers coming back for more: the weekly smoke. Every Wednesday an exotic cut of meat is served in a taco, and according to the PR team, the line goes out the door. There's nothing these guys won't serve up, from antelope (we were shocked to learn it was locally sourced) to the beef tongue tacos we tried last night (trust us, they were delicious). A significant customer base just shows up for their weekly smoke like a groupie showing up to a show.
By now, you've probably been offended by Alison Gold's parody-style, teen-boppy song "I Love Chinese Food". A recent lunch hosted by the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs in a ballroom at The Plaza Hotel, left us humming an embarassing tune along the lines of "I love Korean food..."
When many people think Korean food, they think kimchi, a pickled cabbage condiment that can be spicy and acidic. Though the fermented flavor turns some off, there are plenty of other notable dishes in Korean cuisine that can suit any palate. From crispy pajeon vegetable pancakes to galbi jjiim short rips to a bowl of savory rice and vegetable bimbimbap or japchae, the traditional Korean glass noodles with vegetables, each staple of Korean cuisine resembles a dish from other cultures, yet still has its own flavors and textures.