Though the staff at Oradek's Coffee House make an excellent espresso and serve up delicious desserts and Belgian chocolates, their signature dish easily outstrips the rest for one simple reason: it combines all three. Staff blend together shots of their house espresso with a scoop of ice cream to create their signature shake, the shottie. To this energizing dessert they can add mix-ins of the customer's choice, including chunks of Heath bars or the interweaving flavors of dark chocolate, peanut butter, and banana.
Just because their signature dish is a shake doesn't mean the house baristas don't know the secrets of brewing the proverbial perfect cup of coffee. They grind and brew a rotating selection of single-origin coffees using French-press, pour-over, or cold-brewing techniques, allowing them to control the drink's strength and taste. The nearby chefs complement the house beverages with cafe dishes from a range of cuisines They offer spicy sushi rolls alongside flaky chocolate croissants—uniting Japanese and French influences, like cutting a baguette with a samurai sword.
Reservations: Not offered
Number of Tables: 5–10
Parking: Metered street parking
Most Popular Offering: Hookah and drinks
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery/Takeout Available: No
Outdoor Seating: No
Unlike many hookah bars—with their heavy curtains, ornate filigreed pillows, and other trappings designed to make guests feel transported to the Far East—ESEX Lounge boasts an ultra sleek, nightclub-esque look. Here, hookah smoke lazily pours out of patrons' mouths and swirls around the space, briefly touching beer bottles and cocktail glasses before dissipating into the air, which glows with neon purple and green lights.
Revelers enjoy various hookah flavors and small bites while draped on long white leather couches standing below light fixtures with intersecting tilted rings. Or, they can perch on modern chairs at the full bar, where bartenders dole out more than 90 types of alcohol. Behind the bar, large flat-screen TVs keep fans abreast of various sports and entertainment channels.
When Tuscan Hills’ owners first opened their rustic Italian spot, they followed the old Italian tradition of placing a horseshoe upside-down over the door to keep negative energy out. But as customers came in to try the new spot, they kept pointing out that the horseshoe was hanging the wrong way, so they switched it. After that, they had the worst week since they’d opened—so they turned it face-down again, and Tuscan Hills has been a charm to the owners and their customers ever since.
With exposed-brick walls, flickering candles, and folded linen napkins, Tuscan Hills feels like an Italian hideaway. As guests gather around tables to chat over glasses of wine, chefs toss pasta with seafood, fresh vegetables, and meats and then pull bubbling 13-inch pizzas from the brick oven. Main dishes include braised chuck of wild boar smothered in brown sauce and served over polenta as well as the signature traditional Tuscan-style fish stew, cacciucco alla livornese, which is baked with a crispy bread crust. Family-style platters of pasta, steak, and other dishes bring groups together to share the brimming platters or finally satisfy the hunger of yetis out to treat themselves.
The Queens Historical Society recognizes Cinemart Cinemas as the borough's oldest continually operated independent movie theater. But the location is a draw for reasons other than its impressive 1925 founding and roster of blockbusters. Next door, a brick walled, fire-lit bistro invites friends to sit and snack. At Theater Cafe, filmgoers talk about what they just watched while sipping tea or spirits in front of the fireplace, or they visit to pick up crepes to use as blindfolds if the film gets too scary. But many guests grab a table even if they're not seeing a film. With a full menu of sandwiches, salads, pizza, and ice cream—not to mention the wine, beer, and coffee—the cafe draws plenty of its own customers and rounds of applause.
Aside from supplying casual vibes, Panorama is known for slinging steamy cups of organic liquids and artfully arranged plates of breakfast and lunch fare. Kick off a day with a Jump Start—two shots of espresso blended with vanilla and cream ($3.45)—paired with a Locura wrap that wraps a whole-wheat blanket around eggs, soy beef, cheddar and monterey jack, salsa, and greens ($5.95). For lunch, snag a Parson burrito stuffed with black beans, lettuce, cheeses, salsa, and sour cream ($6.75; $7.75 with soy beef or chicken) or a veggie burger salad ($6.95), which high fives stomachs with an amalgamation of greens, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese, all topped with freshly diced veggie-burger bits plucked straight from the bur-garden.
Sangria Tapas Bar and Restaurant lavishes dining coteries with sharable small plates, flavorful steaks, and dishes of fresh seafood forged in Spanish and Portuguese traditions. The menu incorporates diverse dishes concocted to represent the complete culinary landscape of Iberia, from the seafood-studded feasts of Portugal to the leafy paella orchards on Valencia's coastal plain. In addition to crafting plates of cool olives and cheese or piping-hot seafood and skewered meat, chefs sling more substantial fare in the form of juicy steaks, seasoned fish, and marinated chicken and pork morsels.