At Osteria Italiana, no detail is small enough to escape the team's attention, not even the height of the Caprese salad: it's served as a carefully balanced tower of alternating tomato and mozzarella slices drizzled in balsamic vinaigrette. The detail-oriented eye behind that appetizer?and the restaurant's other Italian classics?belongs to Chef Michael Zampitelli, previously of La Tavernetta. His vision is also evident in dishes such as linguine with calamari and the shrimp risotto, in which fish and rice strike a delicate balance just like they did back in the ocean. His sensibility even shines in simpler lunchtime paninis such as the grilled chicken, mozzarella, and shallot vinaigrette, a favorite he brought over from La Tavernetta.
Colorful lights, live music, and the smell of churrasco beckon passersby into Andres Carne De Tres, where chefs recreate the bold flavors of South America. Appetizers, such as empanadas dunked in a housemade sauce and guacamole made tableside, kick off meals before the real treat: platefuls of pork loin, skirt steak, chicken, ribs and fresh seafood—all cooked Colombian style. Patrons can order their own individual helpings from the menu—which includes items such as paella and chicken-and-mushroom crepes—or share a Tejarrilla Andres platter packed with enough Colombian chorizo and smoked pork ribs for two people or one pet bear. As the night rolls on, the dance floor tempts guests out of their seats with neon lights and live music crooned from a nearby stage.
Walking into La Flor is almost like entering a simulated garden—flowered tiles adorn the entryway, floral mosaics climb the columns in the dining room, and bright blooms are painted on the floor-to-ceiling windows. Fresh flowers even top some of the meals, fusions of Mexican, French, and Italian flavors that chef Viko Ortega has spent a decade creating. Using seasonal ingredients, Viko builds entrees such as grilled salmon with Poblano pickles and lamb shank braised in red wine and Mexican spices. Many of the menu items are more casual, such as Oaxaca-cheese pizzas and barbecued-pork tortas. Breakfast is available until 2 p.m. daily, giving diners or insomniac owls plenty of time to order bourbon-vanilla french toast or housemade granola served with seasonal fruit and low-calorie yogurt.
Rather than choose comfort foods from one country, Las Lunitas Diner & Bakery almost seems determined to embrace recipes from as many as possible. This leads to a diverse menu that includes options for every meal of the day except the snack between the beginning and the end of dinner. The eclectic selection includes American staples?such as apple pie and 7-ounce cheeseburgers?as well as housemade croissants, linguine in white-clam sauce, and shrimp ceviche with fried plantains. Omelets and espresso drinks provide a much-needed boost for breakfast, as do the diner's natural juices made using everything from pineapple to kale. Meals can be finished with a slice of coffee cake, marble cheesecake, or milk shake.
Claret is a small neighborhood wine bar located on the tree-lined Skillman Avenue in the heart of Sunnyside Gardens in Queens. All the elegant sophistication of a candle-lit downtown wine-bar with the easy-going charm of a neighborhood local. Live Jazz and Blues on Tues/Wed and the best Happy Hour in Queens 7 days a week!
Each day, Sapori D'Ischia transforms from a specialty food shop selling cheeses, cured meats, and oils into a classic Italian dining room filled with intimate cloth-topped tables and twinkling candles. The tiella di polpetti alla griglia—charred baby octopus sleeping soundly in a candlelit terracotta crock ($14)—is an appetizer oft-ordered by regulars, and the asparagi al forno con canestro di pecorio—oven-roasted asparagus nestled in a pecorino romano basket with a toasted pine-nut blanket ($11)—is frequently asked to do Gumby impressions. Watch and learn as Sapori's servers arrive at your table to prepare the fettucini al'Antonio, a heaping portion of al dente pasta stirred inside a wheel of imported parmigiano reggiano cheese and sprinkled with prosciutto di parma and organic white-truffle essence ($24). Or simply dig into the kitchen-prepped costole di maile—wild fennel-encrusted pork chops flanked by black guanciale lentils and whipped potatoes ($23).