Feast your eyes and occasional need to eat upon an ample amount of cozy sophistication with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of global comfort food at El Ay Si in Long Island City. The warm atmosphere draws upon the surrounding neighborhood for its inspiration and energy, which in turn feeds the servers who are largely from the neighborhood, successfully completing the circle of life. The restaurant is open for dinner (6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday–Thursday, and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday–Saturday) and for brunch Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The dinner menu features a number of savory starters ($6–$9), including jalapeño sweet-corn fritter, and salads ($9–$11) such as the filetto salad (grilled filet mignon with romaine, arugula, tomatoes, and a shallot vinaigrette). Main dishes achieve a perfect balance between down home and uptown. The roasted pork loin and pressed pork belly ($20) finds a welcome home beside the classic chicken-fried chicken with green beans, mashed potatoes, and white gravy ($14). Pair your meal with a tasty side such as mac 'n' cheese ($8) or a glass of wine. Pop by for weekend brunch and have a breakfasty omelette with chorizo, caramelized onions, and manchego ($10) or the invigorating red eye sandwich (peanut butter, banana, and bacon between pieces of french toast), among others.
- Deftly blending sophistication with a lack of pretense, the kitchen serves a roster of down-home comfort staples with an upscale flourish, ranging from the ubiquitous (mac and cheese with applewood-smoked bacon) to the unique (shepherd’s pie with wild boar sausage braised in red wine). The service is open and warm, with engaging banter eroding the boundaries between diners and staff. – Jesse Hirsch, Edible Queens
- My favorite starter were [sic] the black-eyed pea cakes with chipotle mayo. They looked like crab cakes but tasted like a mix between hummus and refried beans. I liked them a lot, especially because they had some spice. Their already sharp flavor intensified further when I dipped them into chipotle mayo. – The Foodista
El Ay Si
Fetching artwork pairs with gritty brick walls and decorative graffiti in El Ay Si’s interior, where diners study an eclectic menu of Southwestern comfort cuisine. Fusing traditional recipes with international ingredients, they craft pulled-pork tacos al pastor with grilled pineapple, as well as slow-cooked pressed pork belly with caramelized apples. Brews such as Saranac India Pale Ale or the Mexican Modelo Especial pilsner complement hearty dishes as diners submerge spoons into chocolate-bourbon pecan pie or cherry crumble crowned with vanilla ice cream.
47-38 Vernon Blvd.
Long Island City, New York 11101Get Directions