While it’s not quite on the same level (yet) as Brooklyn or Manhattan, Queens’ dining scene is moving up in the world of food. Which makes their very own Restaurant Week — offering $14 lunches and $28 dinners at participating establishments, from October 12th-29th this year — as apt a time as any to see what the ethnically-rich borough has cooking — from exotic Peruvian ceviche at Cevicheria El Rey to an Argentine feast at La Fusta and tasty, real deal Greek at Zenon Taverna!
Cevicheria El Rey: Located in Jackson Heights, this casual, family-friendly restaurant specializes in Peruvian Ceviche — fish, squid, octopus & shrimp, marinated in spicy lemon juice — as well as seafood incorporated in soups and stews, or mixed into spaghetti dishes known as Tallarins, along with sautéed onions and tomatoes. If you’re already missing summer, this Queens spot will transport you to a warm beach… if only for a meal.
85-16 Roosevelt Ave., (718) 606-9077
La Baraka: This convivial French-Moroccan bistro has been serving its close-knit neighborhood of Little Neck since the 1970’s and it’s still going strong, which is no easy feat. In fact, it was one of the first restaurants to introduce Queens to the North African staple, Couscous, topped with lamb kebabs,
chicken, flank steak, and savory merguez sausage.
25509 Northern Blvd., (718) 428-1461
Taqueria Coatzingo: One of the most respected taco spots in the city (in a borough already well known for highly authentic Mexican cuisine), the spacious Taqueria Coatzingo excels at tortillas filled with carne asada, carnitas and al pastor, as well as towering Cemitas, hearty Chilaquiles and hand-patted Tamales, laked in red or green sauce.
7605 Roosevelt Ave., (718) 424-1977
Zenon Taverna: Located smack in the heart of the Greek stronghold of Astoria, this beloved taverna serves yawning platters of Cypriot specialties, such as garlicky Skordalia, housemade Sausages, Char-Grilled Octopus, and Smoked Pork Loin marinated in red wine.
34-10 31st Ave., (718) 956-0133
La Fusta: Vegetarians would be wise to steer clear of this carnivorous, Argentinean playland in Elmhurst, which mainly focuses on giant boards of juicy, grilled meats, such as Chorizo, Blood Sausage, Pork Chops, Short Ribs, Skirt Steak and Sweetbreads.
80-32 Baxter Ave., (718) 429-8222
Shiro of Japan: This chic, 8,500-square foot venue (boasting 16 hibachi tables and an outdoor beer garden) is offering a Sushi lunch as well as a Hibachi dinner for Restaurant Week; think chicken, steak, shrimp, vegetables and salmon, accompanied by soup, salad and stir-fried noodles.
8040 Cooper Ave., (718) 326-8704
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