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HELP!! In Forest Hills

  • k

We have lived in Queens for 6 months and are struggling to find a really great meal... We are not being snobbish, but are sincerely disturbed by the lack of edible options in the Forest Hills area. We have lived (and have eaten very well) in Brooklyn, Manhattan and other parts of Queens. Are we missing something?! The only place we have found worth returning to is Dee's on Metropolitan Ave, but we need a few more options... Help!!

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  1. Nick's pizza is great in Forest Hills on Ascan, and 5 Burro Cafe can be good also, the Greek Place Corfu on Austin upstairs in the space past Ann Taylor is good as well. Cabana is noisy, but okay for a few things. The Mexican place which is the same as the one in Roslyn long Island, used to be better when it first opened, but portions shrunk and it's not too good anymore. Other than that, every other place, I don't care for. There is a decent Sushi place called Mickey's ignore the weird decor, on QB near to 67th ave------For Thai head to Srip in Woodside, for Chinese, head to Spicy and Tasty in Flushing, for Peruvian, head to Pio either on Woodhaven in Rego Park or Jackson Heights, for Cuban head to Rincon Criolo in Jackson Heights area, for Eclectic Mexican and great tarts head to La Flor in Woodside or Viko's Cafe in Corona--hope this helps a bit...yes, it's a shame there aren't better choices in Forest Hills---there are also the Bukharian places in Rego Park, and in Kew Garden Hills, if you like Israeli, check out Hapisgah on Union Turnpike-------or for Persian, Colbeh on Main Street.

    16 Replies
    1. re: Janie

      I think it would be fair to say that Corfu is 'okay' - but I think the only reason people think it's great is that there's really nothing else. I've lived here for 25 years & watched the place become a mall without a roof. We don't even have a Jewish deli anymore. How is that possible in this neighborhood? The only answer is that it's not a neighborhood anymore.

      Oops...unintended rant...

      1. re: kiwi

        I wish there were more good food too :-(

        Corfu is good for the neighborhood.
        At the risk of repeating myself ad infinitum:

        I've had good food at Nick's Pizza, Golden Pond, Sato, 5 Burros. I also like to shop at Cheese of the World. And for a super-cheap option I like the Chinese/Japanese/French sandwich/noodle shop on QB or a panini at Munch on Yellowstone.

        I've had horrendous food at Rouge, Peking Duck, and that absolutely horrible Italian place on Austin with Pasta in the name. The Tower Diner also seemed seriously nasty to me. And the last time I ate at Howard Zhou's it was awful. Ugh.

        1. re: Kerry

          I like Mardi Gras, 5 Burro, Chalet Alpina, Nicks and Simply Thai (on Queens Blvd off Union Tpke.)

          It is ridiculous that an upscale nabe like FH has such pathetic food options. I have a car and eat most of my meals on LI. :(

          1. re: KK

            I know! why is the food so bad? Oh well. Next time I walk down Austin St. I'll think of you happily driving away in your car towards LI ;-)

            1. re: Kerry

              I think it's real estate and the above-average age of the population. I'm not very young, but there are a great number of seniors here - and I think that explains the continued existence of Austin House, Just Like Mothers, and that crappy pasta place. The mall factor explains the rest. But if there were more room for a younger pop. - like in Bklyn. (where I think the pop. was older, died, & made room for the influx of younger people), there would be more great food. Although it doesn't explain why - HOW we could possibly NOT - have our own Jewish deli!

              There's also what I call the Pinnacle effect. When that building came, advertised as Fifth Ave. on Queens Blvd., it looked like the commercial rents went up right along with the damn building: there was a spate of old businesses disappearing & the chains appearing. It looked like someone - the landlords - really believed that 5th Ave. stuff.

              Just my opinions thrown into the mix, and a bit of rant.

              1. re: kiwi

                I think you're right on, Kiwi.

                I used to have *one* favorite place on Austin, but it morphed into an awful, loud cheesy bar. It used to be a decent sandwich/dessert shop (right next to 5 Burros) that was open late.

                Sometimes I think that people with a passion for good food (like the family that owns Cheese of the World) are a rarity (except for Chowhounders).

                1. re: Kerry
                  o
                  oooodiane@aol.com

                  Am I the idiot?
                  I LIKE Forest Hills food.
                  I like Corfu, Bann Thai, Nick's. I LOVE Narita. Pizza at Portofino'll do in a pinch.
                  But I agree -- Krispy Kreme donuts could not survive here because the oldsters were too scared to cross Queen Bouley to get to it. And on a fixed income, a Krispy Creme is impractical. But I think young folk are making their way over here.

                  1. re: oooodiane@aol.com

                    How true about KKs. I'm kinda glad it didnt last as I must have gained 10 lbs in the year it was there.

                    I grew up in Queens and don't ever remember going to FH for a really good meal. But at least there was a bakery!! As a teen we used to go to Beefsteak Charlie's in the Forest Hills Inn and Cooky's Steakhouse on QB where the MRI place shaped like a castle is now.

                    Regents Row in Kew Gardens was a place my family used to visit on a regular basis. Boy did that place hop on the weekends.....2 hour waits for tables!

                    And of course the lack of Jewish deli in FH has been a 'problem' since the '70s. I can't recall the last Jewish deli. Bens Best in Rego Park is mediocre but fills the bill in a pinch for pastrami.

                    1. re: oooodiane@aol.com

                      You're not an idiot :-)
                      We just disagree! LOL
                      I think most Forest Hills food is atrocious. I'll grant you that Nick's has excellent pizza, and I enjoy the Bonelle Bakery next door. But I find Bann Thai mediocre. And I've had execrable meals at Peking Duck, Pasta Del Giorno, and Rouge. Yuk!

                      1. re: oooodiane@aol.com

                        I agree, there are some very good options in Forest Hills. Bann Thai has very good food and decor. Mardi Gras and Cabana are solid places to eat. Portofino is also very good, whoever said it is an old folk place has not been there is a while. Pinang is pretty good, Narita is solid for Japanese. I like Santa Fe for the Mexican. Corfu is good because it is unique for the area. The Family Restaurant is too cramped, I like Pasta Lovers. The Thai place Q I habe never eaten at, it is very small and quite expensive.

                        1. re: oooodiane@aol.com
                          n
                          nicole friedman

                          You're not an idiot! While I go to NYC often to eat, I stay home just as much- malaysian, thai, italian, japanese, greek, indian- while I do detest the chains, the ethnic places FH has are pretty good- all we're missing are some good vietnamese, korean and south indian places and I'd be in heaven! (throw in an ethiopian?)

                          1. re: oooodiane@aol.com

                            I disagree about the old people being the reason for the bad restaurants. The old people eat in T Bone Diner. Places like TJ Friday,Pizzaria Uno, Johnny Rockets, and the like are frequented by young people from out of the neighborhood. In fact it seems that most of the people who eat in FH restaurants are from other locales. Otherwise they would be walking.

                        2. re: kiwi

                          In answer to the no jewish deli comment, the character of the neighborhood has changed quite a bit and it's no longer strictly jewish as it was before. Not saying this is a jewish deli but the closest thing is the knish knosh place in queens boulevard by 67th avenue (which is still technically forest hills)

                          1. re: maria_nyc

                            Go to Ben's Best in Rego Park...Qns Blvd near 63rd Drive.

                    2. re: Kerry

                      Must "agree to disagree" about Rouge. I eat there about once a month and find the food excellent- particularly their version of Coquilles St. Jacques and the absolutley yummy dark chocolate mousse. The specials tend to be great choices also. I will say the Sunday brunch is considerably less than stellar...

                      1. re: Kerry

                        Peking Duck is only good for the namesake dish, nothing much beyond that.

                        5 Burros is good? Hmmm first time I hear good and 5 Burros in the same sentence.

                        I like Cabana in that little restaurant row, but that's pretty much it.
                        If you are willing to walk to Metropolitan Avenue (which is still Forest Hills) you can try Danny Brown's place at 104-02 Metropolitan Avenue.

                  2. s
                    Spock's Brain

                    Sorry to say, but you're SOL!

                    I've lived in FH for close to 4 years now and I'm still amazed at how poor the selection of food is out here. The line out the door at Boston Market every night should be a dead giveaway that the situation in this hood' is beyond hopeless.

                    I have only a few suggestions. Get supplies often from the Natural Market and Fresh Direct & cook often. Purchase a Metrocard and explore other areas in Queens for far superior cuisine.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Spock's Brain

                      re: Boston Market, LOL, so true!

                    2. What type of food and how far are you willing to travel? Walking distance? Public Transport? Car? Queens is ground zero for the best food on the East Coast. My buddy lives in Forest Hills / Rego Park and he is always telling me about all the fantastic places he finds and dragging me off to the best places within a 5 minute drive.

                      1. We have lived in Forest Hills since dinosaurs frolicked here, and agree that restaurant options are miserable. We usually go further afield when we eat out, but agree with the options listed by the other posters. A few additional recs are Luna Sur on Metropolitan for Italian, Q Thai for inaunthentic but pleasant sort of Thai food, and Cabana for Latin fare. I have always figured that the rents are so high that a reasonably priced restaurant serving decent food can't make it here. I was sorry to see Soup's On go. Austin Street has turned into an open air mall with chain everything. Too bad, but thats the way America seems to be going.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Suzanne

                          Soupson has a Marshall's notice on the door. "Closed for operating without a permit".
                          The inside has been gutted.
                          Sooo.... another Starbucks? (affectionally known as Fourbucks in my househould)
                          God I hope not.

                        2. Thank you all for the suggestions, and the affirmation that I am not insane... I do not have a car, but we have bikes, so we are pretty mobile. I will try some of the places mentioned in Rego Park and Kew Gardens. Other areas are doable by subway only...

                          To broaden the discussion: We had some burnt lamb at Corfu that gave me a sore throat the next day...won't be going back...

                          Munch has a good sandwich "the munch club", otherwise it is touch and go...

                          Tried 5 burros once for take-out.

                          Had OK appetizers at the wine bar near 5 burros.

                          Someone could have an amazing business if they can bring a good meal to the neighborhood!! any other thoughts, please write...

                          KR

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: KR

                            My wife and I don't own a car either, but we bike to Corona, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and Woodside 3 or 4 times a week. Sripraphai is only 20 minutes away by bike, with no time wasted looking for a parking spot. Speaking of Thai, there's Ban Yai on Queens Blvd near 65th Road. It's no Sripraphai, but it's infinitely better than the many other Thai restaurants in Rego Park and Forest Hills.

                            1. re: el jefe
                              o
                              oooodiane@aol.com

                              well, then I suggest you ride that bike to corona and get thee to Tony's Pizzeria at 4518 104th St, Flushing, NY 718-779-1707. Start with their tangy salad, then maybe doa little fried calamari. I do the pasta with the shrimp and marinara sauce. Husband likes the scungili.

                            2. re: KR

                              I agree, pretty miserable choices.
                              My top five:
                              Nick's
                              Five Burro's
                              Corfu
                              Just Like Mothers (they deliver, so you wont have to feel like you are in a morgue, and they do great breakfasts)
                              Family Restaurant (take out and catering)
                              Bonelle Bakery (okay, six... sue me)

                              My rant: I hate the fact that so many restaurants have to be so brightly lit, just so the elderly can see.

                              One thing... the new SuperStop&Shop on Union Tpke make cooking less expensive. I've cut $120/week at the SS Natural by ALOT !!!

                              1. re: Dagmar

                                Where is that bakery?
                                I went to 'mothers' for breakfast, not stellar, but not bad... what do you recommend from their menu?

                                Also, everyone is talking about Corfu, but I found it to be pretty foul... maybe I did not order the right thing. What do you recommend???

                                thanks
                                KR

                                1. re: KR

                                  Mothers delivers if you live close by (and the dishwasher shows up). We like the fresh berry pancakes, omlettes, the challah french toast, perogis and blintzes. Just tell them to forget the "jelly" (purple goo that comes with breakfasts). For dinner the stuffed peppers, meatloaf and Polish beers. If only the ambiance was better.

                                  1. re: Dagmar
                                    o
                                    oooodiane@aol.com

                                    Corfu: I like the chicken kebab platter: comes with rice pilaf and lemon potato AND a GORGEOUS greek salad. They use the good feta there. Oooo -- and their SKORDALIA is wonderful.

                                2. re: Dagmar

                                  Just Like Mothers no longer delivers - they use one of those pay services, and considering that most of their food is barely average...well, you get my drift. There's also the sullen face and attitude factor - a charming combination. And 5 Burro is a kiddie hang-out, with all that goes with that. Nick's is okay, and the bakery is half okay - the half of the time without the wicked witch sister.

                                  And could Austin house be the worst neighborhood diner ever? What did we do to deserve that place?

                                  1. re: kiwi
                                    l
                                    long time forest hill resident

                                    don't you just feel so sorry for Rahita - the good sister who is also the owner - her sister just screws things up for her business so badly.

                                    They have some really amazing things but the surly service from the bad witch sister - as you so appropriately put it- really turns customers away - at least I know I don't bother much anymore.

                                    my favorite thing at nicks is their watercress and arugula salad with honey mustard vinaigrette (which doesnt describe the dressing - it's a homemade unusual recipe that rocks) roasted peppers and sundried tomato.

                                    1. re: long time forest hill resident

                                      Are the sisters twins?
                                      I have experienced some schizophrenic-like episodes from the owner? in that bakery so that would explain a lot.

                                3. re: KR
                                  n
                                  nicole friedman

                                  Actually, I would have to disagree strongly (no offense here!)- I've lived in the FH area my whole life. While there are many restaurants that I choose to stay away from (Fridays [blech], Jimmy Rockets [screaming teens anyone?], etc), there are many great ethnic choices. Pot Thai just opened on 68th Drive and Queens Blvd- small, but VERY good. Penang, while it is decorated very kitchy, also has very good malaysian (around 76th). Baluchis, although a chain restaurant, also has good Northern Indian fare around there. For sushi, try Tako Sushi- it's downstairs around 70th and austin- less pricy and snobbish than Narita, and quite good- usually we get complementary plum wine at the end. And the Mexican place upstairs (I forget the name for the moment) has excellent chicken mole.

                                  1. re: nicole friedman

                                    I agree about Pinang, it's good (although not every dish in there is great.)
                                    Same with Baluchis, it's decent. Is it the best Indian food in nyc? No.
                                    However, it's pretty consistent and quite OK if you don't want to travel to the city. Their weekend brunch special is also a good buy.

                                    1. re: nicole friedman

                                      Speaking of burgers, has anyone tried the new burger joint on QB (by 72nd?) Is it any good?

                                  2. Chowhounders, what are some good places to eat on Metropolitan Ave? That's easy to get to from Forest Hills. I haven't been in that area for so long, I'm not up to date with what's there.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: synergy

                                      well... here's a "don't try," unfortunately. La Vigna used to be good 2 years ago and now it's not anymore.

                                      I know people like Dee's... (I think their pasta is awful)

                                      1. re: Kerry

                                        Thanks Kerry. The "don't try's" are just as important to know of as the "do go to's". While I haven't been to Dee's, your comments makes me not want to go there. As a pasta lover, it makes me shake my head to know that a chef makes pasta taste bad. What a shame.

                                        While it's been a number of yrs. since I went to a couple of restaurants on Metropolitan Ave., I had hoped that there were at least a handful that the Chowhounders could recommend. Oh well.

                                        1. re: synergy

                                          I love pasta too! I don't know what's so difficult about making a simple al dente pasta dish without mismatched ingredients. Just a simple aglio olio is delicious. Dee's has that kind of mushy pasta served in a lackluster cream sauce with too many ingredients...

                                          1. re: Kerry
                                            o
                                            oooodiane@aol.com

                                            Top Forest Hills eateries: IMHO

                                            1. Bann Thai -- Austin Street nr. barnes and noble
                                            2. Corfu -- austin also nr. b & n
                                            3. Narita Sushi -- WONDERFUL sushi -- nr. blockbuster
                                            4. Q Thai -- Ascan nr. Nick's -- wonderful food. pricey
                                            5. Nick's pizzeria
                                            6. portofino -- i dunno about the entrees, but the pizza is terrific. old fogey-ish, however. on ascan.
                                            7. i like the mexican at baja fresh (I think that's the name) but chowhounders like sargente garcia -- i've never been.

                                            1. re: oooodiane@aol.com

                                              I thought the consensus was that Sgt. Garcia's was atrocious ;-)

                                              Nick's Pizza does rock.

                                      2. re: synergy

                                        Dee's is good for pizza, salad and apps, but not pasta. Luna Sur would be my Metro pick for Italian. Avoid Sarabella and La Vigna. Alberto's is okay, but boring and for an older crowd. Same for Tutto Bene. Ban thai is pleasant if not extraordinary. An option if you're local. Punta Sal has pretty good Peruvian, and music on Thursdays. St. James is okay for drinks only. They have a backyard which is nice.

                                      3. As many people opined, 1 of the biggest issues in the Austin St. area is space and noisy atmospheres. If you can handle the tight seating and usually loud mix of chatter and music then I suggest:
                                        5 Burro: good Mexican
                                        Cabana: great New Cuban but you will get to know your 'neighbor' pretty quickly...
                                        Narita: decent Japanese
                                        Mardi Gras: for a good selection of Cajun offerings

                                        I also liked the Thai place a little off the beaten Austin St. path but the name escapes me. It opens its doors in the summer and you can sit right by the window. I haven't tried Rouge but the menu there didn't look all that original and seems to stick to traditional French, which is fine if that's what you are looking for...

                                        1. if you enjoyed dee's on metro, i would venture further down a few blocks to some of metropolitan aves. other restaurants such as punta sal (peruvian), luna sur (italian), alberto's (old school italian), chalet alpina (old school german), there is also a thai place and a new japanese place, a carvel, and i can't help but leave out sizzler not that it's great but it's better than the one on qb in rego park...

                                          1. No one mentioned Dirty Pierre's in the Gardens. I shouldn't tell you about it, because it is already hard to get a seat at one of the six tables in the room. It is my favorite. I love the varieties of burgers served on an English muffin, the meatloaf and mashies, the moules and frittes, the brownie and ice cream with chocolate sauce, the fabulous bread, and the mesculun salad. Oh, the clam chowder is darn good, although nothing compares with O'Dowd's in Roundstone, Ireland.

                                            The servers (waitstaff is too snobby a word for this place) are really nice, unpretentious, remember your name, and possibly are all related to the owner. The owner/chef is a Cordon Bleu alum and currently teaches at one of the culinary arts schools in New York.

                                            It has the feeling of a neighborhood joint, possibly because it has it's regulars, while at the same time feeling a bit like a tiny French bistro in the south of France. Don't be put off by the motorcycles outside on Sunday afternoon nor the people standing around the bar.

                                            Cash only and it doesn't open before 5.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Frances

                                              Has anyone been to this place lately? Is it still good?

                                              1. re: maria_nyc

                                                YES - dirty pierre's is the best place in the austin street area hands down. as a matter of fact i can't come up with anything close in forest hills altogether with the exception of nick's pizza (ascan) and dee's (metropolitan). apart from those three, the gastro scene in FH is simply lousy, unfortunately... having said that: i would eat at dirty pierre's even if they were in manhattan. have never been dissapointed. i've been a frequent customer for a few years now. people, food, atmosphere - it all makes sense there. and, they do take credit cards now.

                                                1. re: schwalbc

                                                  didn't the owner die there? Who's cooking now?

                                                  1. re: janie

                                                    They are certainly more reasonably priced than say QThai that IMO suffer from a Manhttan pricing complex and price their hamburguer at $17!

                                            2. You might check out NOI 70. It's the replacement for Il Pescatore at 70th Ave and Queens Boulevard right across from the post office. It's a block off the beaten path, so this place has changed hands and names many times. The new manager is from Sicily, so I am told, and the waiters, at this point, seem to be Italian with the exception of one young fellow from Brittany with a cute French accent. Because of this, it has a completely different feeling from the other Italian restaurants in Forest Hills.

                                              ABOUT THE FOOD

                                              On my first visit, I had gnocchi al gorgonzola which is my favorite way to eat gnocchi. It was good, not rubbery as it can be, but it still was not like the melt in your mouth gnocchi al gorgonzola that I had in Aix-en-Provence. I don’t know if I will ever find that again.

                                              The second time I went I ordered the soft shell crabs, no doubt from Maryland, the soft shell crab capital . I love Maryland crab, hard or soft. These were big and fleshy and fried with a nice crust. They were piled high, three of them, on top of each other on a bed a fresh sauteed spinach surrounded with a lemon sauce and sauteed garlic cloves. They were exceptionally good.

                                              I passed on the dessert both times. I am not big on Italian dolce and the offerings were not appealing at all. If they had had panna cotta, however, I would not have been able to resist. Instead, I passed by Haagen Daz and had an ice cream.

                                              Speaking of dessert. The bakery next to Radio Shack sells a delicious chocolate cup cake if you get it while it is fresh.

                                              ABOUT THE INTERIOR DESIGN AND PIANO MUSIC

                                              The bar is beautiful, but the eating area could be a bit more interesting. The two don't seem to fit together.

                                              Piano music: I like it, but if you are under 40 you probably wont. This is not a hip Manahattan place (nothing out here would fall into that category, IMO), but the food was pretty good and I had a nice evening both times. AND I WENT BY MYSELF.

                                              I hope NOI 70 makes it because I think we need this kind of Italian restaurant in the neighborhood. It feels much more European than the other restaurants which are Italian American, not to put those down because I like that homey Italian American feeling too, but for something different this is good.

                                              I would like to see a restaurant in this space, away from restaurant row, finally succeed. It would be nice if they would put tables outside and serve drinks--expresso, etc. during the off hours. It's right across from the newly redone park, but far enough from the boulevard and I think it could be relaxing to sit and sip a coffee or drink a glass of wine. I don’t know if they could compete with the Bagle Shop or Starbucks, but for those who want to reminisce about their time doing the same in France or Italy, it could work. It definitely would not attract the same crowd.

                                              1. Best place in forest hills is Danny Brown on Metropolitan. Excellent menu, staff and overall atmosphere.
                                                I just came back from dinner at Case de Elian- a new Mexican restaurant that just opened on the corner of Metropolitan and 72nd ave. It's been open for a week and there has not been much of a crowd- but it is delicious. We had a sampling of dishes: queso fundido (chorizo with cheese appetizer); taco sampler (w/homemade tortillas); shrimp dinner dish w/ red sauce (comes with rice and peppers); red rice & beans (very good beans). Everything was delicious and dinner was under $40. They don't have a liquor license yet, but you can BYOB. Highly recommend it.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: ucastri

                                                  I went for lunch (just posted a review) and missed all of these specials you described! Were they only for dinner? I have been looking--to no avail--for quality queso in New York....

                                                2. Just Like Mothers on Queens Boulevard is really delicious Polish food, some of the best perogies i've ever had. If you don't mind dealing with sub-par service, you might want to check them out.

                                                  1. Keep the recommendations coming - moving to FH in 2 weeks and disturbed about the lack of good food options - maybe things just have changed since the 2005 posts.

                                                    16 Replies
                                                    1. re: Hail2theSteve

                                                      I think the biggest change is on metropolitan avenue, most of which has been covered. I think that Forest Hills is unfaily maligned on these boards. I'm not saying it's great, but there are enough decent places to eat. Don't forget the Bukharan places on 108th St and Rego Park. Pio Pio is on Woodhaven. JH is just one subway stop away.

                                                      1. re: Val55

                                                        I'm not sure that FH is "unfairly maligned" on the boards - but I will concede that it all depends on what kind of food one is looking for. For some ethnic food like Bukharan, sure there is a lot. Though I generally find those kinds of places feel pretty insular so the atmosphere doesn't always feel so great. Oh and FH is great if you love chain restaurants - for whatever reason, Uno's and TGIFridays are always packed.

                                                        But for those of us looking for more modern options and places where they have a different sensibility about the food (like Danny Brown's) then FH is sorely lacking. I've lived in FH for nearly 2 years now and accept it for what it is - a place you can get decent real estate, a safe neighborhood and generally easy access to Manhattan. I lived in Park Slope before and the trade-off was a smaller apartment there but far better bars and restaurants. For food, IMHO, FH is a pretty disappointing destination save for a few restaurants that do what they do right - Danny Brown's, Nick's and East Ocean Palace.

                                                        Of course you can always say that other neighborhoods are nearby (thank God) but it's nice to be able to stay in the neighborhood from time to time rather than have to travel - even if it's just one or two subway stops away.

                                                        1. re: pellegrino31

                                                          Pellegrino, I couldn't agree with you more. Other than the restaurants you mention, plus Q in my opinion, FH is totally lacking in quality, upscale restaurants. Are we not as good as Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope?? Why don't the "trendy" chefs come to FH? I could never understand this and I've lived in FH for 18 years. And while we're at it, why no good Jewish Deli? Ben's used to be good but I think it's gone way downhill not to mention that it just looks old and dirty.

                                                          1. re: closer53

                                                            Agree about Ben's, downhill for a long time, and never was clean. But then again, a lot of Deli's aren't known for their hygenic ways. Knish Nosh, often closed by the DOH, but I've never had any ill effects, has superb matzoh ball soup and great knishes. And we do have Andre's, for great baked goods, best rugelach on the east coast for sure. Corfu is okay, and good value. Nick's does what it does fine, the Nick's in Rockville Centre though has pasta and other stuff on their menu, but Nick's in FH has never changed their menu since they opened.

                                                            Alot of people like Q, a thai, but to me, it's not really Thai food. But, it's a good place to bring out of towners that's nearby, but it's pricey to me. Danny Brown's was good, but nothing special to me. I've had much better of this ilk elsewhere. They need to be more adventurous with their menu as well. But, it's a welcome change.

                                                            Haven't tried Kitchen on Metrop but it's received several favorable reviews, so, that's worth checking out. Never cared for Dee's, I don't like sweet pizza, and their pastas were sorely pedestrian. Sorry, but that's the only description that suits them.

                                                            I love La Tavernetta and it's not that far from Forest HIlls, and it's a sweet place, with sweet people who care about food. Too bad Atlas Park doesn't have anything special foodwise. And the Pio Pio on Woodhaven is crowded, uncomfortable, and they hate little kids there, extremely unaccomodating to parents. When we want Pio Pio we go to Jackson Heights, where they are totally hospitable.

                                                            Just Like Mothers, is good for pierogi's and Polish comfort food, but I missed Theresa's when it left Austin street. The best place I ever ate at in Forest Hills, was The Abbey, long gone, owner had some personal problems. That place was the best, fantastic burgers, appetizers, great beer selection, and cozy, priced right. It's where a tanning salon is.

                                                            Never could understand how the Homestead went out, it was a gem that place. Forest Hills needs a real Citarella type place, a one stop marketplace for meat, fish, deli stuff, and higher end prepared foods. Pair with it, a little section for eating there, add a small cafe (ala Dean and Deluca) and it would be a hit. It's too bad, we can't get rid of that Mandees Mall---when Creativity went out of there, I kept hoping for something food oriented, and when yet, another boring clothing store went there, I was bummed.

                                                            This is what Forest Hills needs, if anyone like a developer is listening!!!! The demographics would totally support a Citarella/Dean and Deluca type operation.

                                                            1. re: closer53

                                                              closer53 and janie - frankly I think it's because of the majority of the demographics of the neighborhood why places you see in other neighborhoods like Brooklyn Heights or Park Slope don't exist in FH. I think there is a small minority of us who think about food differently and the rest are content with what is there. I used to get really frustrated by it and while I still do from time to time, I realize I'm outnumbered in the neighborhood in my thinking.

                                                              Sure, FH has some affluence going for it but that affluence doesn't care about paying for really amazing goat cheese or fresh pasta or wanting a bar that serves something other than Bud and Coors Light. That affluence doesn't care if a new restaurant opens using those multi-colored banners that you see at car dealerships that automatically scream amateur. They don't care that at some places napkins are fanned out from inside a water glass a la my 1992 senior prom. Other places get standard panini restaurants. We get that one on Metropolitan that serves a pastrami on wheat panini.

                                                              The other issue is that while there might be decent places to eat in the neighborhood - Da Silvana comes to mind - the atmosphere in most places is a zero. I am happier eating at home or going elsewhere rather than sitting in a dining room that feels like a cruise ship banquet room. I used to be a big fan of 5 Burro and still like their food but the frat party atmosphere is really obnoxious. People actually "dress up" to go out there, like it's a big night on the town.

                                                              I'm ranting, I know. But the truth is that FH has a few bright spots but otherwise, the food matches the level of what the majority in the neighborhood wants which isn't any different than Park Slope. I just don't happen to be part of the FH majority so that's why it feels so disappointing from a dining perspective.

                                                              1. re: pellegrino31

                                                                A great deal of FH is suburban. All of Forest Hills Gardens is, for all intents and purposes, a suburb. Hence, a lot of what is offered on Austin Street is pretty much consistent with what you might find in an affluent suburb or strip mall.

                                                                You never know what people will like, though. Case in point is Fay Da Bakery's success in the neighborhood. Not that Fay Da is any great shakes(indeed, it's yet another chain), but its' appearance in the neighborhood in and of itself is fascinating in that Forest Hills is the only non-Chinatown hood they've opened in, so far as I know. This served to remind me, number one, of just how many Chinese people have moved into the neighborhood in recent years (anyone doubting that should take a gander inside East Ocean Palace on weekend mornings). But it's also interesting to see how many non-Chinese go in and hang out there throughout the day. The fact that the place is cheap probably plays a role in that. But, for a great many FH residents, the Chinese bakery fare at Fay Da probably represented an unknown. I bore witness to a great many people, in those first weeks, pointing to items behind glass and asking, "what's this?" So, the Fay Da example goes to show that people in the neighborhood - even non-Chowhounds - are open to trying new stuff.

                                                                Having been an FH resident for some six years now, I don't hold out hope that the food scene will change anytime soon. It's a shame, because I think people are more open to new stuff than people think.
                                                                P.

                                                                1. re: Polecat

                                                                  I like this place, you can't beat the stuffed breads for a buck.
                                                                  Besides I LOVE not having to go to Flushing or Chinatown to have the honeydew powder shake. So good.

                                                                  1. re: Polecat

                                                                    I have wondered if anyone from the Gardens ever eats in any of the restaurants on Austin Street. It seems that everyone there comes from somewhere else.

                                                                  2. re: pellegrino31

                                                                    I think you're selling Forest Hills short, I have had many a conversation with fellow shoppers in Natural over the some 20 years that I have lived in this area. Rego Park, No, it wouldn't fly there, because it's predominately Russian/Uzbek now, but Forest Hills has alot of transplanted yuppies, and I think a fair amount of sophisticated people to support a real marketplace. I think it would work, and people keep moving to this area, because it's still more affordable than Brooklyn or Manhattan. It's becoming a place that young people want to start a family and still be near to the city, so I really believe it would be a success, if done right.

                                                                    What has failed here is continued mediocrity on the amateur level, the reason why the chains survive, is that they are consistent, and offer value, and they feel clean, and modern compared to the othe dumps around. This is part of their appeal, beside the MOR factor. Fridays is like Celine Dion, and that's being kind, Citarella would be like Beatles, it could appeal to many, and still be really good.

                                                                    1. re: janie

                                                                      I guess I don't really see the "transplanted yuppies" in FH having any kind of mass impact on the type of food (or even retail) that we have in the neighborhood. I think with other neighborhoods you can see there might be more room for turnover from one sentiment to another, I just think in FH that it's reached what it is going to be - for a small few yuppies/hipsters/whatever it will be a more affordable destination that still feels urban but for the vast majority it will be a destination where you can live more of a suburban life. I don't see that radically changing in the way other neighborhoods have.

                                                                      It's not to say of course that suburbs can't have sophisticated food (my hometown in CT has fantastic restaurants that are original and home-grown), it's just that I think the community needs to be a bit more homogeneous to support the kind of restaurants or markets we're talking about.

                                                                      There was an article in the NYT food section a week or so ago about the team that brought Patois to Carroll Gardens and basically paved the way for the neighborhood to become a real dining destination. I think they are getting some backlash but the point I want to make is that in the article those guys mentioned a bunch of other neighborhoods they found to be intriguing as possible neighborhoods for new restaurants. No mention at all of any neighborhoods in Queens, even LIC or Astoria. I think that is telling.

                                                                      1. re: pellegrino31

                                                                        There are a few rays of hope for Forest Hillsites. First of all, La Tavernetta is moving to what was the Paninoteca location (formerly Punta del Sol). Also, although Austin Street is still wall to wall dreck, Metro has quite a few good options: Danny Brown, My Kitchen, and the new Mexican joint, Casa Elian isn't too bad. Dee's is good for a designer pizza. What I've always wondered about is how Sarabella has lasted so long. Weird place with horrible food.

                                                                        1. re: pellegrino31

                                                                          well, you've got a point for the present time, but since the rents keep escalating on Austin st and there's so much turnover, eventually more professionally run places will survive, and then perhaps we will see better stuff. It's a strang thing, there are cool architectural neighborhoods going through transitions but with little shopping, or areas that get better shopping, and slower transitional housing stuff happening. There needs to be more of a planned stragedy to attract businesses that fit the communities, or would attract more people to support these communities.

                                                                    2. re: closer53

                                                                      Resident in FH/ Richmond Hill since 98. There is nothing in our area that I would say is worth the trip from another Queens neigborhood nor any other borough. I would recommend Sri or De Mole to someone from Manhattan.

                                                                      There are some eateries, Da Silvana, Mi Casa (technically Kew Gardens), Thai Austin, Corfu, that have decent fare but nothing special.

                                                                      I attribute the lack of better eateries to the demographics which is a mix of various Eastern European (not really known for their culinary accomplishments), Israeli, older long time Jewish population that is looking more for the Boca type early bird super saver dinner and a couple of dinner rolls in the pocket book, and other varied not so inclined to eat out that often versus the smaller population of single or young couples or younger families that eat out or order in often enough to provide the economic support for a full distribution of solid eateries.
                                                                      Manhattan and certain Brooklyn hoods have that demographic to support these types of restaurants.

                                                                      There are plenty of decent options just nothing that really gets you excited, and as I head into my final year in this area, I don't see it changing any time soon unless the demographics change dramatically.

                                                                      The other thing is the lack of a vibrant take out business which provides a lot of extra income to Manhattan/ Park Slope eateries. The only places that do it here are the chinese Mexican and sorry a** chinese places.

                                                                      I don't know, maybe it someone builds it they will come.

                                                                      1. re: pepper

                                                                        I've lived in FH for over 20 years and not everyone is looking for fancy upscale eateries. It sounds like many of you would be disappointed if something like the original Sripraphai, with its 40 cramped seats, opened here.

                                                                        There are only 2 restaurants in FH that I'm willing to walk to -- Corfu and Latin Cubanita. Yeah, the one on Austin St. Great Cuban food and they do have 6 chairs. We eat there on a regular basis.

                                                                        The rest of FH is mediocre food in a nicer setting; eg - Coatzingo has far superior food than either of the Mexican places on Austin St, but there will never be a yuppy party at Coatzingo. FH is suburbia in the city.

                                                                        1. re: el jefe

                                                                          No one would be disapointed with good anything, the fact is that there isn't alot of good anything upscale or downscale. My husband says the cuban place has gone very downhill, maduras hard as a rock, no flavor, brittle rice sits around doesn't even taste like cuban rice, and dried out stuff...they can't even seem to get rice, beans and bananas right, c'mon, that's crazy. We're not expecting Miami Cuban, afterall, we know it well, grew up there, but it's been uniformly lousy last several times we've been, in the last 2 months or so. Corfu is okay, good for their lunch special, great befteki, but sometimes they pour olive oil over everything and it can get nauseating. Also, it's always hot in there.

                                                                          Yea, Srip in Forest Hills, who wouldn't want it, we eat at Srip weekly, and have since the old digs, but we also want a really good marketplace, and takeout go to. And just for the record, there's plenty of yuppies and interlopers galore at Srip these days.

                                                                          1. re: janie

                                                                            The Latin Cubana Express has indeed gone downhill. The majority of their food is way too salty, perhaps the result of sitting in the heater too long. I've stopped going there all together.
                                                                            I have no idea why people like Corfu so much. The place is mediocre at best. Their chicken is so dry and their falafel, even though it was just fried, was as hard as a rock. How do you mess up fried food?

                                                                            I agree that FH lacks great food options. However, many people have the option to own cars in FH which gives us more flexibility in terms of dining options. We're a short ride away from places such as DB, Casa de Elian, La Tavernetta, Uvarara, La Fusta, Sripraphai, Sapori D'Ischia, Inti Raymi, Rincon Criollo, UFC, Mood, Chao Thai, Little Saigon, La Flor, High Pearl, Tournesol, etc.

                                                                            I'll take the trade-off between lower real-estate/safe, quiet neighborhood and expensive, cramped, loud hood/better food anyday.

                                                              2. Since this thread is shaping up as quite comprehensive, I figured it could use Place links to the restaurants mentioned (bad as well as good).

                                                                -----
                                                                Latin Cabana Express
                                                                72-34 Austin St, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Fay Da Bakery
                                                                107-50 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Knish Nosh
                                                                100-30 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Nick's Pizza
                                                                108-26 Ascan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Danny Brown
                                                                104-02 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Bonelle Pastry Shop
                                                                108-30 Ascan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Andre's Hungarian Bakery
                                                                100-28 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Corfu Grill
                                                                70-17 Austin St, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Da' Silvana
                                                                71-51 Yellowstone Blvd, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                La Tavernetta Europa
                                                                100-05 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Dee's
                                                                107-23 Metropolitan Avenue, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Bann Thai
                                                                69-12 Austin St, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                My Kitchen
                                                                106-17 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Peking Duck Forest
                                                                107-12 70th Rd, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Portofino
                                                                109-32 Ascan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Just Like Mother's
                                                                110-60 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Alberto
                                                                98-31 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Chalet Alpina
                                                                98-35 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                East Ocean Palace
                                                                113-15 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Pinang
                                                                111-10 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Q Thai Bistro
                                                                108-25 Ascan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Sarabella
                                                                103-19 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Five Burro Cafe
                                                                72-05 Austin St, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Austin House
                                                                72-04 Austin St, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Sato
                                                                98-12 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11374

                                                                Tutto Bene
                                                                102-15 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                St. James Bar and Restaurant
                                                                104-08 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Tu Casa
                                                                119-05 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11415

                                                                Cheeburger Cheeburger
                                                                108-50 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Casa de Elian
                                                                104-20 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Cheese of the World
                                                                71-48 Austin St, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Cabana
                                                                107-10 70th Rd, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                Baluchi's
                                                                113-30 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: squid kun

                                                                  Thanks, great job, except Sarabella has gotta get out of there, it's just sickened too many people I know. Michelangelo's
                                                                  Outer Boroughs - 118-07 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11375, USA - Forest Hills

                                                                  (718) 261-5900

                                                                  Here's a few more:

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Pahal Zan
                                                                  106-12 Continental Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                  Dirty Pierre's
                                                                  15 Continental Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                  Michelangelo's
                                                                  118-07 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                  Ripe Juice Bar & Grill
                                                                  70-13 Austin St, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                  1. re: squid kun

                                                                    AHHH THANK YOU SO MUCH! I was reading and thinking "Where the heck are these places?"

                                                                    Also... can someone direct me to a butcher in the area? Austin Street and points west would be nice... along QB would be even nicer?! Thanks :)

                                                                    1. re: feistyfoodie

                                                                      Metro Meats is the best around the immediate area. Nice guy. He's got great prices on Bell and Evan breasts, and he'll grind up sirloin beef for you right from the steaks. Link to a place wasn't working, so I just copied address for you below.

                                                                      Metro Meats
                                                                      10223 Metropolitan Ave
                                                                      Flushing, NY 11375

                                                                      (718) 793-5430‎

                                                                  2. What Forest Hills is really ripe for (if any of you restauranteurs are reading this) is a really good Chinese restaurant. There is certainly enough of a local Chinese population to support something authentic, and enough of the rest of us that will be appreciative. The closest one we have is the one near Sam Ash. Golden Pond? That's very hit and miss in my opinion.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: SuzyP

                                                                      yes, yes, but with Flushing not too far, we are lucky to have the options available to us. A great destination chinese place in Forest Hills would be wonderful, and even better if it were on Metropolitan ave....if that street could become restaurant row, how incredible would that be...little antique shops and great restaurants???? how about it?

                                                                      1. re: SuzyP

                                                                        I think that's the last thing Forest Hills needs. The area isn't lacking in the ethnic food department by any means. What Forest Hills needs is some decent standards like American, French and Italian. Modern places. Not like Positano's where it looks like it stepped out of 1985. Is it possible that we could have a restaurant in the neighborhood that doesn't feel the need to entice guests with specials on a sandwich board planted outside their door? Look at most places in Manhattan or Brooklyn and they don't do that at all.

                                                                        If all I wanted to eat was ethnic food, the area wouldn't seem like it has any limitations. But if I want a great burger place like Stand or gastropub like Spitzer's Corner, or Italian like Lupa or Max or Supper, then I automatically have to leave the neighborhood.

                                                                        Bonfire Grill certainly doesn't cut it for pub food. The food screams amateur hour. Who puts on their menu that the steak is cooked to perfection? Don't you assume that? At most places I eat the descriptions are simple - hanger steak with frites. I assume that they will cook it right if they know what they are doing.

                                                                        1. re: pellegrino31

                                                                          I am in agreement with most of the complaints about FH restaurants. But sometimes I wonder, as I read the posts...the same ones that I agree with...It seems as if FH residents want the kind of restaurants that are worth travelling to, from out of the neighborhood, or out of the borough...but do we really want that? Do we really want all these people coming to our restaurants and crowding them out for us? I don't know of any restaurant in FH proper that draws out of borough crowds (while someone wrote that Danny Browns is worth a trip...while I like it, if it were in another borough I wouldn't go there just for that)...in fact the only long distance draws are, believe it or not, in Rego Park....it seems that many Manhattanites, Brooklynites, and LI people are familiar with London Lennies, and from what my son tells me, on a typical night at Cheburechnaya the crowd has far more Russians from Brooklyn than Bucharians from Rego Park.

                                                                          1. re: EricMM

                                                                            "The area isn't lacking in the ethnic food department by any means."

                                                                            This is true, technically. Cantonese (East Ocean Palace), Greek (Corfu), Indian (Balucchi's), Thai (take your pick), Japanese (Sushi Yasu - one of my favorite FH eateries by the way - and others), Italian (Portofino, various pizzerias), Cuban (Latin Cubanita), Malaysian/Thai (Penang), Argentinian (the place right next to Penang), New Orleans (the joint next to the movie theater on Austin), a Bistro on Austin whose name escapes me, two Mexican take-out, a few of your basic Chinese take-out, not to mention others that will no doubt come to me at around 2am or so. So, yeah, on paper, that looks promising. Someone actually compared FH's variety to the East Village when we first moved here. The general consensus, which I'm in line with here, is that, while some of these venues might be friendly, clean and respectable, there's nothing all that exciting, tasty, good or outstanding. Granted, I've been all over Queens, and I'll tell you that you can do far worse, foodwise. I posted above that Forest Hills also has that suburban strip mall thing going, what with Starbucks, TGI Fridays, McDonalds, etc. Even a great many of the independent businesses have that kind of middle-of-the-road feel. There seems to be some kind of identity schizm sometimes, which makes Forest Hills into something of a blank slate. No wonder like-minded food enthusiasts like the people on this board like to fantasize about what they'd like to see the neighborhood become.

                                                                            As someone who frequents Flushing, Woodside and Elmhurst, naturally, I weigh in on the ethnic side, knowing full well that we have about as much chance of an Ihawan or a Little Pepper or a Minangasli or a Taste Good Malaysian opening on Austin Street as we do of seeing the MTA drop their prices.

                                                                            But, to get back to the East Village variety comparison, they have outposts of Grand Sichuan and Zaab there. Given all the good points people have made about demographics here, I still think that places of that type of calibre - considering their level of clean and simple atmosphere and good food - might do surprisingly well in Forest Hills.

                                                                            Call me crazy, but an eater's got to be optimistic.

                                                                            Eric, I'm not all that concerned about the neighborhood becoming all that crowded. I'll take a Sriprahai East any day. That said, I never mind driving to Woodside - it takes all of 15 minutes.
                                                                            P.

                                                                      2. Someone here said it earlier. Dirty Pierre's. Solid American burgers, meat loaf, steak sandwiches, awesome fries, all you can eat mussels on Tues. etc. Do me a favor it's a small place....Don't go!!!!

                                                                        1. One of the best tasting sushi places in Queens, is in Forest HIlls. It's called Sushi Yasu 71-45 Yellowstone Boulevard. The fish is absolutely amazing, the best quality and incredible fresh. Even Mickeys Place that is now on Bell Blvd does not compare to the quality of this fish. Yasu's place is not cheap but worth every penny.

                                                                          When I first went there about a year ago....my friend dragged me in....I walked in and thought to myslef what a dump! But once the sushi started to come out the decor no longer mattered. Personally, I will always choose food over the decore and poor quality food.

                                                                          Yasu is definitly at the top of any sushi list including the city:
                                                                          Sushi Seki----considered one of the best in the city is not worse then Yasu but not better in terms of quality of fish. It will however cost you approximately 250.00 for two people at Seki and approximately 120.00 at YASU!

                                                                          Here is a list of other restuarants you should try in Queens,

                                                                          Il Bacco Little Neck Pkwy and Northern Boulevard.....True family Italina restuarant with an authentic feel. The owner will always greet you at the door and by your second visit will know you by name. The service is exceptional!!!!!

                                                                          Jackson Diner: JAckson Heights excellent indian food

                                                                          Street Pai PI-woodside one of the best in Thai cousines

                                                                          Tung Tsching----Forest Hills chinese cousine very good

                                                                          1. also Elias Corner in astoria is a treat for fish lovers...dont forget your cash though no credit cards

                                                                            1. so much has been said about portofino, i feel the need to say i think it's kind of gross. i haven't been there in a couple years, but it was one of my parents' sunday brunch mainstays, and i always thought it had a strange odor. i got sick after eating there more than once (i was visiting from college and felt badly arguing against eating somewhere my parents were paying for)... i wouldn't recommend it.

                                                                              in kew gardens, on i think austin and lefferts (right by the indie movie theater), there's a great indian place called mehak. it's pakistani, if i remember correctly, and was my introduction to good quality indian food. i'd recommend their korma. yum.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: lizisinflatbush

                                                                                I lived in Forest Hills for most of my life and have since moved and the one thing I miss about Queens is all the Great restaurants on Austin Street. Cabana is one of my favorite restaurants ever. The coconut shrimp is amazing as well as the paella. Yes it is a bit noisy but that is part of the atmosphere. If you haven't checked it out I suggest you do.

                                                                                1. re: lizisinflatbush

                                                                                  Gotta agree with you about Portofino. I can't believe they've stayed in business so long. Many years ago we went there with my daughter, who at the time was a fussy eater. We order some kind of cheese filled pasta for her--maybe caneloni. She whined that it didn't taste good. At first we dismissed her complaints because she mostly whined about everything she was supposed to eat. Finally, when she became really insistent, we peeled back the pasta and examined the cheese. The ricotta cheese was covered with a layer of green mold. My daugher enjoyed being vindicated, and we felt like child abuseres. That was our last visit to Portofino.

                                                                                2. I've lived in FH for 15 years and I think that having a car is good for maintaining a healthy BMI. Best of Flushing is only a 5-10 min drive away. Add Astoria for Greek, Corona for Latin American, Wodside/Elmhurst for Thai and Malaysian, and a couple Jewish/ Mediterranean places along Main St. That would make Forest Hills a hub for foodies.

                                                                                  All jokes aside, I would completely agree with Polecat's observation that FH is essentially a glorified suburb, if only mentally so. There is a couple decent restaurants, but the whole picture is somewhat dim compared to the eruption of flavors which is Queens, NY.

                                                                                  1. have you looked on metropolitan avenue? there have been a great deal of restaurants added over the years, many with great reviews... if i may suggest, 'danny brown's' and 'my kitchen' as two great options...

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: norah_j

                                                                                      try la tavernetta on Metropolitan near the library I think
                                                                                      good italian food - reasonable prices and if you do take out they discount 20%. We often get their eggplant parm sandwich - bread is nothing special but the eggplant and sauce are excellent and for $6 including tax per sandwich (with the discount) it's a delicious quickie meal

                                                                                    2. i'm a born & raised forest hills girl so i have soft spots for these places

                                                                                      - A&J pizza on austin street. pretty decent cheap pizza. not fancy pants like nick's
                                                                                      - ban thai on austin near the police station. somewhat expensive, but delicious. get the pong pang!
                                                                                      - the chinese restaurant on queens blvd that's across from PC richards and adjacent to sam ash (i forget the name but they had a recent owner change). fantastic dim sum and very flavorful dishes
                                                                                      - there is a new thai place on metropolitan avenue just off 71st avenue that's fairly good and a lot less expensive than the aforementioned one. really homey. good service.

                                                                                      1. For Japanese, try Narita - between Austin and Queens Blvd., Mardi Gras serves great Cajun and Creole food (Austin St. near the Brandon Cinema). If you want terrific Polish and other eastern Europen food, go to Just Like Mother's on Queens Blvd. near Ascan Ave (ignore the person who posted that this is not good food - I'm Polish, do my own Polish cooking and can tell you that their pierogis, red or white borscht, mushroom soup, blintzes and duck (yes, duck) is excellent. They also serve a terrific breakfast with a variety of pancakes and french toast (the babka french toast with a side of fried kielbasa is wonderful). I agree with you about Dee's, its been around a long time and is excellent. Portofino has terrific Italian food (Queens Blvd. at Ascan) - Chalet Alpina and Alberto's (Metropolitan Avenue) are both excellent and have been around forever.

                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: czarnowica

                                                                                          you lost me at Narita, Mardi Gras, Portofino---Alberto's and Chalet Apina can be good, Dee's is average--although boring, Just Like Mothers is okay, not the greatest Polish food, but comforting enough. To suggest that someone ignore a poster that doesn't agree with YOU, goes against the spirit of chowhound, one needs to hear lots of opinions and then go for themselves and decide, that's what makes eating subjective.

                                                                                          1. re: janie

                                                                                            Why does everyone talk about Dee's so much? Been there 3 times and thought the food was average at best.

                                                                                            What's the new thai place near metropolitan? I'll check it out.
                                                                                            This is a long post, not sure if it's been mentioned, but Wafa's is excellent. It's a Lebanese restaurant on Metropolitan and I believe 72nd ave.

                                                                                            1. re: liqdstar

                                                                                              If its Star of Siam, its not new...been there for years.

                                                                                              1. re: EricMM

                                                                                                We went to Star of Siam twice during the past year or two. Nothing to report. :( I humbly suggest you work with the kitchen of the place on Queens Blvd: the chef undestands Cantonese.

                                                                                        2. Has anyone tried Tuscan Hill on Queens Blvd and 77th Ave?

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: foodie85

                                                                                            Just passed by this place today. Looks really good. Doesn't seem like the typical "red sauce" Italian restaurant. But this is just based on the menu and the look of the pace. Here's a link to some buzz so far.

                                                                                            http://www.queenscentral.com/forums/t...

                                                                                            1. re: foodie85

                                                                                              I went a few weeks ago and thought the food was pretty good. It's Italian but has some fairly interesting options as entrees. I got a white fish (I forget which kind) baked in a pizza shell. My husband had some sort of seafood stew. Very good. For dessert we stuck with our tried and true tiramisu, but it's
                                                                                              one of the best tiramusus I've had. Very good. And the owners were very friendly. No
                                                                                              liquor license.

                                                                                            2. i want to go to Corfu next Friday. I've been to all the Greek restaurants and tavernas in Astoria and one in Bayside. I want to know what i should order and pass on.
                                                                                              Also i plan on bringing my elderly mother so where can i parl w/in a block or two?

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: deekay7685

                                                                                                Corfu has gone a bit downhill lately, portions getting smaller and the gyro has been rather dry the last few times I ordered in from them. Anyone know anything about the Greek place that took the space that used to be Elian's Cafe on Metropolitian Ave?

                                                                                                1. re: leenyc

                                                                                                  Totally agree! portion gotten really small especially during lunch.
                                                                                                  I hardly order from them anymore.

                                                                                              2. Granted there are lots of mediocre places, but if you can't find some good food (not life-changing, but certainly good) here are the best:
                                                                                                Nick's
                                                                                                Mood (Kew Gardens -- really really good food)
                                                                                                Bonfire Grill
                                                                                                Cabana
                                                                                                Pasta del Giorno
                                                                                                Pinang
                                                                                                Bangkok

                                                                                                1. My wife and I moved out of Forest Hills at the end of 2005 so some of
                                                                                                  these suggestions may be dated and may not even be around anymore.

                                                                                                  For Japanese, Narita is ok. Not astounding but not horrible either. Sushi Yasu was not around back when we were in the hood but it sounds really good. My kind of place.

                                                                                                  For falafel/shwarma/etc. Pahal Zan off of Austin on 71st Ave near the LIRR trestle is excellent. I know they are still around and still good b/c I ate there a couple of weeks ago. A little expensive for such a hole in the wall but seriously delicious Israeli food. An Israeli friend also recommends Grill Point in Kew Gardens Hills. Both places are kosher.

                                                                                                  Dirty Pierre’s is good for what it is. Moules and frites, burgers, a brew or three, etc.

                                                                                                  There used to be a decent Thai place on Queens Boulevard between Yellowstone and the Queens Mall. It was on the left side of the street if you are heading from Yellowstone towards the mall, past Knish Nosh. My wife and I liked it a lot better than Bann Thai. We’re originally from the west coast and find most Thai in NYC is pretty weak. Same with
                                                                                                  Mexican so don’t get me started on 5 Burros.

                                                                                                  Bonelle Bakery (across from Q Thai Bistro) is good. Both sisters were nice to us but my wife is desi so maybe that has something to do with it.

                                                                                                  Baluchi’s is hit and miss and pretty generic. We moved less than a year after the one on Queens Blvd opened and I think we only ate there once or twice at the most. You’re way better off going to Jackson Heights.

                                                                                                  We used to like Golden Pond for dim sum. Not as good as you’ll find in Flushing but still ok. We never had anything besides dim sum there so I can’t vouch for anything else.

                                                                                                  We went to Dee’s once or twice and liked the pizza al funghi. It has crimini, shitaki and one other type of mushroom (I think). Nothing earth shattering but it was good.

                                                                                                  Hot Bialys and Bagels has some of the best bagels around.

                                                                                                  1. We were at Nick's Bistro every week (sometimes twice a week) when they first opened. Fell in love and the owners loved us and often gave us free food because we were there so often. The lemon potatoes were amazing and the hummus was seriously the best I'd ever tried. Then suddenly (like overnight) the food wasn't as good. We were told they changed chefs (this was about six months after opening?). I almost cried at what the new chef did to the lemon potatoes. We were just so incredibly disappointed. We tried it about three more times and it was never as good as those first few months. We need to give it another try, I suppose. We haven't been back in well over a year......it was seriously some incredible greek food. Wondering if they worked out the kinks?

                                                                                                    1. I agree with the other Dirty Pierre fans. It's the best place in Forest Hills unless you want ethnic. I go there every time I go back to NY.

                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                      Dirty Pierre's
                                                                                                      15 Continental Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                                                      1. My top places to eat in Forest Hills include:

                                                                                                        - Sushi Yasu (71-45 Yellowstone Blvd). Hands down the best sushi in the neighborhood and it beats out most sushi places I've eaten at in general. Fish is extremely fresh and well prepared. Service can be slow but you can leave very well satisfied for < $30.

                                                                                                        - Dirty Pierre (15 Continental Ave). A truly FABULOUS burger and fries. Another local neighborhood joint that I find on par if not better with many of the well reviewed burger places in NYC.

                                                                                                        - Tuscan Hills (115-20 Queens Blvd). Finally, really good Italian food in Forest Hills. Service is fabulous and the owner, Roberto, is a gem. I'm a big fan of their pizza (makes for a great appetizer for two) but truth is, I've yet to be disappointed with any of the dishes, including those on the brunch menu (how come there aren't more places to enjoy a good brunch in Forest Hills?)

                                                                                                        - Danny Browns (104-02 Metropolitan Ave). We need more wine bars with fabulous food in Forest Hills. I love the cured meats & cheese platters and they make a mean steak frites for a very reasonable $25. I still need to try DBs Brunch.

                                                                                                        - 5 Burro (72-05 Austin St Queens). Down and dirty tex mex that is still a good value for the money. You also can't beat the margarita's.

                                                                                                        - Forest Hills Diner (68-60 Austin St). I wish more people would take the trek down Austin street to eat at this place (versus Austin diner, which has more health violations than I care to think about). The owners are lovely and the food is leaps and bounds better than the other diners in the neighborhood.

                                                                                                        - Hot Bialy's and Bagels (116-63 Queens Boulevard). Real, fabulous New York bialy's and bagels. Enough said.

                                                                                                        I also want to add, for those of you who are willing to take a short subway ride to LIC, you won't be disappointed with the Rudar Club (34-01 45th Street). This is an Istrian restaurant that I find myself going back to time and time again. The service is gracious, the food is rustic, Istrian home cooking and the price point makes you feel as if you're under-paying for all the food you are served!

                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                        Sushi Yasu
                                                                                                        71-45 Yellowstone Blvd, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                                                        Danny Brown
                                                                                                        104-02 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                                                        Dirty Pierre's
                                                                                                        15 Continental Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                                                        Forest Hills Diner
                                                                                                        68-60 Austin St, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                                                        Tuscan Hills
                                                                                                        115-20 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: susannyny

                                                                                                          You need to get away from Austin St and "Food Alley" (70th Rd and the strip around the corner) to get good food.

                                                                                                          Most of the best eating is on Metropolitan and heads into Kew Gardens.

                                                                                                          It really is a disservice that this neighborhood doesn't have better eating.

                                                                                                          1. re: susannyny

                                                                                                            I completely agree about Dirty Pierre's. During the summer I feel lucky when I can grab a table. However, I have to disagree about Tuscan Hills. While the food was good it was far from what I expected based on the numerous good reviews, the tiny space was a bit claustraphobic for me and the service was beyond slow. I know many on CH disagree, but when in Forest Hills I prefer to go to Portofino's. True, they are not exemplary but the food is good and the service is incredible. If I want really good Italian, I go to Manhattan. I also want to point out that Tower Diner, since being revamped is AWESOME. Ask for the hash browns extra crispy with extra onions and peppers- they are some of the best hash browns I've ever had. Their only minuses are that they order in some of their baked goods (i.e. muffins) which are not that good.

                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                            Tower Diner
                                                                                                            98-95 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11374

                                                                                                            Portofino
                                                                                                            109-32 Ascan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                                                            Dirty Pierre's
                                                                                                            15 Continental Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                                                            Tuscan Hills
                                                                                                            115-20 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                                                          2. We love Danny Browns--we've had dinner there at least half a dozen times since it opened and never had a bad meal. I would go so far as to say it's Manhattan quality food at Forest Hills prices. Also, we like Uvarara (granted it's in Middle Village, but close enough). Good Italian food (fun to get the small plates) and a great selection of wine. Other than that, I'd have to agree the choices are pretty dismal. Especially looking for decent Chinese food. Sometimes we'll make the trek to Flushing for Spicy and Tasty (our favorite), but on a Friday night, when you're tired...Pizza Classico near the Stop and Shop makes decent take-out Italian.

                                                                                                            1. one of the best sushi meals i've had in my life was at katsuno on metropolitan. must get: cold onsen egg, especially during the summer heat.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: selenster

                                                                                                                There is Katsuno which has been mentioned. I thought that they really were strong with their dishes besides the sushi rolls because although the rolls and raw fish were extremely fresh, Ive had equally good and much more inventive at other places. There other dishes were superb, authentic I thought and very fresh.

                                                                                                                Five Burros is always a favorite for Mexican. not upscale Mexican by FAR, just a dive with fun atmosphere/bar and good food. packed usually

                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                Katsuno
                                                                                                                103-01 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                                                              2. Try out Danny Brown's Wine Bar on Metropolitan. It is charming, has great food, an extensive wine list, and friendly service. This little neighborhood place just earned a Michelin star and is on par with a Manhattan restaurant. Love it!

                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                Danny Brown
                                                                                                                104-02 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                                                                13 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: uljohnson

                                                                                                                  I just discovered a fantastic Russian/uzbeki restaurant on 63rd drive and Austin. Its right across the street from the shalamar diner. Unfortunately I was there after a funeral but the food was fantastic. Great salads with sour cabbage and marinated carrots. Hot crusty bread. Their staple item (can't recall spelling) are fried turnovers with veggies or meat. But wait. Then came enormous platters of pilaf. A bit too oily for me but very flavorful. The kebabs were well executed and while I don't care fir them, the Russians at my table loved the liver and fatty meats like rubs besides the standard chicken sticks. Is this the best Russian restaurant I've been to? No. But a great find fir takeout!

                                                                                                                  1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                                                    I believe you found The Cheburechnaya.
                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/600038
                                                                                                                    If memory serves, a cheburek is flaky dough pocket filled with lamb (not sure about the vegetable variation); the best cheb is very fresh and juicy so it's a fun thing to eat. ;-

                                                                                                                    )

                                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                                    Cheburechnaya
                                                                                                                    92-09 63rd Dr, Queens, NY 11374

                                                                                                                    1. re: diprey11

                                                                                                                      I was thinking Nicole found a new place, as Cheb is not directly across from the Shalimar. I would also assume that Nicole already knew about Cheburechnaya. Nicole?
                                                                                                                      P.

                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                      Cheburechnaya
                                                                                                                      92-09 63rd Dr, Queens, NY 11374

                                                                                                                        1. re: janie

                                                                                                                          Thank you guys: I may be wrong of course! Let me check this out; I will ask the folks in the neighborhood too: I can speak the language quite a bit.

                                                                                                                          1. re: janie

                                                                                                                            That is now known as Victoria Banquets and Catering, see:
                                                                                                                            http://restoran.us/usa/newyork/newyor...
                                                                                                                            It's not a restaurant as such: you cannot just walk in and order, the front door is locked and no open hours posted. I called the number on their front sign, but no one answered. I asked shopkeepers around there (to the best of my linguistic abilities), and none of them is sure if it's open at all.

                                                                                                                            1. re: diprey11

                                                                                                                              Interestingly enough, I've seen the Victoria open on Saturdays, with all these people in their Saturday best coming out. Maybe they hire a team of Shabbos Goys to run the place.

                                                                                                                          2. re: Polecat

                                                                                                                            Nope, it was definitely Cheburechnaya; I found the take-out menu. And it is across from the Shalimar (give or take a block or two). I didn't know about it because even though I live close by I haven't gone to the Shalimar in years... which is why I was happy to find it.

                                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                                            Cheburechnaya
                                                                                                                            92-09 63rd Dr, Queens, NY 11374

                                                                                                                            1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                                                              I want to add that I just tried yet another "new" place on QB. I say "new" because it's new for me but I'm pretty sure it's been around for a bit. The name escapes me but it's a Peruvian restaurant right around 66th Rd. The sangria is AMAZING. (Trust me- I'm not a drinker but I am a sangria connoisseur:} ) The tamale is stuffed with fresh corn and fragrant chicken. The seafood stew comes in a deliciously concentrated broth. The chicken comes with a fiery cilantro pepper sauce. Very, very good.

                                                                                                                              1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                                                                Cuzco Peru???

                                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                                Cuzco Peru
                                                                                                                                98-102 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11375

                                                                                                                                1. re: williamsonoma

                                                                                                                                  That sounds right. What's with the ??? :}

                                                                                                                                  1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                                                                    maybe because you've posted about 2 places piquing curiosity yet never bothered to find out the name of the place you ate? My husband had terrible experience at that place and so have couple other people I know...we've stayed away since then...

                                                                                                                                    1. re: janie

                                                                                                                                      What's wrong with curiosity? And obviously I am interested in finding out the names of the places I ate in or why else would I bother posting about it? It's much easier to do that on chowhound than to fruitlessly search google.
                                                                                                                                      I have to reiterate that one of the places I ate in recently that I posted about was immediately following a funeral. My mind was more on my friend whose grandfather died than the Russian name of the restaurant. As for the Peruvian place, I was drinking sangria. A LOT of sangria:}