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Kew Gardens...HELP!!!

  • r

I recently moved to the Kew Gardens area, and was NOT impressed with the nearest restaurants. Can anyone recommend any good cuisine? I live near the courthouses on Queens Blvd.
Thanks!

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  1. IMHO it's mostly blech. I had a decent meal about a year ago at Mood, though. And Oneness-Fountain-Heart on the border of Jamaica is a great veggie place owned by some religious sect.

    Kew Gardens would be so charming if it just had some more businesses like Linda's Organic Market and Kew Gardens Cinema. The buildings, houses and trees are pretty.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Kerry

      The Pakistani place on Austin, around the corner from the Cinemas, was pretty good back when I lived out there.

      1. re: Lambretta76

        I have been a couple times and although the owner was very nice, I thought the food was bland...

      2. re: Kerry
        c
        Chicago Mike.

        Maurya on Woodhaven is great for Indian food... Great slice pizza on Jamaica just west of Woodhaven at D'Aleo's... Nicks in Forest Hills is pretty good for elaborate-topping pies.

        La Tavernetta in Glendale is beautiful inexpensive artisanal italian, very quaint just great go-to food... La Vigna is good italian, pleasant upbeat setting.

        All these within 5/10 mins of KewGdns.

        1. re: Chicago Mike.

          Nick's is good; but as you said it's in Forest Hills. Kew Gardens proper has almost nothing, unfortunately. I'm ready to tear my hair out and wonder if I'm actually going to have to learn to cook. ;-0

          1. re: Kerry
            a
            alice1derland

            i second the rec for Tavernetta (even though it's not really in KG) but it's the best!

            Tu Casa on Metro and Lefferts is good for chicken and columbian food.

            otherwise... yeah, not really much locally. i don't really like Austin ale house. Dani's is ok, but not consistent.

      3. Across from the kew gardens moview theatre is a pretty good italian restaurant (danny's or dani's?).

        a bit further go down metropolitan to about 71st avenue, there's the metro cafe. nice desserts, nice sandwiches and salads. very comfy place.
        if you go down to yellowstone between clyde and dartmouth there's da silvana. i really think it has the best italian food.

        1 Reply
        1. re: helene

          Dani's pizza and restaurant has decent traditinal american/italian food in an interesting closed-in atmosphere (eat in the triangular dining room or the old style pizza stools). Great beer selection there and a great place after taking in a late movie at the Kew Gardens cinema.

          Mood is around the corner and has live music on certain nights.

          Austin Steak and Ale house has decent burgers (so I hear from my meat eating friends) and has great pub food.

          Lots of luck finding good food. Even in Forest Hills, the restaurants are limited. You can also try further down Metropolitan Ave but that's in Forest Hills and not within walking distance.

        2. I recently moved to Forest Hills and Da Silvana is around the corner from our place... so we've been there twice. The first time it was truly a wow experience. It felt as if we had scored an incredible, legit, old school neighborhood joint. We loved it. The second time, not so much. The bread was burnt, the pasta in bolognese sauce was lackluster, at best. The chicken parm was cafeteria grade. Teh mushroom app was good, but who can screw up sauteed mushrooms? I guess every one gets a bad night... I will try them one more time for the tie breaker.

          1. You're only a few blocks from Simply Thai (or whatever it's called now) and Cobblestones...both on the southside of QB adn 78th ave. Great burgers at Cobblestones and decent Thai.

            1. Dee's is fairly close to KG on Metropolitan, but yes, Forest Hills. I love their pizza (try the four seasons) and pastas, etc, are done well when eating in.

              Spolini's on Metropolitan in KG (118th) is a decent Italian place where food is served family style, not a bad option.

              I have had great prime rib at Austin's (Monday night special), and they have a good beer selection. Their buffalo wings are also good.

              I haven't explored the Latin American places down on Jamaica Ave enough, but there's a Salvadoran place that was decent and cheap in the 114th vicinity. I have heard that the Colombian bakery/restaurant near Woodhaven on Jamaica is good.

              1 Reply
              1. re: kenito799

                I agree with Kenito, Dee's has very good pizza and the best Hummus in the area.

              2. Yep, KG is tough when it comes to restaurants. I second the Spolini's rec - I'm partial to their fettucini alfredo and chicken marsala which are both incredible. I just wish the dining room was a little nicer/more modern.

                I've always had good experiences at Mood too.

                And I realize it's not in KG but I'll throw this out anyways - East Ocean Palace on Queens Blvd is fantastic.

                2 Replies
                1. re: gravitch

                  It's true...there are not a ton of restaurants in Kew Gardens. However, what I really like about KG (having lived here about 1.5 years) is that every place that you do find is a real mom & pop place. I have to second the recommendation for Tu Case on the corner of Lefferts and Metropolitaion. On the same block across the street is a great deli. I realize that it is far from a restaurant, but sometimes I just want a really good sandwich, and that is the place to go.
                  Additionally, you can't pass up Dani's pizza. It has been mentioned, but I just had to second (or third) the sentiment. In my opinion, it is hands down the best down home, old school, southern Italian place around (you have to like sweet sauce though).
                  Austin Ale is pretty bad foodwise....in my opinion. But, they do have a great beer selection.
                  On Metropolitan, right near the intersection of 118th street there is a little hole in the wall Sushi place, but they have superior, fresh sushi. It is called Metro Sushi.
                  That's about it.....except for a place called Inca, which is right across from the Court House. I've never been there, but I hear it's great. Peruvian I think (maybe not)
                  Hope this helps

                  1. re: Quest577

                    Thanks so much for mentioning Dani's House of Pizza - I was beginning to think I was the only person on this board who digs the place. Yes, it's the sweet sauce that I like on the slice, with just a touch of oregano to give it yet more of a woodsy uniqueness. I also like the crazy concocted architecture of the joint, the way it buttresses up against the railroad parking lot on a diagonal, like some oversized doorjamb. I like sitting up at the counter, looking through the glass case at the surprisingly exotic selection of beers, perhaps ordering one, and chowing down on what is - next to Astoria's Rose and Joe's sicilian - my favorite slice in Queens. Another plus about sitting at the counter: if you turn around, you're likely to see mug shots of a young Sinatra.

                2. This is probably in Kew Gardens but not in walking distance from the courthouse. It is worth the effort it may take to get there. It's called Paul Michaels and it's on Metro and 126 (I think). There's a little shopping center with a blockbuster and it's in there. It's brick oven and pasta but the food is really good. There's a regular pizza place and right next to it is a lovely restaurant, the service is excellent, the food is surprisingly good, all the pasta dishes are good. Have fun if you can get over there. The other day I was there and they had a little music also.

                  1. I second the Paul Michaels suggestion...very good and very inexpensive. Spolini's is hit or miss depnding on the time of the year and whether or not Sergio is in town..Place has slipped in recent years which coincides with Sergio losing his son in an auto wreck..The nice thing about KG is you are a bus ride or car down Lefferts from one of the top Italian places in the boros..Don Pepe's which was the starting inspiration for many of todays family theme Italian fares..including Spolini's Carmines and the La Palma's throughout LI. Just visited DP's recently and while it is in need of a facelift the Lobster Fra Diavolo a signature dish was a moving experience. A bit pricey yes but well worth it. The baked clams are the best I have ever tasted and that is saying something.

                    I have been going to Dani's House of Pizza in an altered state since Led Zeppelin was touring and truthfully the pizza may be slightly different with the sweet crust and sauce but the place itself is dirty and that is a major no no..Hard for me to stop buy there these days and that is the main reason.

                    The deli is the Homestead and it is awesome.

                    1. Tu Casa, IS GOOD. NOTHING MAJOR, FOR A LATIN GUY WHO MUST HAVE HAD A MILLION TYPICAL SPANISH DISHES, BUT OK PRICES.

                      ACROSS FROM TU CASA AND KEW CLUB IS THIS NEW CAFE, I SPOKE TO THE OWNER, HE CALLS IT A FRENCH CAFE OF SORTS. WITH VARIOUS COFEES, PANINI'S FRENCH CREPES. LOOKS GOOD. BUT IT JUST OPENED UP AND ITS EMPTY. MAYBE WE SHOULD TASTE THE FOOD AND SUPPORT A NEW BUSINESS IN KEW GARDENS. I PEEKED IN AND THEN SPOKE TO THE OWNER, HE SAID HE WILL HAVE A WEEKLY DANCE PARTY OF SOME SORT. I THINK ITS CALLED YANI'S CAFE LEFFERTS BLVD AND METROPOLITAN AVENUE.

                      1. Yours is an older post, so I hope you've made some good discoveries. If so, pass 'em on. I moved in with my girlfriend in KG about two years ago, and have gone through much the same. We live near the courthouses as well.

                        Forest Hills is really the most reliable way to go. We dig the 5 Burros for midrange Mexi-comfort food and good drinks. Austin's is reliably mediocre-to-good on most things, but their burgers are actually great. Haven't ventured to the Metropolitan spots yet, but we will when spring sets in.

                        1. I couldn't resist I have to reply. I've lived in Kew Gardens for over 10 years and watched it transform, I feel as if I am a part of the neighborhood's history now. I was terribly in love with Caroll Gardens because of its charm and the restaurants, also because I used to visit my husband there when we used to date. My husband and I decided to settle in my neighborhood because of the stupendous rent in Caroll, and for some reason, all of a sudden, and for the first time in 10 years, a love affair with Kew Gardens has been ignited.

                          I love the fact that it's not as populous with restaurants as Caroll Gardens. KG is not as congested as the Gardens in BK. It's not as accessible by train and the rent is lower because there are less dining establishments, thus it's a little more quiet,more timid and modestly charming. I like it that way.

                          As for restaurants there are actually quite a few choices. I used to go to FH as a schoolgirl to play pool and have some chow, now FH has turned into a traffic zone, busy, loud, packed, no parking and the food is sub par. My neighborhood friends and I no longer visit FH as often. Instead we look for places in KG or other areas.

                          My husband and my brother are mad about Dani's, I am indifferent, instead I prefer Singah's. I don't like Austin Ale house, not for the atmosphere and not for the food. I really enjoy the ambiance and the gourmet food of Mood. Tu Casa is excellent for that juicy chicken fix. Love our Chinese joints, Jade, Golden Fountain and Tasty Chopsticks. I am mad about our little Japanese gem Metro Sushi, very tasty and fresh sushi and succulent rolls. There are a few Russian Stores (One is Romashka on Lefferts) that sell excellent delicacies such as fried chebureki (meat patties), smoked salmon, roasted red peppers, ice cream cakes, fresh bread, caviar, some cheese and pickles my husband and I devour in 1 day. Linda's market has great products and they are always cooking something that smells so enticing. There's a great Fish Market on Lefferts where I get fresh fish for reasonable prices.

                          Believe it or not I have never been to Spolini's although I hear that they have decent Italian family style. It just looks so Mafioso to me, however I must visit finally.

                          Love the restaurant row on Metropolitan in Forest Hills, a short bus ride or an even shorter drive in an automobile. Starting with Dee's with great Mediterranean fare, superb pizza and creative salads, supposedly by request they can whip up some Armenian BBQ. ;) Theater Cafe has a lovely decor and good brunch. Eddy's Sweet Shop, it's legendary. The new Wine Bar (same owners as Dee's) is my new favorite spot, very classy, great service and a creative menu. La Vigna, I've been there ages ago, it was ok, I hear it's not so good now. Alberto's same story.

                          Sarabella's...I am so disappointed, went there for Valentines, what a mistake. Very bland, boring and terribly overpriced, not to mention that super tacky decor. There is a Latin place next to a Liquor store, the chicken is good and I had some fried cava, my friend was thrilled. Tutto Bene is my mom's favorite, family style italian, with Piano evenings and an older crowd (well at least to a couple in their late 20's), overall not bad. Still have to visit Luna and the new Japanese place that opened not long ago, there is one closer to Woodhaven but it's blah. London Lenny's is another place to visit. One of my favorites is the German restaurant, great decor (think oohm-pah music), wonderful service and stellar food. Irish Pub on Metro is great as well, wonderful atmosphere, very friendly and authentic Guinness glasses. What can be better than beer and wings when you are looking to be naughty.

                          I think the list is too long already. Anyhoo, please do not wish for more restaurants I like our secluded little hideout from the more popular neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Inthemood

                            I have to agree with Inthemood! We need more restaurants, or should I say better quality restaurants. A new mexican style restaurant will eventually open next to Homestead on Lefferts. Local guy who grew up in KG, taking longer than he thought to get it going.

                            Mehak has nice basic Pakistani food and I agree about Dani's. I happen to love their sweet sauce, and I must say that I had the best linguini with white clam sauce ever, it had about one dozen fresh clams in their shells in the sauce!

                            We don't want to let too many people know about KG. While houses cost millions, you can still get a nice prewar two bedroom for half of what it would cost you on Carroll Gardens. So, maybe we should just shushhhhh.

                            1. re: Inthemood

                              thanks for the metro sushi reccomendation..tried them out twice in the last several days, and it's been fresh, and they are very nice there...thank you!!

                                1. re: baconstrip

                                  they are off of 118th st on metropolitan, near to the Commerce Bank but on the other side of street..here's their website address:
                                  http://www.metrosushi.com/

                                2. re: janie

                                  I am so glad you like Metro! I tried a few other places in queens and the city recently and I've found myself silently rejoicing how Metro never fails to satisfy me. And it's very reasonable. We are so lucky to have a good sushi place nearby. There is a new Japanese restaurant that opened on Metropolitan it's called "Ran." It looks very presentable inside, the prices are more steep but the reviews are good.

                                  Has anyone tried it?

                                  1. re: Inthemood

                                    there's a thread about it recently...of which I commented that I had gone in there to try and get some veggie sushi to go but found their prices too high for me..but, several others liked it very much--so, you should definitely check it out if you're interested in a more authentic or upscale version...

                              1. Da Silvano has excellent italian food. The place is small, but the aromas of the wonderful food will hit you and make you want everything.
                                We just had such a great meal there, passing through Queens on our way back to stinky food N.J., and we can't wait to go back. Very reasonable.
                                Yellowstone blvd Forest hills. We've been to so many italian restaurants that were highly rec'd , that cost us 4 x's as much as this, and we walked out disappointed. Why go to the city if you can come here. This is a great little gem of a restaurant. No wonder its been there so long!