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Help introduce us to the Outer Boroughs

I know this seems like one of those "I haven't read the board but where should I eat posts" - and maybe it is, but it's not meant to be - I've done a lot of perusing, but am a bit overwhelmed, due to my general lack of knowledge. I'm trying to encourage my husband to be more adventuresome about where we eat (what he eats is not an issue - he'll try anything) and so we've made a pact to try one restaurant in each of the outer boroughs before Memorial Day. He tends to go for upscale places (due to his aversion, among other things, to plastic chairs outside a restaurant, and a need for substantial silverware - but I'm interested in ignoring those parameters for this quest), but I'd like to be able to identify a great place (preferably not French or Italian - and not places like River Cafe or Peter Luger's) in each of the outer boroughs for us to try - that is not particularly upscale, but more adventuresome.

So, I guess my question is, if you would recommend one place in your borough to try, what would it be? We have a car, so transportation is not an issue.

Thanks in advance for your help in this quest! Oh - and pointers to threads that would be useful are certainly appreciated.

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  1. For Queens:
    Spicy & Tasty in Flushing (Sìchuān Chinese)
    Waterfront International in Flushing (Liáoníng Chinese)
    Sripraphai in Woodside (Thai)
    Kebab Cafe in Astoria (Egyptian/eclectic Middle eastern)
    Malagueta or Sabor Tropical in Astoria (Brazilian)
    Agnanti or S'Agapo in Astoria (Greek)
    Tournesol in Long Island City (I know you said no French but seriously this place is a gem)

    1. Sripraphai, go at an off time and enjoy great food in a setting even your husband will enjoy.

      1. just wanted to chime in and say to avoid applewood at all costs - pretentious, amateurish,and not worth the money or the trip - i don't know why this place still receives so much love on this board...

        on the recommended list:
        dumont in williamsburg - consistent quality American bistro food; service is retarded though - welcome to the outer boroughs

        3 Replies
        1. re: Pops

          i strongly disagree and think that applewood is one of the most pleasant nights out in brooklyn with great food.

          1. re: Pops

            Couldnt disagree more. Had an amazing dinner there just the other week for 4 that I posted about. Nearly a flawless meal, and some of the best food I've had in brooklyn. And I found the experience entirely unpretentious....such a relaxed, homey dining room for such an inventive meal.

            1. re: Pops

              I understand that Applewood isn't for every Chowhound -- for example, it's one of the most expensive meals in the Outer Boroughs (though in my opinion, well worth the cost). But I can't imagine what about a meal there could possibly be characterized as "amateurish" or "pretentious".

            2. Congratulations on expanding your culinary horizons!

              Based on the parameters you posted, in Brooklyn I'd give a try to Applewood, 360 Van Brunt, or Locanda Vini & Olii.

              All 3 are special places in their own way: Park Slope's Applewood was rated the best restaurant in all of Brooklyn in NY Magazine's top 101 restaurants issue (and is my personal favorite in all of NYC). 360 Van Brunt is an bustling, energetic oasis of excellent, inexpensive French food in the middle of rough and tumble Red Hook. Locanda Vini & Olii is just so incredibly unexpected in the middle of a thoroughly residential neighborhood.

              More can be read about all of them both here on Chowhound and on New York Magazine's website.

              Really, you can't go wrong with any of the 3!

              Peter

              1 Reply
              1. re: Peter

                Thanks! I've noticed Applewood's being mentioned - will do some more searching on it and your other recommendations.

              2. Go to Danny Brown's in Forest Hills, Queens. It's kind of new and kind of awesome. AND they have silverware!

                2 Replies
                1. re: Happygirl

                  Silverware is good - the story of his going to a BBQ joint in Homestead, FL and asking for silveware is a tale unto itself!

                  1. re: Happygirl

                    I love Danny Brown Wine Bar--in fact I go there all the time. But if you were to pick it up and drop it in the middle of Manhattan, it would be just another pretty good restaurant and not particularly special. If you're going to come out to Queens, you may as well try something that you won't find the likes of in Manhattan--like
                    Sripraphai, Spicy & Tasty, or perhaps an Indian place in Jackson Heights or a Greek place in Astoria.

                    --Sarah
                    http://www.avenuefood.com