only new? like for people who can afford soulless glass boxes only on the WRONG side of the river or do you mean a good, neighborhood restaurant? If you mean a good neighorhood restaurant Manetta's rocks, an old Italian staple that is nonetheless not at all limited to red sauce and is much better than the new places popping up. A nice meal for three can be had for $60, w/out drinks. Otherwise try Malagueta, the city's best Brazilian which is up a bit, near Ravenswood and the Astoria border and hence perhaps a bit far from the miracle mile down by the water...
25-35 36th Ave, Queens, NY 11106
10-76 Jackson Ave, Queens, NY 11101
Depends on the length of your drive :)
My favorite LIC spots are La Vuelta (Latin Bistro) and Bella Via (Thin Crust Pizza- comparable with most NYC thin crust places). Sweetleaf and Brasil Coffee House (hasn't been open this week- not sure if it's returning) are great spots for coffee.
So from the not too distant parts of Queens or Brooklyn, these spots are worth it. If you live in Manhattan or far East Queens or any distance more than that, I don't think you'll miss LIC.
10-43 44th Dr, Queens, NY 11101
47-46 Vernon Blvd, Queens, NY 11101
Brasil Coffee House
45-02 23rd St, Queens, NY 11101
3714 Astoria Blvd, Queens, NY 11103
I agree with Val55 below. La Tournesol is well worth the drive—for their crème brulée alone. I also find their pommes frites amazing (be sure to eat them while they're hot!).
For me this place has been consistently wonderful. I I have enjoyed every meal I've ever had there.
If you choose to go during the day, take a walk down to the water afterwards and enjoy Gantry Park. Also, if it's open (I think it's still there—used to open up at noon) check out the tiny Czech/Slovak gift store on Jackson Avenue near 50th Avenue. They have chocolate, puppets and Christmas ornaments—among other things.
Glendale is hungry...
50-12 Vernon Blvd, Queens, NY 11101