When Lounge 47 closed on Vernon Boulevard, I have to admit I was extremely sad. One of the chefs had been the owner of a bar on the street where I live, which closed last year and became a panini shop, and another contributing chef—Julie Powell—had written a book that became a movie that inspired my own career—as well as the lives of many others I know. But that is all a part of what happens when you write about restaurants for a while. A place that held special memories and conversations will disappear in the blink of an eye if you aren’t watching carefully. And that is how it seemed to me with Lounge 47. One day I was sipping a coffee with Julie Powell, discussing her career and her friendship with Joss Whedon, and the next time I drove by, a new sign read, Woodbines.
It took me a moment to be able to enter Woodbines without any previous opinion. I know that the new owners had not personally pushed my friends out the door—it just seemed like I needed to at least grieve for a minute, anyway. But when I did decide to stop in and see what was going on, I was instantly reminded of something I have always known. When one door closes, another opens.
Woodbines is an absolutely fantastic addition to the Vernon Boulevard corridor in Long Island City. Serving pub-style Irish dishes alongside American favorites, they really showcase a few plates of note—with some pretty solid drinks, as well.
The Scotch egg arrives halved, and drizzled with spicy mustard for just $5—the same price as a handful of their snacks, which also include jerk chicken, fried pickles, and miniature sausages wrapped in a flaky pastry crust that come five to an order.
Lamb nachos headline for appetizers, and the lunchtime Woodbines burger is stacked with a blanket of Irish cheddar, thick smoked bacon, and a mound of Irish slaw. It is disastrously messy, so plan on forking up every bite that falls to the plate.
Of course they serve shepherd’s pie and lamb meatloaf (with hon
ey ginger ketchup), but their pride and joy are the fish & chips, battered an India Pale Ale. For lunch on weekdays, you can get a cheeseburger, chicken Caesar salad, or chicken sandwich for just $10 that comes with a soft drink or mug of coffee.
Be sure to check out the drink list, which features growlers and around eight different whiskey flights, 14 canned beers, and two pages of bottled beers, ciders, and cocktails like the Old Woody — Woodford Reserve with orange bitters, sugar, muddled orange and cherry, and served with a large ice cube.
But the best part is that the staff seems to be the same kind of folks I love anywhere I go. The bartender, Daniel, runs a sketch comedy group based out of Astoria, and managed to serve me with a perfect balance of humor and sincerity. Those are the things you can’t put a price tag on. And since I am addicted to those little sausage rolls and scotch eggs, it looks like I may have a new favorite place to add to my list.
Woodbines Craft Kitchen
47-10 Vernon Blvd., Long Island City
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