Victoria’s Secrets is a weekly column by the founder and the publisher of QNS.com, Victoria Schneps.
These past few weeks, I had exciting dining experiences that ignited my senses. From Flushing to Huntington, the restaurants I experienced offered unique cuisines with environments that matched the food.
When my daughter Elizabeth was born on April 16, I felt like life had begun again just like the bursting of buds on the trees. She brought such beauty and joy into my life that Joy became her middle name! To celebrate her birthday with her two children Addy and Jonah, we went for lunch at Prime, at 117 Park Avenue, a waterfront restaurant sitting on Huntington Bay, which was speckled with boats, and offered us waterfront seats in a protected clear-screen space giving us a sweeping view of the stunning scene and a meal to match the view.
We had a waiter who immediately made me happy when he offered to take our photo overlooking the bay and he continued his attentive service throughout our mouthwatering meal. For kids, Prime offers dishes they delight in — macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers and burgers. For the adults, the restaurant offers a full menu from salads to sushi to steak.
We were happy campers, enjoying every dish, and then got a bonus with the gift of dessert for Elizabeth’s birthday plus a $25 gift card for our next visit. It was a luscious dark chocolate chunk of cake — to die for! A bravado ending to a perfect meal.
A week before, I went with my friend Mike Meyer to visit one of his downtown Flushing projects — the Hyatt Place Hotel (133-42 39th Avenue, Flushing). It’s described as a place to live, work, drink and dine within the unique One Fulton Square (39-16 Prince Street, Flushing) that combines authentic Asian eateries, lifestyle stores, offices and residences.
I found Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Malaysian and Taiwanese restaurants and the rooftop Leaf Bar and Lounge. We began our evening (after parking in the hotel underground lot) by taking the elevator to the top floor of the hotel and sitting at a table in the intimate rooftop room. It felt like an oasis from the bustling downtown Flushing scene. Leaf offers panoramic views of Queens and the far-off Manhattan skyline.
We had Leaf’s “craft cocktails” that are botanically inspired and beautiful to the eye. They were accompanied by our choices from the small bites menu as we sampled Morton Cheeseburger Spring Rolls and General Tso Chicken Wings. Read more about it in my restaurant profile.
IKI Modern Japanese Cuisine left me in awe! Chef Andy Li brings impressive credentials from Manhattan’s Masa and Sushi Nakazawa.
The dishes are designed by the chef and feature freshly imported fish for the sashimi, nigiri sushi and tempura.
We sat at the sushi bar to experience IKI’s “Omakese” menu which highlights small bites chosen by the chef. I was startled by the excitement to my palate of his choices, from the soft shell crab tempura to silky house-made tofu to the caviar topped and foie gras treats. My favorite moment was when the chef presented two langoustine shrimp — looking at me with their two tiny black eyes twittering. The fish disappeared behind the bar and came back for me to eat! You can’t get fresher shrimp!
Also that week, my Wow friends met at another “find” of a restaurant to delight our palate. It’s Pine Court Chinese Bistro (249-32 Horace Harding Blvd., Little Neck) on the LIE Expressway service road off Marathon Parkway.
The owner is one of the men whom I met on my trip to China. His supermarket next door supplies his restaurant with the freshest fish and ingredients. There is a line out the door for his dim sum. Our meal in the restaurant’s private room at a round table was a delight as we shared the many delicious dishes.
All of the restaurants are open seven days a week.
Try them. You’ll love them too!