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A Year of Dining Out

By Suzanne Parker

19-06 Ditmars BoulevardAstoria, NY 11105718-545-4554www.agnantimeze.comAgnanti is a quintessential local, family-owned gem of a restaurant. If it has any flaw, it is that the tables are a bit close together, all too understandable given its petite size and high demand. This turned into an asset for us, causing us to strike up a lively conversation with the diners at the adjacent table. I would only recommend Agnanti to diners who like exceptional food, charming decor and very affordable prices.Cuisine: Greek regionalSetting: Cute Greek theme, tight spaceService: ProfessionalHours: Dinner daily from 1 p.m. weekends, 3:30 p.m. weekdaysReservations: Recommended, especially on weekendsAlcohol: Wine & beerParking: StreetDress: CasualChildren: No menuMusic: NoTakeout: YesCredit Cards: YesNoise Level: AcceptableHandicap Accessible: Restroom accessible, but tight quarters in the dining roomA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUNtakos É $8Bourek É $7Baccalao Skordalia É $7 Paidakia É $17.50Soutzoukakia From Smyrna É $10.50Walima31-06 42nd St.Astoria, NY 11103718-204-0707Whether you're new to Moroccan cuisine or an aficionado, dance your belly over to Walima for a splendidly exotic feed. Alcohol is verboten, so wash it all down with a mint-infused Moroccan tea.Cuisine: MoroccanSetting: Small, tastefully appointed space.Service: Friendly, helpfulHours: Lunch & dinner Tuesday through Sunday, closed MondayReservations: OptionalAlcohol: NoParking: StreetDress: CasualChildren: No menuMusic: NoTakeout: YesCredit Cards: YesNoise Level: AcceptableHandicap Accessible: YesA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUChicken Briwat … $6.95Moroccan Salad … $4.95Harira or Bissara Soup … 3.95Chicken Shawarma … $12.95Lemon Chicken Tajine … $12.95Couscous (Beef, Chicken or Vegetable) … $12.95DelugeSheraton LaGuardia East Hotel135-20 39th AvenueFlushing, NY718-670-7400www.delugerestaurant.comDeluge offers some intriguing dining possibilities not easily found elsewhere in our borough. With that said, we must admit that the service could use a little more polish, and at times the open ceiling allowed ambient noise from other parts of the hotel to intrude. We give Deluge high marks for cuisine and ambiance. Their prices are in line with the more upscale Queens eateries and well bellow comparable Manhattan ones. Think of them for your next special occasion, or when you just want to treat yourself well. Cuisine: Global new AmericanSetting: Expansive atrium with private dining optionsService: SatisfactoryHours: Breakfast, lunch & dinnerReservations: RecommendedAlcohol: Full barParking: Garage tickets validatedDress: Casual to dressyChildren: No menuMusic: RecordedTakeout: YesCredit Cards: YesNoise Level: Sometimes annoyingHandicap Accessible: YesA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUHazelnut-crusted foie gras É $12Baby arugula salad w/ figs, walnuts & bleu cheese É $7Pan-roasted wild striped bass É $28Bone-in cowboy rib-eye É $32Grilled veal strip loin É $23Duck breastÉ $26Char-broiled Angus burger w/ bacon, brie & steak fries É $13Arcos33-05 BroadwayAstoria, NY 11106718 204-2142When you're tired of Italian and not in the mood for Asian, Portuguese cuisine is the perfect antidote for gastronomic boredom, and Arcos does it admirably. Attention to detail is evident and service attentive. Jose Da Silva regularly comes out of the kitchen to schmooze with the customers and answer questions. If you love garlic, you'll love it there.Cuisine: PortugueseSetting: Medium-sized, pleasant space; tableclothsService: Attentive, professionalHours: Lunch & dinner dailyReservations: OptionalAlcohol: BYOB, license pending.Parking: StreetDress: CasualChildren: No menuMusic: RecordedTakeout: YesCredit Cards: yesNoise Level: AcceptableHandicap Accessible: YesA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUCaldo Verde É $3.50Chourio Assado É $6Clams Pato É $9Paste De Bacalhau É $6.95Leitao Assado É $16Picadinho ˆ Arcos É $10.95El Mole45-02 48th Ave.Woodside, NY 11377718-392-2160El Mole is a place you can fall into for any meal of the day, any day of the week. The prices are extremely reasonable. There is enough variety to keep you coming back. With its BYOB policy, it is a perfect cheap date. When the thermometer rises, it's time to chew to a Latin beat.Cuisine: Mexican Setting: Small, but pleasantService: Friendly & professionalHours: Open seven days, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.Alcohol: BYOBReservations: NoParking: Street Dress: Casual Children: WelcomeTakeout: Yes Private Parties: YesCredit Cards: $10 minimum Noise Level: Acceptable Handicap Accessible: YesA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUGuacamole É $5Tamales (all varieties) É $1.50Ceviche de Veracruz É $6Tostada de Nopales É $2Enchiladas Verdes con Espinaca É $7.50Enchiladas Rojas con Pollo É $8Agua de Jamaica, Limonada or Tamarindo É $2Flan or Pastel de Tres Leches É $3.50Bistro 3319-33 Ditmars Blvd.Astoria, NY 11105718-721-1933www.Bistro33nyc.comBistro 33 is one of the edgiest places you're going to find in Queens. The chef is willing to take chances. Mr. Anza's ideal audience is the sophisticated diner willing to try new things. But don't be afraid to take along your more wary friends. There are enough unchallenging but delicious items on the menu to please even the timid.Cuisine: French/Asian FusionSetting: Small, minimally decoratedService: Attentive and professionalHours: Dinner every dayReservations: A good precaution, given the limited spaceAlcohol: License pendingParking: StreetDress: CasualChildren: WelcomeMusic: NoTakeout: YesCredit Cards: Coming soon, call beforehand to check.Noise Level: AcceptableHandicap Accessible: YesA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUBistro Three appetizer É $11Goat cheese Crab Cakes É $8Miso Soup É $3Roasted Rack of Lamb É $23Tuna w/ Foie Gras É $23Grilled Hanger Steak É $18Roasted Chicken É $16Il Toscano42-05 235th Street Douglaston, New York 11363718-631-0300www.iltoscanony.comIl Toscano has been around since 1985 and is a great destination for diners who are passionate about Italian food. If you've vacationed in Italy, it will bring back happy memories. Its biggest flaw is the service, which was professional but not as cosseting as it should have been. They certainly don't seem to be suffering from lack of patronage because of it, but when their attention to detail on the service end matches their attention to detail on their food, Il Toscano will be a truly great restaurant.Cuisine: Northern ItalianSetting: Authentic Italian feelService: Does not match the caliber of the restaurantHours: Tuesday Ð Sunday, dinnerReservations: RequiredAlcohol: Full licenseParking: LIRR parking lotDress: Casual to dressyChildren: WelcomeMusic: NoTakeout: No formal menu, but lasagna, ravioli and sauce available.Credit Cards: The usualNoise Level: NoisyHandicap Accessible: NoA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUVongole Posillipo É $13.50Prince Edward Island Mussels É $12.50Caesar Salad É $10.50Lasagna Bolognese É $19.50Spinach Pappardelle É $24Monkfish Special É $29Ribeye Special É $33Uncle Peter's83-15 Northern BoulevardJackson Heights718-651-8600Uncle Peter's serves mostly Italian fare with an Argentine sensibility. The surroundings are comfortable and the service attentive. For diners who crave familiar foods and understated seasonings, Uncle Peter's delivers good quality at fair prices. Uncle Peter's also serves lunch and has an interesting selection of sandwiches to complement its heartier fare.Cuisine: Continental, by way of ArgentinaSetting: Comfortably appointedService: Attentive, professionalHours: Dinner all week, lunch MondayÐFridayReservations: OptionalAlcohol: Full licenseParking: ValetDress: CasualChildren: No menuMusic: RecordedTakeout: YesCredit Cards: YesNoise Level: AcceptableHandicap Accessible: YesA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUJamon Serrano É $9.95Stuffed Mushrooms É $7.95Cheese Ravioli É $11.95Veal Scallopini Fiorenze É $19.95Grilled Entrana Della Casa É $18.95Pork Loin Milanese Caprichosa É $13.95Honeydew Melon Zabaglione É $6Uvarara79-28 Metropolitan Ave.Middle Village, NY 11379718-894-0052www.uvararany.comNot only does Uvarara have great wine and food, but its service is warm and welcoming in that special Italian way. Cuisine: Wine bar with regional Italian specialtiesSetting: Italian hill townService: Friendly, informative, professionalHours: 12 p.m. Ð 11 p.m., TuesdayÐSundayReservations: RecommendedAlcohol: Wine Parking: StreetDress: CasualChildren: Not idealMusic: RecordedTakeout: YesCredit Cards: YesNoise Level: AcceptableHandicap Accessible: YesA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUVirgilio É $12.50Pizzette É $5Involtini di Asparagi e Bresaola É $9.50Vitello Tonnato É $11.50Tonno Bernini É $7.50Celio (grilled peppers, mushrooms & squash panini) É $6.50San & Deul251-05 Northern Blvd.Little Neck, NY 11363718-281-0213San & Deul's welcoming atmosphere is generated by its friendly, accommodating service, if not by its decor. Whether you are a veteran or novice eater of Korean fare, you'll be pleased with their offerings.Cuisine: KoreanSetting: Spartan KoreanService: Friendly, informative, professionalHours: Lunch & dinner dailyReservations: OptionalAlcohol: Full license Parking: StreetDress: CasualChildren: WelcomeMusic: NoTakeout: YesCredit Cards: YesNoise Level: AcceptableHandicap Accessible: YesA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUJabchae É $14.95Saeng galbi É $22.95Mandoo gui (fried dumplings) É $10.95Galbi lunch box É $9.95Island35-15 36th St.Astoria, NY 11102718-433-0690www.islandcafebar.com Island serves delicious cosmopolitan food in elegant surroundings. The service is polished and professional. It would work equally well for an intimate dinner for two or a group of friends with the munchies. Cuisine: New MediterraneanSetting: Island/industrial chicService: Polished, professionalHours: Dinner daily, Sunday BrunchReservations: Recommended on weekendsAlcohol: Full license Parking: StreetDress: CasualChildren: Not appropriateMusic: Live jazz, call for scheduleTakeout: YesCredit Cards: YesNoise Level: AcceptableHandicap Accessible: YesA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUMussels and Saffron É $12Duck Confit and Mushroom Soup É $9Squash Flowers É $12Salmon É $22New Zealand Rack of Lamb É $28Organic Half Chicken É $20La Tavernetta75-01 88th Street (Between Cooper Avenue & Union Turnpike)Glendale, NY 11385718-896-3538With its new decorations, La Tavernetta looks a little smarter than it has in the past, but what is important hasn't changed at all – the warm hospitality and the delicious food. Cuisine: Northern ItalianSetting: Close quarters, unpretentiousService: Friendly and accommodatingHours: Lunch & Dinner Tuesday Ð Sunday, closed MondayReservations: NoAlcohol: Wine & beerParking: StreetDress: CasualChildren: WelcomeMusic: RecordedTakeout: Yes, 20% discount Credit Cards: YesNoise Level: AcceptableHandicap Accessible: YesA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUCalamari Fritti É $10.95Eggplant Rollatini É $8.95Lasagna alla Emiliana or Verde É $10.95Caesar Salad É $7.95Pollo Scarpariello É $13.95Salmon Fillet É $16.95Veal Ossobuco É $24.95PJ's Steak House73-11 Yellowstone Blvd.Forest Hills, NY 11375718-544-5757www.pjssteakhouse.com PJ's has two of the three attributes of the perfect steakhouse down cold. They serve enormous, dry-aged prime steaks in comfortable surroundings. Their service still needs a little fine tuning, but they're working on it. Given a little more time, we expect a home run.Cuisine: SteakhouseSetting: Spacious, attractiveService: ProfessionalHours: Lunch & dinner daily Reservations: Recommended Alcohol: Full barParking: StreetDress: CasualChildren: No menuMusic: RecordedTakeout: YesCredit Cards: YesNoise Level: AcceptableHandicap Accessible: YesA SAMPLE FROM THE MENULump Crabmeat Cocktail Louie É $15Heirloom Tomato Plate É $11Caesar Salad É $8Prime Aged Cowboy Rib Steak (28. oz) É $38Filet Mignon (Chef's Specialty) É $30Shrimp Scampi É $22Sides (for two) É $7Prix Fixe Lunch Lobster Roll w/ Fries & Salad É $15Mickey's Place 40-17 Bell Blvd Bayside, 718-224-8152 Mickey's is continuing its Forest Hills identity in Bayside as an unpretentious neighborhood Japanese restaurant serving top-notch sushi at affordable prices. The staff is friendly and accommodating. Their daily specials are always worth considering. We expect that it won't take long for them to attract the same dedicated following in Bayside that they had in Forest Hills.Cuisine: JapaneseSetting: Small with Japanese trappingsService: Friendly, attentiveHours: Dinner dailyReservations: OptionalAlcohol: License pendingParking: StreetDress: CasualChildren: WelcomeMusic: NoTakeout: YesCredit Cards: YesNoise Level: AcceptableHandicap Accessible: YesA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUNigiri sushi (assorted raw fish with rice) É $14.95/$17.95 regular/deluxeChirashi Sushi (raw fish over rice assortment) É $14.95Small sushi combo É $6.95Shumai É $4.95Tempura É $6.95Chef's Special Dinner É $24.95My Kitchen106-17 Metropolitan AvenueForest Hills, NY 11375718-544-5644My Kitchen is a welcome addition to the nabe for reasonably priced, casual fare. The tasting menu is a great bargain and a bit of an adventure. The abbreviated wine lists offers only four reasonably priced choices: cabernet, merlot, pinot grigio or chardonnay, by the glass or the bottle-all very drinkable. They also allow diners to bring their own bottle with no uncorking fee. What a deal! My Kitchen, welcome back.Cuisine: Mediterranean Setting: Small, nicely appointedService: Friendly & professionalHours: 5Ð10 p.m. Tues.ÐSun.Alcohol: Short wine list or BYOBReservations: OptionalParking: Street Dress: Casual Children: WelcomeTakeout: Yes, no menu yet Credit Cards: YesNoise Level: Acceptable Handicap Accessible: YesA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUGreen salad with olives, feta cheese & grilled peppers É $8Artichokes with mustard dressing É $6Steak burger with tomatoes, onions & fries É $11French goulash É $15Breast of chicken stew É $15Cafe Triskell33-04 36th AvenueLong Island City, NY 11106718-472-0612www.cafetriskell.comCreperies, dolled up with lace, exposed beams and copperware, proliferated in New York in the 1970s and then gradually disappeared. Who knows why? The French never got tired of them. They make a great brunch filled with ham, eggs and Swiss. They're also perfect for vegetarians and children, not to mention Francophiles (now that our president and their president are friends again, we should be seeing more of them). Perhaps crepes are a retro food whose time has come. Again. Cuisine: Authentic Brittany-style crepesSetting: Small, unpretentiousService: Friendly & accommodatingHours: 11 a.m.Ð10 p.m. Tues.ÐSun.Reservations: NoAlcohol: No licenseParking: StreetDress: CasualChildren: WelcomeMusic: Recorded Takeout: YesCredit Cards: Cash onlyNoise Level: Avoid prayer timesHandicap Accessible: Step up at entranceA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUAsparagus & Pea Soup É $6.25Caesar Salad É $5.95Chicken, Grilled Vegetable and Goat Cheese Crepe É $8.95Smoked Turkey, Swiss & Onion Relish Crepe É $7.95Crepe with Butter & Sugar É $3.95Poached Pear, Chocolate Sauce, Almond & Whipped Cream Crepe É $6.50Da Mikelle Corner102-55 Queens Blvd.Forest Hills, NY 11375718-830-0909www.damikelle.comDa Mikelle Corner serves great kosher/Bukharian/Russian food at modest prices. They have a full bar, although the emphasis is on vodka and kosher wines. While they cater to an ethnic clientele, everyone is made to feel welcome.Cuisine: Kosher Bukharian/RussianSetting: Small but grandioseService: Obliging but erraticHours: Lunch and dinner daily; closed Friday nights and Saturday until after sundown for SabbathReservations: OptionalAlcohol: Full barParking: StreetDress: CasualChildren: WelcomeMusic: Recorded Takeout: YesCredit Cards: The usualNoise Level: Can be noisy when busyHandicap Accessible: YesA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUCold fish plate É $4 Da Mikelle salad É $7.95Bojon É $5Cheburekes (all varieties) É $1.50Lamb kebab É $3Beef kebab É $3.50Lula kebab É $2.50Veal chop É $15Deshi Biryani75-18 37th Ave. Jackson Heights, NY 11372www.deshibiryani.comThis restaurant is for Bengalis and the culinarily adventurous. The food is more interesting than transformative, but if you like to satisfy your gastronomic curiosity, it's an opportunity. You just might have to do a little mouth breathing to get through the black salt.Cuisine: Bengali IndianSetting: Modest ethnic charmService: Attentive, informativeHours: Noon Ð11:00 p.m. dailyReservations: OptionalAlcohol: No license, BYOBParking: StreetDress: CasualChildren: WelcomeMusic: Recorded Indian popTakeout: Yes, local delivery Credit Cards: Visa & MCNoise Level: Family atmosphere, sometimes with noisy childrenHandicap Accessible: YesA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUMulligatawny soup … $5Samosa … $3.99Chatpoti/Fuska … $6.99Kachi Biryani … $10.99Borhani … $3Just Like Mother's110-60 Queens BoulevardForest Hills, NY 11375718-544-3294Just Like Mother's is an easily overlooked Forest Hills gem. They deal in homey food at modest prices. It's better than most of the Polish places in Greenpoint, and closer to home.Cuisine: PolishSetting: Generic coffee shopService: Professional, efficientHours: Breakfast, lunch & dinner dailyReservations: OptionalAlcohol: Beer & wineParking: Street (good luck)Dress: CasualChildren: WelcomeTakeout: yesCredit Cards: yesNoise Level: AcceptableHandicap Accessible: YesA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUPierogis É $8.95/7 or $5.25/4White borscht É $4.50Hunter's pork chop É $11.75Veal balls in dill sauce É $10.95Potato pancakes É $8.95/5 or $5.95/3Polish platter (3 pierogis, kielbasa, stuffed cabbage, sauerkraut, potato) É $10.95Trattoria L'Incontro21-76 31st St., Astoria718-721-3532www.trattorialincontro.comThe food at Trattoria L'Incontro hits some real high points much of the time and is deserving of its accolades. The prices, with many entrees well over $30, hit some highs as well. If one is only taking the food into account, we believe the prices would be justified. The service is efficient and professional, but has a frenetic and harried feel. What is missing from this establishment is the feeling of being cosseted that one should get as part of the fine dining experience. Cuisine: Upscale Italian, traditional and nuovo Setting: Bustling Italian decorService: Professional and knowledgeableHours: Lunch & dinner TuesdayÐSunday, closed MondayReservations: RecommendedAlcohol: Full barParking: ValetDress: CasualChildren: No MenuMusic: Tuesdays, Wednesdays & SundaysTakeout: Yes Private Parties: Party room seats 40Credit Cards: Yes Noise Level: Noisy Handicap Accessible: YesA SAMPLE FROM THE MENU:Calamari salad É $10.95Caesar salad É $8.50Veal ravioli É $18.95Veal paillard É $24.95Dover sole É $35.95Crme brulee pistachio É $7.95Miguelinas 63-20 Woodhaven Blvd.Rego Park, NY 11375718-565-2055www.miguelinasrestaurant.comWith all its varied influences, Peruvian flavors are simultaneously exotic and familiar. Miguelinas makes this cuisine accessible in comfortable surroundings. It's a great alternative to Italian again. There is live Latin music on weekends. Think of Miguelinas for something different, affordable and fun. Cuisine: PeruvianSetting: Small, attractively appointedService: AttentiveHours: Dinner every dayReservations: OptionalAlcohol: Full barParking: StreetDress: CasualChildren: WelcomeMusic: Latin on weekendsTakeout: YesCredit Cards: The usualNoise Level: Quiet weekdays, loud weekendsHandicap Accessible: YesA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUCausa de camarones, pollo o atun É $9.95Tacu-Tacu de mariscos É $$12.95Picadillo habanero É $14.95Ropa vieja É $15.95Organic rib eye steak with apricot & bourbon sauce É $23.95Lucuma cheese cake É $6.95Canton Gourmet38-08 Prince StreetFlushing, NY 11354718-886-9288We found some real high points at this establishment, like the Crispy Chicken and rack of lamb. The primary clientele here is ethnic, but the staff is fluent and helpful. The photographs on the menu and walls ease the way. If culinary exploration is your thing, there's plenty worth exploring at Canton Gourmet. And, by the way, san nin faai lok (Cantonese for “happy new year”) and kung hei fat choi (Cantonese for “congratulations and be prosperous”), the traditional New Year's greetings.Cuisine: CantoneseSetting: Light spacious Chinese restaurantService: Attentive, informativeHours: Lunch & dinner every dayReservations: NoAlcohol: Beer & WineParking: Street or nearby muni lot. Good luck.Dress: CasualChildren: WelcomeMusic: NoTakeout: YesCredit Cards: Visa & MCNoise Level: AcceptableHandicap Accessible: YesA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUSeafood Roll É $4.95Superior Seafood Bisque É $10.95 (Family-size bowl)Famous Garlic Aromatic Crispy Chicken É $10.95Rack of Lamb É $17.95Fujian Fried Rice É $12.95El Patron194-01 Northern BoulevardFlushing, NY 11358718 819-2121Aficionados of Mexican food may find fault with the lack of heat in El Patron's fare, but newbies to the cuisine, or those spice-averse, will find comfort in its gentleness. Vegetarians will find enough to keep them happy, and there is also a children's menu. The civilized atmosphere and affordable prices make this a welcome new neighborhood resource.Cuisine: Mexican AmericanSetting: Upscale, unadornedService: Attentive, professionalHours: Lunch & Dinner every dayReservations: OptionalAlcohol: Liquor license pendingParking: StreetDress: CasualChildren: Children's menuMusic: NoTakeout: YesCredit Cards: YesNoise Level: AcceptableHandicap Accessible: YesA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUFiesta Mexican (for two) É $12.50Picada al Patron (for two) É $13.30Guacamole en Molcajete É $13.50Sopa De Tortilla É $4.50Combo Patron É $11.50Mixote a la Mexicana É $12.50Kids' Dinner É $5.50Lunch Specials É $7Stove 45-17 28th Ave.Astoria, NY 11103718-956-03672Stove serves up contradictions of the most agreeable kind. You can eat and drink as if you were at a terrific Irish pub, or at an upscale French bistro. When indulging in the former, try a pint of Smithwick's (pronounced 'smith-icks'), the chef's hometown brew. The prices are as unassuming as the surroundings. They serve dinner every day except Monday, as well as Sunday brunch. On Sundays, we hear that they serve an Irish breakfast that really kicks. This is a neighborhood joint worth traveling to if it doesn't happen to be in your neighborhood. Cuisine: Anglo-Irish-French-American, plain & fancySetting: Small, modestly modernService: Friendly & obligingHours: Dinner TuesdayÐSunday, Sunday brunchReservations: RecommendedAlcohol: Full barParking: StreetDress: CasualChildren: WelcomeMusic: NoTakeout: YesCredit Cards: YesNoise Level: AcceptableHandicap Accessible: YesA SAMPLE FROM THE MENUPate maison É $8.95Vol au vent É $11.95Caesar salad É $5.50/side, $8.95/fullLamb stew É $16.95Rosettes of sole É $16.95Shepherd's pie É $10.95Sherry trifle É $6

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