The Queens food world is bustling with cultural variety and Michelin-level greatness.
On Oct. 21, the renowned food authority announced the 2020 Michelin Star awardees, which included Casa Enrique in Long Island City. The Mexican restaurant earned one Michelin Star for the seventh consecutive year.
Michelin recognized 76 restaurants across New York City and Westchester County, with Casa Enrique (5-48 49th Ave.) being the sole representative from Queens. Fifty-seven restaurants earned one star, 14 earned two stars and just five earned the coveted three-star rating.
According to Michelin, it judges restaurants using five criteria: “quality of ingredients, the mastery of cooking technique, the harmony of flavors, consistency over time, both during the meal and throughout the year and the personality of the chef as it is expressed on the plate.”
James Beard Award winner Cosme Aquilar opened Casa Enrique in 2012. The chef came from Chiapas, Mexico, to the United States in 1998 and learned to cook his mother’s traditional Mexican recipes.
“One can literally taste the regions and cities that Chef Cosme Aguilar’s menu explores, and many dishes honor his mother’s memory with recipes from his childhood,” the Michelin website says.
Michelin goes on to suggest several tasty bites off of Casa Enrique’s menu, including rajas con crema, a serving of sliced poblano peppers with cream; chicken enchiladas with mole de Piaxtla; and chamorro de borrego al huaxamole, a lamb shank braised in mild chiles.
The Michelin Guide currently has 32 editions worldwide and New York was named its first United States edition 15 years ago.
Last week, Michelin also named 17 Bib Gourmand restaurants in Queens out of 133 total establishments in New York City and Westchester County. The organization introduced Bib Gourmand in 1997 and recognizes restaurants that offer an “affordable and remarkable dining experience.”
Michelin named Bib Gourmand restaurants in Astoria, Elmhurst, Flushing, Forest Hills, Long Island City, Ridgewood and Flushing. Turkish restaurant Lokanta in Astoria and Chinese restaurants Memories of Shanghai and Spy C Cuisine in Forest Hills were among the new Bib Gourmand restaurants on this year’s list.
Below is a complete list of Bib Gourmand winners in Queens. Click the links to learn about each establishment.
- Alley 41 (Chinese) – 136-45 41st Ave., Flushing
- Bellwether (Contemporary) -47-25 Vernon Blvd., LIC
- Dumpling Galaxy (Chinese) – 42-35 Main St., Flushing
- Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna (Greek) -26-02 23rd Ave., LIC
- Hahm Ji Bach (Korean) – 40-11 149th Pl., Flushing
- Houdini Kitchen Laboratory (Pizza) – 15-63 Decatur St., Ridgewood
- Hunan Cafe (Chinese) – 137-40 Northern Blvd., Flushing
- Legend of Taste (Chinese) – 2002 Utopia Pkwy., Whitestone
- Lokanta (Turkish) – 3116 Broadway, Astoria
- Mar’s (Seafood) – 34-21 34th Ave., Astoria
- Memories of Shanghai (Chinese) – 68-60 Austin St., Forest Hills
- Mu Ramen (Japanese) – 12-09 Jackson Ave., LIC
- Paet Rio (Thai) – 81-10 Broadway, Elmhurst
- Pata Cafe (Thai) – 56-14 Van Horn St., Elmhurst
- Spy C Cuisine (Chinese) – 72-06 Austin St., Forest Hills
- Sweet Yummy House (Chinese) – 83-13 Broadway, Elmhurst
- Tong Sam Gyup Goo Yi (Korean) – 162-23 Depot Rd., Flushing