Archive for February, 2009

La Vuelta Latino Bistro in Long Island City

Posted on February 18, 2009. Filed under: Date Spot/ Romantic, Fine Dining, LIC, Mexican/South American |

100_09851  La Vuelta (10-43 44th Drive LIC 718-361-1858) 

Hidden on a side road surrounded by nothing- sits a quaint and unassuming Latino bistro. La Vuelta offers a menu that is a turn from the conventional South American fare usually found in New York. Some might call it fusion or nuevo- I just call it plain good. Everything about this restaurant from the intimate setting to the reasonable prices to the friendly service and of course to the food- is a pleasant experience. The row of unique hanging lanterns guides you into a dimly lit restaurant that is decorated with paintings of old cars. Immediately after you sit your server bestows your table with a basket of plantain chips and garlic dip. Staring with a nachos, a dish large enough to feed the entire table. The plate topples over with baked jack cheese and a white bean puree.  The grilled shrimp with coconut rice and pineapple jalapeno is a tender arrangement of  all tastes sweet and hot. The plank roasted tilapia (pictured) with roasted red beets, rice and pepper escabeche adds traditional latin ingredients to form a colorful palate. The buttery tilapia is slightly crisp on a bed of fresh herbs and vegetables. The grilled tuna steak with sauteed vegetables and five pepper salsa is an entree overflowing  with zest but not overpowered by seasoning. It is appropriate to end a cold wintry night with La Veulta’s seasonal cocktail- the Grand Marnier hot chocolate- a steaming hot tin pitcher of cocoa and milk with the essence of bitter orange. If you still crave dessert- the baked apple empanadas are doused in sweet syrup that is sprinkled with jalepeno pepper.  The wine list is short, but offers nothing but quality choices like a fruity Malbec or Camenerie. The small restaurant is still a sleeper so the weekend dinner crowd is limited and short lived. La Vuelta may be off-the-beaten-path but it’s worth the detour.

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Call-Cutta in NYC & Banglar Mela in Astoria

Posted on February 15, 2009. Filed under: Astoria, Jackson Heights, Off the beaten path, Shopping, Theater |

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 Experience a little bit of India in New York with these two unique activities. 

Call-Cutta brings India right to Manhattan at the Goethe Institut (1014 Fifth Ave 212-439-8700) East (literally) meets west in this experimental theater installation. Audience interaction required- no acting skills needed. Participants are escorted to a gallery where they are phoned by a call-center employee in Calcutta, India. Together they engage in a conversation as if they are in the same room- the callers in India guide the other party on the line through the small gallery room. Not quite a play, but a real-life interactive theater that brings two distant cultures together. There are 5 shows a day until February 28th.

Banglar Mela (29-20 36Ave Astoria) offers a little bit of India right in Astoria. You don’t need to travel the 7 train for a small selection of colorful sarees, glittering jewelry,  dolls (photo above) and traditional Indian music and movies. The walls are adorned with eye candy galor, a true sensory overload even if you’re just browsing. There are inexpensive bracelets, earrings and rings to add to your fashion ensemble. Take advantage of the Bhangra and Bollywood music for just a few bucks. The staff is even nice enough to let you listen to most of the music before you decide to buy it. 

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Fashion Show in LIC Feb 10th Presented by Foundry Space

Posted on February 6, 2009. Filed under: Astoria, Fashion, LIC |

I received this press release and posted it- for all those who like fashion, enjoy!

During this February’s Fashion Week, head to Queens for a night with NYC’s hottest up and coming designers. Presented in the amazing Foundry Space, the collections will include both fashion and jewelry. This one-night event promises to deliver some of the most daring and delicious new looks for Fall 2009.

Who: A group of NYC’s most exciting emerging designers

What: Fashion show, followed by trunk show with the designers

When: Tuesday, February 10th, doors open at 6, show begins at 7

Where: The Foundry – 19th Century building and former metal foundry

 Press, buyers, and guests must RSVP to rsvp@subboutique.com Featured Designers: Joel Voisard Sumie Tachibana Aykaayka.com Astridland Death by Drone Feral Childe Andrea Corson Le’cneca Rubytone For more information on the show and the designers, please visit: http://www.subboutique.com This event is hosted by Subdivision in Long Island City.

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Lunar New Year Parade in Flushing

Posted on February 1, 2009. Filed under: Entertainment, Flushing/Corona, Free |

Hear are some pictures of the parade… dancers, dragons, marching bands and of course your local politician… oh my.

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Brooks 1890 Restaurant & Pub LIC

Posted on February 1, 2009. Filed under: American/Nouveau, Cheap Dining, LIC, Off the beaten path, Pubs |

100_0866Brooks (24-28 Jackson Avenue Long Island City, NY 11101 (718) 937-1890) is a cozy restaurant and pub that serves comfort food  with a side of congeniality. The unaffected charm begins with the tin ceiling and radiates throughout the original polished oak interior. The wholesome menu features a modest selection of beers on tap and conventional entrees at affordable prices. The cajun pork-chops is an entree of seasoned meat and peppers piled high, soaked in a cajun sauce  and nestled next to a heap of fluffy white mashed potatoes. The home-made dish is tradition with a spicy twist. The hearty cheeseburger comes on a toasted bun with or without bacon and mushrooms and always with a crispy side of fries. Brooks serves generous helpings in a casual atmosphere where friendly locals gather for lunch or after work drinks and food. Reminiscent of a famous show where “everybody knows your name”, you get the feeling that patrons and waitstaff welcome the old and new faces just the same. Drawbacks are it’s early hours- only open until 8pm daily and they are closed on the weekends.

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