Feb

13

2015

Dumplings & Things Opens Sunday

by megc | 0 | Share this Article:

in Restaurants, Sunnyside

dumplings-and-things-sunnyside-queens

Photo credit: Sunnyside Shines

Our friends at Sunnyside Shines alerted us to the presence of a new restaurant in Sunnyside, Dumplings & Things—opening Sunday. And yes, they do indeed serve dumplings. This is the second location for the Li family (siblings Lorraine and Sam); the original location is in Park Slope. Look for traditional, authentic Chinese dumplings made with fresh dough, noodles, and sauces.

More about the food:

Five types of Chinese dumplings are offered on the menu, including pork, chicken and vegetable varieties. Although dumplings are the specialty here, the menu includes a robust selection of noodles, soups, baos and rice platters, all available at a moderate price point. Dishes such as “melt in your mouth” pork belly noodles, sesame noodles with peanut sauce and braised beef baos round out the menu and add new options to the culinary diversity found in Sunnyside.

Co-owner Lorraine Li said about the Sunnyside location, “We chose Sunnyside for its diversity and we think we can offer something new and different to the neighborhood.”

Dumplings & Things will be open 7 days a week: Sundays toThursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Fridays to Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Check out their menu:

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Click to enlarge.

Dumplings & Things, 45-26 46th Street, Sunnyside, NY 11104, 718-392-2337

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Oct

10

2014

townhome-sunnyside-gardens-queens

We were delighted to hear about the 90th birthday celebration for Sunnyside Gardens happening Saturday, October 25. In 1924, “the City Housing Corporation organized a ‘grand opening’ for the first group of houses they developed in Sunnyside Gardens. Advocates for affordable housing and New York City officials joined in to applaud the start of a new kind of neighborhood.” Many thanks to the Sunnyside Gardens Preservation Alliance for tipping us off to this amazing milestone!

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On October 25 at 1 p.m., the plan is to unveil three historic district signs complete with maps of the full neighborhood. After that will be a birthday celebration! The unveiling will take place at Skillman Avenue and 46th Street, which will kick off the day’s events, including a stroll through Colonial Court (the first section of Sunnyside Gardens to open) to Sunnyside Gardents Park, where a birthday reception will commence at 2 p.m.

This event is free! Sounds like a great way to spend an afternoon. The event is happening rain or shine (the reception will be indoors).

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Oct

09

2014

sunnyside-cleanup-october-11-2014-its-my-park-day-queens

Thanks to Sunnyside Shines, we’ve learned that October 11 is a big cleanup day in Sunnyside. Activity will take place between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. From their Facebook page:

We need volunteers from 10am-1pm for a neighborhood clean-up day! We are also looking for a few extra awesome people to volunteer as team leaders. If you can help out in any capacity, please contact Amanda at ANasner@council.nyc.gov or (718) 383-9566.

It’s also considered an It’s My Park Day, so if you missed being involved at the recently cancelled IMPD in Astoria, this is the place for you! They are going plant daffodil bulbs, among other things. No horticultural experience is required. Meet under the Sunnyside Arch. Hope to see you there!

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Aug

18

2014

Sunnyside BFB District 1

We’re thrilled to learn of the Sunnyside Bike Friendly Business District! The District is officially launching this Saturday, August 23. The Transportation Alternatives Queens crew has worked with local business owners throughout Sunnyside for the past 6 months to make this happen, and have learned that many want to see safer, more bike-friendly streets. Some have also signed on to TA Queens’s Zero on Queens Boulevard open letter in support of a safer boulevard for all road-users. Big thanks to Sunnyside Shines for their help on this!

In addition, Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars has helped out a lot in organizing this launch, which will recognize the business leaders that are devoted to making the streets safer.

So join the festivities this Saturday, which start at 2 p.m.! There will be a leisurely bike ride happening, where you’ll get to tour the neighborhood and check out the bike-friendly businesses while en route. But first, the kickoff will be at the new Bliss Street Plaza (46th Street and Queens Boulevard), where you’ll get a chance to hear from folks from Sunnyside Business Improvement District and the Boulevard of Bars talk about why they support better biking conditions in their area. We believe Sunnyside resident Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer will also be participating.

And if you don’t have a bike, that’s ok! There will be a walking route for those who prefer to be ped-powered. And everyone will have a chance to get their nom on, with free food samples from participating restaurants and shops.

So RSVP today! You can do it via Transportation Alternatives, and there is also a Facebook event listing.

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Jul

28

2014

Bliss Plaza Opens Tomorrow, July 29!

by megc | 0 | Share this Article:

in Sunnyside

bliss-plaza-sunnyside-queens

Bliss Plaza at the start of July. Photo credit: Sunnyside Shines.

We’re so pleased to learn that Bliss Plaza, one of the Public Plazas under the 7 train in Sunnyside, is opening tomorrow!

There will be an opening ceremony and ribbon cutting to commemorate this auspicious occasion. Local luminaries will be in attendance including Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, NYC Department of Transportation Queens Borough Commissioner Dalila Hall, Sunnyside Shines Executive Director Rachel Thieme, among others.

Bliss Plaza is the first of two new public plazas coming to Sunnyside, using underutilized space below the 7 train and turning it into a vibrant public gathering place. There will be seating and planters to humanize the area and make it a welcoming place for those in the neighborhood..

So head to Bliss Plaza, Queens Boulevard and 46th Street, under the elevated 7 train, tomorrow at 2 p.m. to check it out!

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Jun

20

2014

greenmarket-sunnyside-gardens-queens

We’re thrilled that the Sunnyside Greenmarket and the Queens County Market are joining forces for Sunnyside Up, a “food and farm festival.” It will take place on Saturday, June 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and it’s going to be terrific day. What a great way to usher in the start of summer (which technically starts this weekend at 6:51 a.m)!

Along with the farmers you’ve come to know and love at the Sunnyside Greenmarket, the Queens County Market vendors and local restaurants will contribute even more awesome—they’ll be there with tasty prepared foods and beverages. There will also be family-friendly activities and live music.

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For those of you who haven’t been to the Sunnyside Greenmarket before (or only a few times), here are the farmers that are usually there, as per the Greenmarket website:

  • American Seafood—Wild-caught fish and shellfish from Suffolk County, NY.
  • Ballards Honey—Honey from Delaware County, NY.
  • Breezy Hill Orchards—Pears, apples, cider & baked goods from Dutchess County, NY.
  • Dipaola Turkey—Turkey from Mercer County, NJ.
  • Gajeski Farm—A variety of vegetables from Suffolk County, NY.
  • Gonzalez Farm—vegetables, Mexican specialty products, and strawberries from Orange County, NY, New Farmer Development Project participant. (starting June/July)
  • Goodale Farms—Milk and dairy from Suffolk County, NY.
  • Hot Bread Kitchen—Multi-ethnic artisan breads and tortillas from New York County, NY
  • King Ferry Winery—Premium wines from Cayuga County, NY.
  • Knoll Krest Farm—Eggs and chicken from Dutchess County, NY.
  • Meredith’s Bakery—Baked goods from Ulster County, NY.
  • Millport Dairy—Cheese and baked goods from Lancaster County, PA.
  • Nolasco’s Farm—Vegetables from Warren County, NJ. A New Farmer Development Project Participant.
  • Rising Sun Farm—Grass fed beef from Washington County, NY.
  • Toigo Orchards—Orchard fruit from Cumberland County, PA.
  • W. Rogowski Farm—Certified Naturally Grown vegetables from Orange County, NY.

Queens County Market vendors include Charlito’s Cocina, Local Sawce, Chai Mookie, Gustavo’s Salsa, Bare Tea, Sabba’s Spicery, among others, as well as several new vendors. We’re sure it’s going to be great! So head on over on the 28th and be prepared to have a wonderful time!

Sunnyside Up at the Sunnyside Greenmarket, Skillman Ave btwn 42d & 43rd Streets, Sunnyside

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Jun

16

2014

salt-and-fat-exterior-sunnyside-queens

Here at We Heart Sunnyside, we embrace all sorts of foods.  Sure we have different tastes and preferences, but we can agree that our hunger and curiosity for Sunnyside’s diverse restaurant scene is constant.  In this post, Meg and I explore the much acclaimed Salt & Fat restaurant, which we’ve never tried in earnest until now.

Atmosphere:
Situated centrally on Queens Blvd between 41st and 42nd street, Salt & Fat is a cinch to get to from the 7 Train. Its noticeable facade clearly communicates what you can find there – a savory, salty haven for fit for any discerning foodie.

Once you step inside, you’ll see that the space is long and narrow, but still on the small side – comfortably seating about 35-40 people, if that.  For this reason, it’s not uncommon to find it especially crowded during peak dining hours, so we suggest you get there super early to avoid the rush.  Meg and I arrived at 6 p.m., which was a wise choice and even though the restaurant just opened, we weren’t the only ones there.

But now…let’s get to the yummy stuff.  Here are Meg’s and my food highlights of the evening:

Yellowtail Tartare

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Not only did this dish look like a piece of art, it tasted absolutely divine, combining fresh flavors of the sea from the yellowtail and juxtaposing it with something sharp and punchy from the spicy aioli you see above.  Not only did it look beautiful, once we combined it all together and devoured it, it formed the most beautiful mess.  - Judith

I loved the fresh flavor of the fish and mixing it up with all the elements—spicy, savory, creamy—was pretty awesome. The cassava chips were a nice touch, too, and I enjoyed eating the fish with that, since it added yet another texture, crunchy. The colors of this dish were also delightful. Overall is was my favorite dish of the evening. -Meg

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Fuji Apple Salad

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Resembling anything but a simple apple salad, this was once again a beautiful medley of intelligently composed ingredients such as baby arugula, salty Italian speck, candied walnuts, slices of prosciutto, thin crisp apples and a generous dose of finely crumbled goat cheese.  It was a living contradiction in the best way, as it was both earthy and natural but also rich and gluttonous. - Judith

Another fresh, wonderful dish. I loved how thinly sliced the apple were and they were a great base for the light as snow shaved goat cheese. It also had a delicious lemon-honey vinaigrette that was a perfect match with the apples. -Meg

Korean BBQ Wraps

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These vibrant lettuce wraps were not only gorgeous to look at, they were a delight to eat, consisting of marinated hanger steak that had a nice char, pickled daikon, jalapeno and crunchy onions that added a pop of texture.  The butter lettuce was a perfect vessel for all of those tasty ingredients. – Judith

So crunchy and wonderful! That was my favorite part about them. The hanger steak was tasty, if a little challenging to eat; I would have liked the pieces to have been a bit smaller. But that is a minor, minor quibble. These wraps were freaking awesome! -Meg

Roasted Berkshire Pork Belly

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Impressed by the way Salt & Fat pairs rich ingredients with earthy ones, this dish was a prime example of that.  The pork belly had a smoky flavor and a nicely charred exterior while the cannellini beans were buttery and a tad spicy from the kimchi ragu.  I also loved that the beans took on a bacony quality so even without eating the pork belly, you could detect its distinct flavor.  - Judith

This was probably my least favorite dish of the night, as it seemed much heavier and I was relishing how light the rest of the food was at a place called “Salt and Fat.” But, my saying that it was my least favorite is like saying “out of diamonds, sapphires, and rubies, the diamonds were my least favorite.” It was a richer dish, I think in part because of the combo of pork and beans—all very rich. Thank goodness for the pickled onions, which helped lighten things a bit. In fact, I would love to just have those pickled onions on their own sometime. -Meg

Our meal and the experience at large was a smashing success.  We appreciated the thoughtful service and the nice pacing of each dish that was served tapas style.  Make sure you’re joined by adventurous eaters, as all the dishes here surprise, delight and then some.

Salt & Fat - 41-16 Queens Blvd, Sunnyside.  718.433.3702

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May

23

2014

This week, Emily and I had the pleasure of attending the 5th Annual Taste of Sunnyside, the neighborhood’s premier tasting event.  Organized by the Sunnyside Shines organization, with the mission to “enhance Sunnyside’s commercial district on Queens Blvd and Greenpoint Avenue,” the event was a huge success–entertaining many enthusiastic residents and visitors with delicious local food.

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Held in a tented area underneath the 46th Street subway stop, the event was easy to get to and really well attended.  I was surprised by how packed it got in its prime hour, as Emily and I strategically weaved in and out of  the tables to ensure we got the best of everything.

taste-of-sunnyside-lineAside from all the food, there was also live music, which was one of the highlights of my experience.  Not only did Flor de Tolache, the all female Mariachi band play an awesome set, the subway jazz band Ten and Change really brought down the house with their rendition of Cab Calloway’s Heidi Heidi Heidi Ho.

And now…on to the food!

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The fiery red bean chili, courtesy of Aubergine Cafe had stunning flavor, heat and a little crunch from the chips on top.  Even though we had a small tasting portion, it was incredibly hearty and filling.

bucharest-restaurant-taste-of-sunnysideNext came the eats from Bucharest Restaurant, which reminded me of the summer vacations my family used to take in Romania.  Tasting a plate of assorted foods such as stuffed grape leaves with the filling that my mom would put in her stuffed cabbage, a white bean dip (sort of like hummus but lighter) and classic cevapi (aka minced meat kebab), it was awesome!

salt-and-fat-2-taste-of-sunnyside
salt-and-fat-taste-of-sunnysideThe fact that I haven’t yet been to Salt & Fat made me that much more eager to try their food.  Their set up was downright gourmet, with two guys diligently assembling beautiful plates of pork terrine, topped with pickled onions, arugula, grain mustard and salmon roe.  The latter ingredient was most interesting and gave the dish a sushi-like quality.

taste-of-sunnyside-quaintThe meatballs from Quaint were also tasty, the smoky tomato sauce being my favorite ingredient. I loved their bite size, which was just perfect for this tasting event.

baby-jesus-cake-taste-of-sunnysideEnding things off with Venturo’s (and Vesta of course) Baby Jesus Cake was a delight, as the gooey butterscotch sauce hugged the generous piece of cake and basically had us licking our plate clean.

We’d like to thank Sunnyside Shines for putting on a great event and for whetting our appetite to try these restaurants in the near future.

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May

15

2014

el-buen-sabor-expansion-sunnyside-queens

Via Google Maps

While poking around the Department of Buildings site, we noticed that a new “eating and drinking establishment” is coming to Queens Blvd near 45th Street. Turns out the Colombian bakery, El Buen Sabor, is expanding into the space next door, which once was home to One of a Kind Thrift store (which was reportedly moving to the Ditmars neighborhood of Astoria but we haven’t seen it yet).

They are doing a lot to renovate—remove some interior walls (non-bearing) and build new ones, move the counter fixtures, move the plumbing, install a new HVAC system and cooking equipment, and create a whole new store front. It will be interesting to see how it all turns out. We’ll keep you updated on any new information we run across.

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Apr

25

2014

artist-and-craftsman-supplies-lic-sunnyside-queens

Our friends at Sunnyside Artists passed on this gem in the wake of Pearl Paint’s sad demise:

The large and amazingly stocked store has alabaster, stretchers, oil paints, silk screening supplies, art cards, silly gifts and more. It is on 34th Street just north of Queens Boulevard.

If you’re a Sunnyside Artists member, you get local discount there, so local neighborhood artists—connect with Sunnyside Artists!

Artist & Craftsman Supply, 34-09 Queens Blvd, Long Island City, NY, 718-433-4949, artistcraftsman.com

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