This summer in Queens, it’s all about the seafood. From Glendale to Briarwood, restaurateurs say that their most popular dishes during the dog days of summer are pulled right out of the cool ocean.
“We sell a lot of fish normally but during the summer people tend to eat more sushi,” Peter Faccibene, owner of Shiro of Japan said. “Hibachi is really an all-year thing, but in the summer we definitely notice an increase in seafood and some of the lighter items. Our most popular sushi items are probably the lobster roll, spicy tuna rolls and our brown rice roll is getting more and more popular with people.”
The hibachi restaurant that sits in the newly renovated Shops at Atlas Park at 80-40 Cooper Ave. in Glendale has a recently opened outdoor terrace where guests can sit and enjoy their sushi or sashimi al fresco.
“We’re about bringing people together,” Faccibene said. “We’ve done bar mitzvahs, birthdays, all kinds of celebrations. People come here for an experience and in the summer, that continues.”
O’Neill’s, the Maspeth staple located at 64-21 53 Drive that burned down two years ago, is preparing to reopen in two weeks and owner George O’Neill agreed with Faccibene.
“People usually don’t want to eat anything too heavy in the summer,” O’Neill said. “The popular dishes are the cold dishes, the antipasti and especially the fish. We have a lot of seafood specials during this time of year.”
In fact, O’Neill said the new menu will include more seafood items due to customer demand.
“The menu is going to be pretty much the same but our fish items were popular so we’re going to add a few more of them,” he said. “Our most popular was probably the clam bar where people could get oysters and shrimp and cold shellfish.”
A few miles east, you can sample twin lobster tails and gefilte fish at the Flagship Diner in Briarwood. The diner, located at 138-30 Queens Blvd., is open 24 hours and offers a plethora of Greek, Italian and American meals.
If seafood isn’t your thing, you can just visit the Gyro Grill at 63-02 Woodhaven Blvd. in Rego Park where owner Lou Amorim and his team whip up traditional Mediterranean cuisine like their falafel sandwich, although they do serve shrimp.
Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans or both. It was first made in Egypt but has become a dish eaten throughout the Middle East. The Mediterranean food that is usually served in a pita — a flat bread that acts as a pocket — is often topped with salads, pickled vegetables, hot sauce and drizzled with tahini-based sauces.
For foodies looking for good eats and good atmosphere, the possibilities are endless in Queens.
So whether you’re looking to eat some stir fry, sample some spicy tuna rolls, suck down some clams or gobble up some falafel, the restaurants of Queens are sure to satisfy your cravings.