Certain Parts of Queens Are Looking a Little More Like Certain Parts of Brooklyn

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Salt & Fat

It was only a matter of time (and rents) before this happened, but little bits of Queens are starting to look like little bits of Brooklyn.

Case in point is the newly opened Salt & Fat, a restaurant whose name points toward the similarly pared-down nomenclature favored by certain North Brooklyn establishments (and points a middle finger in the direction of Mayor Bloomberg's nutritional agenda). The restaurant, which opened in Sunnyside last Friday, bills itself as a "neighborhood restaurant serving globally influenced New American small plates in a relaxed casual environment," which suggests that someone on its staff has been stockpiling dining buzzwords.

According to Time Out, the restaurant is the project of Daniel Yi, a chef who previously worked at Monkey Bar and Sapa. His menu hews closely to the late-aughts comfort food playbook, with pulled pork sliders, meatballs, fried chicken, pork belly tacos with kimchi salsa, and Korean barbecue wraps.

Salt & Fat opened within a couple of days of the Queens Kickshaw, which is now serving high-end grilled cheese sandwiches and craft ale against a backdrop of reclaimed wood in Astoria. Ben Sandler and Jennifer Lim, the couple behind the restaurant, told Eater that "we have been living in Astoria for over 3 years, and have only started to see the food and drink scene really start to elevate."

Many, of course, would argue that there's already plenty of elevated food to be found in Astoria, to say nothing of the rest of the borough, but it does seem that something is starting to percolate, and it's not just the fair-trade coffee. And while we applaud any restaurant owner who attempts to do something new and good in this difficult economy and ruthless city, we also hope that "elevated" food doesn't end up serving as a euphemism for food designed to appeal to yuppies who have been priced out of Brooklyn.


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15 comments
Ri
Ri

L.I.C/Astoria and Queens in general have always been nice. Brooklyn's cool too. But it's not Queens! ;) 

Matildalee
Matildalee

Between Flushing, Jackson Heights and Forest Hills, Queens is lightyears ahead of Brooklyn in the culinary arena. Just because some transplant hipster in Williamsburg visited the Farmer's Market that day - it doens't make him a better chef than the line cooks at the Jackson Diner.

Nevacantell
Nevacantell

More like it's starting to look like Williamsburg, which has always been more like a neighborhood in Queens to begin with, and is definitely not a good representation of Brooklyn

justin
justin

"We also hope that "elevated" food doesn't end up serving as a euphemism for food designed to appeal to yuppies who have been priced out of Brooklyn."

I don't think I understand what this means. Yuppies, whatever that means, who are not able to afford to live in Brooklyn, are not allowed to have establishments in Queens, which they can afford, that cater to them? I don't think one "Brooklyn"-style restaurant in Sunnyside (which, incidentally, already has two others, in Quaint and Bliss Bistro) is going to kill the thousands of unique international restaurants in Queens.

Jeff Orlick
Jeff Orlick

Don't forget about Queens Comfort too. It's interesting how Queens in general is getting the love, and not necessarily the neighborhoods.

DLady
DLady

Queens Kickshaw serving high end grilled cheese sandwiches. Isn't that one of the new restaurant ideas on that show on TV where Bobby Flay and associates are having a competition to invest in someones new restaurant?

Melissa
Melissa

I was at Salt & Fat this weekend and it was an amazingly diverse crowd. The chef is a Sunnyside native and is Korean. The people there were of all ages and backgrounds. It was nothing like similar restaurants in Brooklyn, which are patronized by mostly white 20-30-something couples. Nope, there were people from all over the world here. That's pretty typical for the borough. Sripraphai and Himalayan Yak are very popular with both yuppies, immigrants, and other neighborhood folks.

syd975
syd975

"Elevated" = thinly veiled euphemism for "well-educated and usually white"

Ri
Ri

Love it. Transplant Hipster in Williamsburg. That should be a title of a not important, indie flick. :D

Ri
Ri

Well said!!!

J_rosenberg17
J_rosenberg17

Williamsburg is retarded, filled with losers. Comparing Sunnyside to that horrible "hipster haven" is an insult. You're probably not a native New Yorker

J_rosenberg17
J_rosenberg17

"Brooklyn style"? What does that even mean? And how does Bliss Bistro look anything like a Brooklyn restaurant? There's too many ignorant people in the world

Sara Tonin
Sara Tonin

I just saw Queens Comfort last weekend, and it did remind me of places in Brooklyn... but I don't mind. I'll still stop there. I've always thought the food in Astoria was great - now it's just getting a little sleeker, a little trendier, and a little less specific in cuisine (we've had great Middle Eastern, Italian and Greek places for decades). Il Bambino, Sweet Afton and BareBurger are all indicators of the movement to me...

Ri
Ri

Agreed. Brooklyn is the 'dirty boro' anyhow. Ask the Cops. Queen has always been the &hit!

justin
justin

They're called scare quotes, dude. We substantively agree.

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