Bear Chef Natasha Pogrebinsky's Five Favorite Restaurants in Astoria/Long Island City
When I sat down with Bear chef-owner Natasha Pogrebinsky for this week's chef interview, we talked a lot about her connection to Astoria in Queens. Her first experiences in the U.S. happened not far from where her restaurant sits, and she and her brother Alex have dug into the community with their space, getting to know the neighbors when they come in for dinner. So as an addendum to our chat, I asked her to name her five favorite restaurants in the vicinity. Here's who she shouted out (descriptors, by the way, are mine):
Queens Kickshaw, 40-17 Broadway, Queens
Chef Youngsun Lee (who lists Annisa, EN Japanese Brasserie, Craftbar, and Momofuku Noodle Bar among his credentials) helms the kitchen at this spot, and he serves fancy grilled cheese by day and an inventive vegetarian menu by night. Queens Kickshaw also specializes in craft beer--it keeps dozens of offbeat selections on tap and in bottle--and coffee, which it gets from Counter Culture.
Agnanti, 19-06 Ditmars Boulevard, Queens
This traditional Greek restaurant has held down its corner of Astoria for more than a decade serving dishes like saganaki, kebabs, and stuffed calamari in addition to "Tastes of Constantinople," which span pastroumali, bourek, and kafte.
Off the Hook, 28-08 34th Street, Queens
This New England-style seafood shack serves up raw bar staples, clam chowder, and lobster rolls. Order oysters by the dozen and pair them to a crisp, cold beer.
Page through for more picks.