Astoria's nouveau-European Russian hotspot Bear (12-14 31st Avenue, Astoria, 917-396-4939) is typically a refined operation, but this summer, the place has morphed into a pop-up dumpling shop. "There is a beach right down the street, and we want people to feel they can come in flip-flops if they want to," explains chef-owner Natasha Pogrebinsky. "We are just trying to create a relaxed vibe, with a menu intended for sharing -- and maybe get back to our roots a little. The blend of pork and veal, the pasta, and the vinegar are like the holy trinity of dumplings. But beyond the basics, there is a lot of room for creativity."
All photos by Bradley Hawks