Like the name? Maybe I should be a realtor.
Quick report on three recent visits in the extended Elmhurst, Woodside, Jackson Heights area.
a) Sirvino. New Italian steakhouse on Roosevelt Avenue right around the 61st street stop (sorry, but I can't remember the exact location, but think it's at 60th). The concept is a little nebulous, it's not like you're getting a bistecca fiorentina or anything like that. Instead, they offer steak, remarkably retro Italian food (considering they just opened), and big caesar salads and the like. The Italian side of the menu is very Luigi-esque. I had the Sirvino chicken--a saltimbocca variant with prosciutto and mozzarella that wasn't bad. Not as good as Luigi's was, but better than Armondo's offerings in the same direction. However, the wine list, although pretty small, was much better than what Luigi's used to offer. Wife had steak--good cut of meat, but medium rare came out medium. Service seemed like it had a fair number of kinks to work out, but was friendly. Seems like they spent a fair amount of money on the interior, but decor confusion persists (or its hybridity reflects a knowing nod to the history of the neighborhood). For example, the signs for the bathrooms are in that mock-Celtic script from Clannad albums two decades ago. All in all, felt like a generic throwback to some place in the 'burbs circa 1985. I'll give it another shot, but overall, would say it gets a spot on the rotation for when unadventurous relatives visit.
b) New Harbor--Chinese 83-17 Broadway in Elmhurst. Very good. Unfortunately, was not feeling very seafoody, so didn't try any of what I assume are the specialties. Nevertheless, from what we had, gets my vote as the best Chinese within walking distance of Jackson Heights. Salt and pepper pork chops were very solid. Greens with shallots also very good. Sauteed stringbeans with ground pork were excellent. This is one of the dishes we've been pining for ever since we moved to JH, and finally we found a place that does them properly in the 'hood. Oddly enough (considering the name of the restaurant), the one dish I wasn't happy with was the squid with pickled vegetables--squid was cut too big and excessively rubbery and the pickled veggies didn't have enough bite. Banquet table next to us looked like they were having lots of fun with seafood from the tanks, so would like to head back with a bigger party sometime. Portions are absolutely enormous.
c) Mei Wei--Hole in the wall on Broadway in Elmhurst that's a very good deal for the price. Again, can't remember the exact address, but it's just down from Great Wealth (i.e., on the same side of the street as the HSBC and across the street from Elmhurst park). Buffet type place with 4 dishes plus soup or soda for 4.25$. The interesting thing is that the dishes include not just boring standards, but some pretty exotic stuff you wouldn't usually see on a buffet that price--pig's ears, salted duck, etc. Easy way to try a lot of things you might want to go for in smaller doses. The hot and sour soup was terrible, but the dishes were tasty.
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