Moustaffa, brother of Ali of the venerable Kebab Cafe on Steinway Street in Astoria, has recently opened a gem of a restaurant only steps away from the Kebab. When I ate there, the place didn't have a name, but the ornate hyroglyphed entrance is unlike anything on the block and will surely clue you into its location (somewhere between 30th Ave and Astoria Boulevard).
An artist who did the tables at the Kebab Cafe and the head (and only) chef, Moustaffa spent several years getting this place in shape and it looks fantastic - everything is hand crafted from the walls to the tables to the kitchen counter and the door. As for the food, it is the best meal I've had in Queens for ages. Chicken stuffed with cracked wheat and spiced with everything nice. A seafood pot pouri served in a clay pot that practically danced around in my mouth. Very good mezze-like plate to start with unusual puff pastries to dip with. And desert was no different-- warm ricotta cheesecake and an apple and pear concoction that was called by my Moustaffa's wife, the only waitress - the house surprise.
There's a great lounge area for waiting for a table or having Arabic coffee or hibiscus tea. Prices are quite a bit higher than the Kebab Cafe but worth every penny. Entrees were all around $18.
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