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Your Place at Richard's

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Your Place at Richard's

Lisa Antinore | Jul 10, 1998 10:35 PM

Your Place at Richard’s

If there’s such a thing as love at first sight then I am absolutely, unabashedly smitten with
Richard’s Place.

The St. Albans’ treasure has been on my culinary “To Do” list for quite awhile and yet
until last Sunday I’d never found the time to traipse out to Southern Queens for a taste of
the highly regarded “nouveau southern” cooking of chef/owner Richard Jones. If truth be
told, the idea of fried chicken and smothered pork chops coupled with my newfangled,
brain-branded “Once on the lips, forever on the hips” mentality had me a bit hesitant, but
my recent stairmaster obsession had resulted in a double-digit scale victory (I’ve taught
my English-limited eighth graders an improved, daily salutation: “Miss Antinore, you are
wasting away!” Each sincere utterance wins them extra credit...)and I felt that I had
re-earned my God-given right to indulge. At least for a couple of hours.

Neither Richard’s recent triumph as a celebrity chef on the popular TVFood Network’s
“Ready, Set, Cook” competition nor the rave reviews of Nina Griscom and Alan
Richman (they deemed it the best restaurant in Queens)on the network’s “Dining
Around” show prepared me for the heavenly eating experience I encountered.

We arrived with the beautifully dressed after-church-crowd during the Sunday 11:30 to
3:30 p.m. buffet brunch hours. A most friendly waitress showed us to our table in the
modestly adorned “L” shaped restaurant and within moments of seating a smiling hostess
arrived and inquired if I were “the young lady who had called for directions.” When I
confirmed that I was in fact the sense-of-direction-deprived individual who had pestered
her on at least three occasions she warmly welcomed us and wished us a good dining
experience. Soft Gospel music, smooth R&B, and hearty laughter filled the room and as
we quaffed our iced tea, lemon aid, and fruit punch and broke off bits of hot corn bread,
we commented that it felt as though we had stumbled upon a family luncheon. Best part
was that we too, strangers though we were, were treated as family members as well.
Southern hospitality at its peak.

No surprise that we wanted everything on the menu-- smothered pork chops, blackened
farm-raised catfish, braised oxtails, baby back ribs, mac and cheese, collard greens, black
eyed peas and the famed southern fried chicken with waffles. In the end the chef’s
specialty, southern fried chicken and waffles, and the farm-raised blackened cat fish won.
While we waited a bit for the freshly-made entrees, we sneaked bites of my Dad’s buffet
claims-- creamy mashed red potatoes, pert collard greens showered with balsamic
vinegar (this is “nouveau” southern, remember?) yams in a sweet, sticky sauce, dense
mac and cheese, corn, and the most divine, snowy-white, firm-fleshed, cornmeal-cloaked,
fried catfish filets. Catfish had never been big on any of our fish lists, but the farm-raised
variety served here was sweet and fresh and made us instant fans.

The entrees soon arrived and the four pork-free vegetable side dishes that were chosen as
accompaniments to the blackened catfish rivaled the fish itself for first place ranking--
the collard greens, flavor-packed black eyed-peas, and rice pilaf were fantastic but the
savory braised cabbage was sublime. Don’t miss it. The perfectly seasoned, crisp-crusted
fried chicken piled high atop a Belgian waffle bed inspired the incessant chanting of an
“Oh My God” mantra. A traditional dousing of syrup and melted butter rendered it even
more sinful.

Martyrs that we are, we valiantly made room for dessert and the dense and luscious sweet
potato cheesecake and homey banana pudding that were laid before us left us drooling.
No matter how full you are, do not even think about missing dessert. It is phenomenal.

This was our maiden voyage to Richard’s Place but we are looking forward to making
up for all the lost time and allowing this love affair to blossom.. The debate du jour is
whether we should come back for grits, salmon croquettes, fried pork chops, and eggs for
breakfast (now how many Stairmaster sessions would it take to absolve me from that?) or
on a Thursday night from 6-8 p.m. to hear what the table placard boasted as “Love Songs-
Nothing But Love Songs” with Chris Curry of “Ray, Goodman and Brown?” There’s also
the possibility of trying the newest addition to Richard’s hopefully growing culinary
dynasty- his jazz restaurant/club, “Richard’s Place II- The Blue Goose Cafe” on Merrick
Blvd. We look forward to making some delicious decisions.

Richard’s Place is yet another reason I can add to my ever-growing list of why I’m
happy to live in Queens and I wish both he and his congenial staff every success. His
down-home, love-filled southern comfort food dished up with a ton of class and
hospitality make for a rare combination, and guarantee that Richard’s Place will become
your place too.

Lisa Antinore

Richard’s Place
200-05 Linden Blvd.
St. Albans, NY
718-723-0041
Your Place at Richard’s

If there’s such a thing as love at first sight then I am absolutely, unabashedly smitten with
Richard’s Place.

The St. Albans’ treasure has been on my culinary “To Do” list for quite awhile and yet
until last Sunday I’d never found the time to traipse out to Southern Queens for a taste of
the highly regarded “nouveau southern” cooking of chef/owner Richard Jones. If truth be
told, the idea of fried chicken and smothered pork chops coupled with my newfangled,
brain-branded “Once on the lips, forever on the hips” mentality had me a bit hesitant, but
my recent stairmaster obsession had resulted in a double-digit scale victory (I’ve taught
my English-limited eighth graders an improved, daily salutation: “Miss Antinore, you are
wasting away!” Each sincere utterance wins them extra credit...)and I felt that I had
re-earned my God-given right to indulge. At least for a couple of hours.

Neither Richard’s recent triumph as a celebrity chef on the popular TVFood Network’s
“Ready, Set, Cook” competition nor the rave reviews of Nina Griscom and Alan
Richman (they deemed it the best restaurant in Queens)on the network’s “Dining
Around” show prepared me for the heavenly eating experience I encountered.

We arrived with the beautifully dressed after-church-crowd during the Sunday 11:30 to
3:30 p.m. buffet brunch hours. A most friendly waitress showed us to our table in the
modestly adorned “L” shaped restaurant and within moments of seating a smiling hostess
arrived and inquired if I were “the young lady who had called for directions.” When I
confirmed that I was in fact the sense-of-direction-deprived individual who had pestered
her on at least three occasions she warmly welcomed us and wished us a good dining
experience. Soft Gospel music, smooth R&B, and hearty laughter filled the room and as
we quaffed our iced tea, lemon aid, and fruit punch and broke off bits of hot corn bread,
we commented that it felt as though we had stumbled upon a family luncheon. Best part
was that we too, strangers though we were, were treated as family members as well.
Southern hospitality at its peak.

No surprise that we wanted everything on the menu-- smothered pork chops, blackened
farm-raised catfish, braised oxtails, baby back ribs, mac and cheese, collard greens, black
eyed peas and the famed southern fried chicken with waffles. In the end the chef’s
specialty, southern fried chicken and waffles, and the farm-raised blackened cat fish won.
While we waited a bit for the freshly-made entrees, we sneaked bites of my Dad’s buffet
claims-- creamy mashed red potatoes, pert collard greens showered with balsamic
vinegar (this is “nouveau” southern, remember?) yams in a sweet, sticky sauce, dense
mac and cheese, corn, and the most divine, snowy-white, firm-fleshed, cornmeal-cloaked,
fried catfish filets. Catfish had never been big on any of our fish lists, but the farm-raised
variety served here was sweet and fresh and made us instant fans.

The entrees soon arrived and the four pork-free vegetable side dishes that were chosen as
accompaniments to the blackened catfish rivaled the fish itself for first place ranking--
the collard greens, flavor-packed black eyed-peas, and rice pilaf were fantastic but the
savory braised cabbage was sublime. Don’t miss it. The perfectly seasoned, crisp-crusted
fried chicken piled high atop a Belgian waffle bed inspired the incessant chanting of an
“Oh My God” mantra. A traditional dousing of syrup and melted butter rendered it even
more sinful.

Martyrs that we are, we valiantly made room for dessert and the dense and luscious sweet
potato cheesecake and homey banana pudding that were laid before us left us drooling.
No matter how full you are, do not even think about missing dessert. It is phenomenal.

This was our maiden voyage to Richard’s Place but we are looking forward to making
up for all the lost time and allowing this love affair to blossom.. The debate du jour is
whether we should come back for grits, salmon croquettes, fried pork chops, and eggs for
breakfast (now how many Stairmaster sessions would it take to absolve me from that?) or
on a Thursday night from 6-8 p.m. to hear what the table placard boasted as “Love Songs-
Nothing But Love Songs” with Chris Curry of “Ray, Goodman and Brown?” There’s also
the possibility of trying the newest addition to Richard’s hopefully growing culinary
dynasty- his jazz restaurant/club, “Richard’s Place II- The Blue Goose Cafe” on Merrick
Blvd. We look forward to making some delicious decisions.

Richard’s Place is yet another reason I can add to my ever-growing list of why I’m
happy to live in Queens and I wish both he and his congenial staff every success. His
down-home, love-filled southern comfort food dished up with a ton of class and
hospitality make for a rare combination, and guarantee that Richard’s Place will become
your place too.

Lisa Antinore

Richard’s Place
200-05 Linden Blvd.
St. Albans, NY
718-723-0041

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