Wednesday, December 15, 2010

LIC Holiday Food Guide

Yesterday, I brought you a mini Astoria food guide and today, we get into LIC.  If you haven't had the opportunity to explore it or share its culinary gems with friends and family, here's your chance:

1.  Tournesol - One of my favorite French bistros in LIC (right there with Cafe Henri), Tournesol offers a touch of French charm right in Queens.  Simple, elegant and clean French food will surely impress your giftee, through an offering of mussels, classic soups, rustic sweet and savory tarts and some pretty irresistible desserts such as creme brulee, soft bread pudding with creme anglaise, profiteroles and more!  You can get your gift certificates at the restaurant or they can ship them right to your recipient.  50-12 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City. 718.472.4355

2.  LIC Market - This still-new restaurant and general store rolled into one is stepping it up this holiday season.  If you'd like to share fresh, seasonal and homemade goodies with friends, invest in their holiday-themed gift baskets, which boast an assortment of housemade spreads, jams, sauces, and some fun ingredients that every serious cook should have.  Prices vary and run anywhere from $40 - $95.  They take about a day to put together and you can order them in person or over the phone.  21-52 44th Drive, Long Island City.  718.361.0013

3.  Sage General Store - Another restaurant/general store combo, with fresh, wholesome and local food, it's been the talk of the town on many occasions.  Recently adding dinner to their repertoire, you can expect simple, quality food such as slow roasted pork, locally-raised spit roasted chicken, their famous mac 'n cheese of the day as well as specialty brunch items such as wood-burning brunch pizzas.  They're also notoriously successful for producing the most sinfully delectable bacon brownie.  24-20 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City.  718.361.0707

4.  SHI - My favorite place to take someone when I want to impress, a gift certificate to SHI will be well received.  Featuring a diverse menu of Asian cuisine including Thai, Japanese and Chinese, everything is carefully prepared and hits all the right flavor notes.  A couple of my personal stand-outs include a mango chicken/shrimp combo, the bacon wrapped shrimp appetizer, popcorn beef and General Tso's chicken.  Gift certificates can be picked up at the restaurant or ordered via phone.  47-20 Center Blvd, Long Island City.  347.242.2450

5.  Manetta's - If you're getting something for a lover of all things traditional, try Manetta's.  Their extensive selection of fresh pasta such as the linguini neri (black linguini) or the pappardelle with porcini mushrooms is quite delicious, but you can also get your pizza (pictured above), chicken parm, lasagna and ravioli classics.  Not to mention the freshly baked mini cookies, some of which use my beloved ingredient, Nutella.  Gift certificates can be picked up at the restaurant.  10-76 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City.  718.786.6171

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