Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Crescent Grill Offers Delicious, High End Dining in LIC
I love exploring new restaurants in Astoria and LIC, especially in untapped locales such as LIC's Dutch Kills area. Visiting Crescent Grill a few months ago for their big debut party, I got a little taste of what this neighborhood has to offer, which is plenty.
Meg and I had the fun of paying another visit to Crescent Grill the other week, properly sampling their refined, sophisticated menu. There's a lot there that impressed and surprised us in positive ways, and Crescent is certainly a place I'd return to again sooner than later.
Since I've already told you about the atmosphere back when I first wrote about this place, let me get right to the eats.
Sharing a meal with Meg is always fun, which allows us to really experiment with a menu. We enjoyed this style of dining at Crescent Grill, and ordered off their regular, prix-fixe as well as the lounge menu. Needless to say, there's lots of great options for everyone.
Endive Salad - This was my pick, as I adore endives and thought they'd be nice alongside crunchy bartlett pears. Overall, the salad far surpassed my expectations in presentation and taste. It looked striking, made up of little endive and pear peaks, which were then further embellished with frisee salad, dried cranberries, blood oranges and manchego cheese. For a simple salad, it sure provided an explosion of flavors!
Pappardelle Pasta - Meg had her eye on this homemade pasta dish and it totally delivered. The pasta was as fresh as can be, and showcased a beautiful explosion of colors from veggies such as brussels sprouts, kabocha squash and cherry tomatoes. A luxurious duck confit tied it all together, making it feel refined.
Yellowfin Tuna Tartare - A little welcome surprise from the chef put a smile to our faces, as we devoured this beautifully constructed tuna crudo, dressed in a citrusy, slightly spicy Thai chili dressing.
Braised Colorado Lamb Shank - I was really in the mood for something warm and comforting on this cold, rainy night, so I chose this hearty lamb shank entree. The meat was tender and succulent, falling off the bone, as it should. A few earthy elements in the form of roasted root veggies such as squash, zucchini and even rhubarb created an exclamation of flavors that had us licking our plate clean.
Crescent Burger - Meg couldn't resist Crescent's rendition of a classic burger, which you can order from their lounge menu. We oohed and ahhed when it arrived, as the burger looked scrumptious - the meat glistening from all that delicious juice and a mountain of double fried French Fries fit for the most discerning foodie. It more than delivered on its promise, and I'd put this burger right alongside other Astoria and LIC greats such as The Sparrow and Sweet Afton.
Chocolate Tart - Since we were on such a roll with the food, we couldn't ignore dessert and ordered this classic chocolate tart. Although it sounded simple on the menu, it was anything but, with a crunchy toffee crust, a dark, luxurious chocolate middle and even a side of delicate vanilla bean ice cream. In two words - perfect nightcap!
Poached Pear - Another pleasant surprise from Chef Milton, this dessert looked like a piece of art with a pretty, crimson pear, macerated in port wine. Conjoined with a delicate coconut sorbet through the help of a puff pastry stick, I had a hard time deciding how to dig in. Dilemmas, dilemmas...
Service and Cost:
Similarly to when we first visited Crescent, we were treated in a friendly, hospitable fashion and it's clear that their staff is experienced. We especially loved chatting with Chef Milton who has so much passion for what he does and really respects the ingredients with which he cooks. It's evident that he's eager to share his passion with other Long Island City and Astoria residents, and I can't wait to see how his menu will change seasonally.
Costs are on the higher side for LIC, but totally fair given the high quality of the food:
Appetizers: $12 - $14
Entrees: $18 - $34
Lounge Menu: $11 - $19
3 course prix-fixe $29
Crescent Grill - 38-40 Crescent Street, Long Island City NY 11101
N/Q Train to 39th Avenue