Thursday, April 17, 2014

Restaurant Review: Reef

Growing up on Long Island, I had some of the best seafood anywhere. I eventually came to just take it for granted, I guess. I eventually assumed they had great fish and seafood everywhere. And, of course, I couldn't have been more wrong.

So priding myself on knowing good seafood and fish, I recently visited our newest restaurant, Reef. Reef recently opened in the space formerly occupied by the Network Cafe, just across from the much-loved Irish Cottage on 72nd Ave., off of Austin.

I'll cut right to the chase here, since I know that many readers are probably juggling holiday plans and work during this busy week: my first experience at Reef could not have been better. I thoroughly enjoyed it, from the modern rustic decor (heavy use of wood all around), to the unbelievable attentiveness and friendliness of the staff, to the simple yet succulent dishes, and to the overall feel of the space - somehow it's both cozy and roomy at the same time. I especially loved eating in the lower level of Reef, there's something extra cozy about it. I look forward to dining down there on a cold winter evening when it's snowing out. (Next year, please no more snow this year Snow Gods.)

Our meal began with warm rolls with a humus spread which came with the meal, and were both great. Then we ordered the baked clams. These were very nicely flavored and reminded me of the types of clams I had in many of the fine seafood restaurants on Long Island. The main courses were the Grilled Shrimp (halved, grilled in shell $21.00) and the Salmon Steak ($20). We both had rice as sides, from a choice that included a variety of potatoes and vegetables.

I absolutely loved my salmon, and salmon has never been one of my favorite dishes. I actually said this was quite possibly the best grilled salmon I had ever tasted. The rice, simple with the subtle flavors of olive oil and lemon, had my taste buds dancing for joy. The Grilled Shrimp was a bit of a learning experience. It tasted great, but I had never had shrimp served in the shell like that (see photo below) in all my years of eating and devouring every kind of shrimp imaginable. My personal feeling is, I'd rather not have my food resemble how it looked while alive :) This was too close for comfort. It's one of the reasons I have even drifted away from eating whole lobsters these days. Maybe it's just a phase. But whatever it is, that's just me. If that kind of thing doesn't bother you, you'll love their Grilled Shrimp dish.

Speaking of lobsters, you may notice they are missing from the menu. I was able to chat with one of the managers and she said they are definitely planning to expand their menu big-time, taking suggestions from customers, and lobsters are in the planning.

The one disappointment in my Reef experience came at the very, very end when I got a cup of coffee. It came luke-warm. But hey, I'm willing to forgive since they've only been open a little more than a week and I could tell were all so dedicated to working out every little kink in this fine restaurant.

What happened to Forest Hills? From a sad, even pathetic restaurant scene, there are suddenly too many excellent places to choose from! My brother, who lives on the Upper East Side, was lamenting to me the other day that he doesn't have any good restaurants nearby. I could only reply, "That's weird." I thought about it, and I realized he was right - I couldn't think of any good restaurants near him, in one of the toniest parts of Manhattan. Well, at least he has Central Park.

My grade for Reef: A+ (I think the highest I have ever given to a new restaurant in Forest Hills, at least that I can remember).

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Forest Hills Stadium News

The DNAInfo website has an article today about plans for the Forest Hills Stadium, including that The New York Pops may play the Stadium  (I had heard back in December this was in discussion, so there must be something to it). But the article also says this has not been confirmed yet.

And I don't know what to make of the Idina Menzel part - why the West Side Tennis Club president would say she was going to perform and then it is being denied by her team...

Forest Hills Concert Organizers to Address Residents' Concerns at Meeting

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Has Sprung!

Happy to say I got the Spring Fever today. And Bryant Park was hopping and looking quite Springy.... Oh, and that last pic is just to remind us that Summer Movie Season officially kicks off in a couple of weeks -- though I have my money on Godzilla. Tired of the Spiderman.

Yes, this is indeed my favorite time of year. A great time to be in The Big Apple.