Tue-Thu, 4:30pm-10pm; Fri-Sat, 4:30pm-11pm; Sun, 1pm-9pm; Mon, closed
E, F, M, R at Forest Hills-71st Ave.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
This mid-century, mid-Queens fixture is the antithesis of a New York hot spot with a half-life of three weeks. (Here the hours are marked by a cuckoo clock’s repeating chimes.) Its fussily decorated interior conveys the gemutlichkeit of a Bavarian hofbrauhaus, kitsched up a notch on weekends by a female accordion player. Other nights, diners endure piped-in oompah, polka, and seventies vocal pop. Seventies is the right modifier for the crowd, too. The bill “drop” comes at about 7:30 for regulars, which may include a dapper widower in white patent loafers who dines on sauerbraten several nights a week with a rotation of widows. Chalet Alpina’s authentic, satisfying chow is produced (oddly enough) by an attentive Ecuadoran chef schooled by the place’s now-retired Teutonic toques. In-the-know septuagenarians follow deftly crisped potato pancakes with Kassler rippchen (smoked pork chops) or tender pork schnitzel. Sides are uniformly good, whether you choose cinnamonny red cabbage, crunchy home fries, fluffy potato dumplings, or buttery spaetzle. The tipple of choice is—what else?—German draft beer. You'll find both Spaten and Oktoberfest on tap.Weekend Prix Fixe
Sunday afternoons bring a dinner deal offering appetizer, entrée, and strudel for the price of the main course.Recommended Dishes
Potato pancakes, $5; pork schnitzel, $18.50; Kassler rippchen $19.50; apple strudel, $5.50