Mon-Tue, 7am-3:30pm; Wed-Fri, 7am-3:30pm and 6pm-10pm; Sat, 10am-3pm and 6pm-10pm; Sun, 10am-3pm
E, M at Court Sq.-23rd St.; 7, G at Court Sq.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
50th Ave. to Bridge Plaza North, East River to Jackson Ave.
The Citibank building casts a long shadow on this section of Long Island City—a barren tundra littered with delis and diners, good for little else but greasy tuna melts. But Queens native Alex Schindler banishes lunch and dinnertime doldrums with this neighborhood restaurant of high quality and low pretense. He works with local farms and vendors to supply an American seasonal menu that gets regular reworking and specials that reflect all the fanciful micro-harvest seasons (kale, asparagus, ramps, and Japanese turnips are a few). Salads sometimes arrive overdressed, but that’s one of very few missteps. Burgers are glossy with jus and grilled cheeses emerge delectably gooey. At dinner, fresh flavors shine out in risottos with vegetables and from pan-roasted fish with braised lentils. The space is weather-worn—tabletops are impeccably distressed, walls are expertly yellowed, and recycled materials make significant contributions, like the antique gates out front and former bedroom doors decorating the face of the bar. You'll want to sit in the back room, perhaps at the workbench-style communal table amid the Mason jar terrariums.The General Store
Up front you’ll find a mini-stockpile of jars and cans of homemade treats—pickled asparagus, strawberry and black pepper jam, roasted cashew butter, and a jalapeño salsa that’s created a run on tortilla chips in local bodegas.Recommended Dishes
Ricotta and pignoli salad, $9; grilled cheese, $8