Manhattanites tend to give lip service to the jubilee that is the Queens restaurant scene, and who can blame them? Schlepping out to Rego Park and trying to find 63rd Drive and 108th Street could drive anyone crazy. Hence the beauty of "The Cuisine of Queens and Beyond 2007," being held on the 22nd. The event features Aquavit chef Marcus Samuelsson, pushing his book on African cooking, but the real reason to go is to experience representative dishes from 47 different Queens restaurants which you might normally never get to. Some of our favorite places are there, and we strongly recommend them to you.
While Ilan Hall wanders around airports wearing street couture (or did you not read about that?), Josie Malave, voted off Top Chef early in the game, has ditched her Marlow & Sons sous-chef job to become executive chef at Island Café Bar and Lounge. The two-floor, 220-seater, set to open in March, will serve locally farmed, Mediterranean-themed tapas. We believe Malave when she tells us that she’s “actually happy” to have escaped Top Chef when she did. After all, some “seed money” winnings can (apparently) mess with a young cook’s head.
Island Café Bar and Lounge, 35-15 36th St., Long Island City; no phone yet.