by Adam Kuban, 10/22/2014
Mac 'n cheese at The Queens Kickshaw. Photo: Joe Buglewicz
In Astoria, Change Is Constant
The influx of younger, creative types attracted to Astoria's lower rent and cost of living has had a significant influence on the neighborhood in recent years. With the new arrivals have come restaurants and bars that, five years ago, would have been more likely to be found in parts of Brooklyn. Among them are the The Queens Kickshaw, which made a name for itself with its inventive grilled cheese sandwiches when it first opened but has expanded its reach to include dishes like brussels sprout okonomiyaki (grilled pancake) as well as a renowned cider and mead menu. Neighborhood pizza favorite Milkflower looks toward both Naples and Brooklyn for inspiration, combining the two into a pleasing package. Favorite bars among this set include Sweet Afton, where bartenders mix cocktails-with-a-twist (such as the Rye Root Beer) and The Sparrow Tavern, known for its laid-back vibe and late-night menu that includes fare transcending that of any 24-hour diner. Both these bars, by the way, are in the process of opening outposts on up-and-coming 23rd Avenue.