Best Australian - 2013
The Thirsty Koala
With boomerangs and a didgeridoo displayed among vibrantly lit blond onyx and pinewood-planked walls, The Thirsty Koala is the collaboration of three neighborhood mates: Katherine Fuchs (former FDNY chief turned executive chef), Alex Styponias (Astoria-born mixologist, raised in Greece), and Christine Chellos (Aussie transplant and financial advisor). The menu is polka-dotted with dishes, cocktails, and desserts either native to Australia or named in its honor, but the most buzzed-about bite is the kangaroo burger with "the lot." This fork-and-knife monster is an eight-ounce patty of tender kangaroo meat flown in from Queensland, stacked with a grilled pineapple ring, pickled beets, crispy bacon, a slathering of house-made goat cheese, and a soft-centered fried egg.