It was only a matter of time (and rents) before this happened, but little bits of Queens are starting to look like little bits of Brooklyn.
Case in point is the newly opened Salt & Fat, a restaurant whose name points toward the similarly pared-down nomenclature favored by certain North Brooklyn establishments (and points a middle finger in the direction of Mayor Bloomberg’s nutritional agenda). The restaurant, which opened in Sunnyside last Friday, bills itself as a “neighborhood restaurant serving globally influenced New American small plates in a relaxed casual environment,” which suggests that someone on its staff has been stockpiling dining buzzwords.
According to Time Out, the restaurant is the project of Daniel Yi, a chef who previously worked at Monkey Bar and Sapa. His menu hews closely to the late-aughts comfort food playbook, with pulled pork sliders, meatballs, fried chicken, pork belly tacos with kimchi salsa, and Korean barbecue wraps.
Salt & Fat opened within a couple of days of the Queens Kickshaw, which is now serving high-end grilled cheese sandwiches and craft ale against a backdrop of reclaimed wood in Astoria. Ben Sandler and Jennifer Lim, the couple behind the restaurant, told Eater that “we have been living in Astoria for over 3 years, and have only started to see the food and drink scene really start to elevate.”
Many, of course, would argue that there’s already plenty of elevated food to be found in Astoria, to say nothing of the rest of the borough, but it does seem that something is starting to percolate, and it’s not just the fair-trade coffee. And while we applaud any restaurant owner who attempts to do something new and good in this difficult economy and ruthless city, we also hope that “elevated” food doesn’t end up serving as a euphemism for food designed to appeal to yuppies who have been priced out of Brooklyn.