The Bottom Line
- Knowledgeable and attentive waitstaff
- Innovative, fresh and affordable fusion menu that changes seasonally
- Large and diverse wine, sake and beer list
- Relaxed and intimate atmosphere -- no pretense!
- Closed on Mondays; not open for lunch
- Can get crowded -- long waits without reservations
- Address: Lil' Bistro 33, 33-04 36th Ave, Long Island City, Queens, NY (33rd and 34th Sts)
- Hours: Open T-Th 5:30-10 p.m.; Fri 5:30-11 p.m.; Sat noon-4 p.m., 5:30-11; Sun noon-4 p.m., 5:30-9
- Phone: 718-609-1367
- Subway: N, W to 36 Avenue
- Menu: Weekend brunch, French, seafood, tempura, Asian salads, soups, sushi (Th-Sat), desserts
- Prices: Brunch $7-$14; dinner entrees $9-$22; wine bottles $18-$40; desserts $3-$6
- Sushi Nights: Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only
- Brunch: Open for brunch on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, noon to 4 p.m.
- Real epicure will enjoy one of the few counter seats that offer candid views of the kitchen.
Guide Review - Lil' Bistro 33 in Long Island City - Restaurant Review
Don't let its physical size fool you; Lil' Bistro's adorable space is as intimate as its menu is inventive and its flavors fierce. The warm terracotta-hued walls and cozy booth seating add to its spell.
Start with a seasonal appetizer like the creamy Japanese pumpkin soup, or one of seven salads. The supreme appetizer, though, is the panko-crusted fried goat cheese. Not on the menu during my two visits, it came as a generous amuse bouche. Drizzled in toothy apricot sauce, this rich and flaky fried disk is a piece of tangy chevre heaven.
If you think that cheese and sushi are an unholy pair, then you need to experience the magic of a mid-meal sushi course. Offered only on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Chef Gary's distinctive sushi rolls include traditional favorites and specials like the tuna-foie gras roll.
The entrees please with more fish like roasted salmon, while the heart of bistro fare beats in the familiar form of hanger steak. Fusion jazzes the baby New Zealand lamb chops with a lemongrass sauce.
Dessert continues the love with the fallen chocolate souffle, or the fusion coconut crepe with roasted bananas and vanilla ice cream. Pair these treats with a plum wine or a signature fruit-infused sake for the perfect close.