REVIEW

danny brown Wine Bar

Insufficiently elegant to be a true destination restaurant and insufficiently affordable to justify the $50 car home on a regular basis (there is no nearby subway stop), danny brown Wine Bar & Kitchen occupies somewhat of an awkward middle ground for Manhattanites.  However, for individuals living in Queens and possessed of a car, it an ideal neighborhood restaurant.  And, although it is the only restaurant in Queens with a Michelin star, the restaurant doesn't purport to be anything but a neighborhood and family affair:  Mr. Brown's wife and mother also work in the restaurant.

Danny brown is meant to be a modern take on the French wine bar, Italian enoteca and Spanish tapas bar, an interesting concept.  In the early days of the restaurant, residents of Forest Hills, street smart but lacking some of the culinary sophistication of Manhattan, would confusedly inquire "What's this 'topless' restaurant?", instinctively latching on to perhaps an even more interesting concept. 

The interior of the restaurant is contemporary and cozy, with abstract canvasses on the wall and an open kitchen.  Mr. Brown is a former sommelier, and the focus of the restaurant on also being a "wine bar" is reflected in the more than 30 wines by the glass offered, which are excellently complemented by the boards of cheese and house-made charcuterie.  Mr. Brown's organic chicken "under a brick" is renowned, and served with rosemary skillet potatoes and sautéed escarole.  But the true highlight of the main menu is the butternut squash risotto with toasted hazlenuts, pumpkin seed oil & parmigiano fricco.  In all of our experience dining, we cannot recall a finer risotto.

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INFORMATION

Forest Hills
104-02 Metropolitan Ave
(718) 261-2144
Tues-Thurs, 5:30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat, 5pm-11pm; Sun, 5pm-9:30pm
    Danny Brown, Chef

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