Restaurant Of The Week
By Teresa Barile
Dazie’s Offers An Extraordinary Dining Experience
At this jewel of a restaurant, the rare combination of superior food, service and décor meet to create a dining oasis on bustling Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside. Leave the world outside and step through the rich wooden doors into the peaceful and serene dining room of Dazie’s Restaurant. Classic columns, etched glass and muted rose-beige walls are the backdrop for marble busts and bas-relief carvings. Soft lighting from wall sconces and candle glow complete the atmosphere while gentle notes from the piano fill the air Wednesday through Sunday nights. Let this magical ambience wash over you as you prepare yourself for a memorable meal.
Everything about Dazie’s is classy, starting with its extremely charming proprietor, Lilly Gavin. For 27 years, Gavin has run Dazie’s with an eye to superior food and service. She is also community-minded, serving as co-chair for the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, and is always available to serve the needs of the community that has given her so much. What she gives back is her time, money and devotion to Queens. She is also an excellent restaurateur. Together with her children, Kerry, Tele, Kenny and Raymond, Gavin and her family will ensure a consistently pleasant dining experience on every visit.
Only the highest-quality, freshest ingredients are used to create chef Boris’ specialties that have made Dazie’s famous. Take, for example, one of their tempting appetizer specials, fresh lump crab meat salad laced with red pepper dice, garnished with asparagus and a citrusy strawberry sauce—truly a unique and wonderful dish. Equally delicious is the polenta atop mixed baby greens with creamy goat cheese. The grilled Portobello mushroom is both earthy and aromatic, sautéed in fragrant balsamic vinegar.
The utterly professional staff that dotes on diners while keeping out of their way attends to every detail. Lucio, our waiter, described mouth-watering specials that were too hard to resist—so we didn’t. Homemade ravioli filled with Portobello mushroom and ricotta were finished with a light cream sauce and walnut halves and served to us on warmed china. Homemade black linguine was tossed with the freshest shrimp, baby clams, called vongole, crabmeat and tender chunks of salmon. This pasta dish was also out of this world, only enhanced by a bottle of wine from their top-rated wine cellar. Wine selections come from all over the world and can be found in all price ranges.
Although we were already full, Lucio would insist we try one of the chef’s famous veal dishes: veal scaloppini ala Dazie’s, sautéed with white and green asparagus, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and finished with a touch of cognac. It looks and smells heavenly and tastes sublime. Tender chicken breasts sautéed with mushrooms, shallots and cognac sauce are finished with a dollop of creamy mascarpone cheese and sage leaves.
Fresh fish creations include striped bass, prepared marechiara style with tomato, onion and the special addition of baby clams and mussels. That evening, the freshest of tuna was seared on the grill and topped with chopped tomato and basil and bore the name tuna "cappriciosa," which means "fresh." Dazie’s version of zuppa di pesce is a mélange of fresh seafood in a tangy sauce, piled atop thick slices of toasted bread which soaks up the savory juices.
Before dessert, enjoy a cordial from the well-stocked bar and clear your palate for one of Dazie’s fabulous sweets. Their homemade tiramisu is top-notch, as is their creamy, frothy cappuccino. I was delighted to learn that they make my favorite dessert, strawberries with warm zabaglione sauce. This creamy concoction is flavored with sugar and marsala wine and poured over freshly sliced strawberries. Assorted cakes and fruit tarts speak for themselves on a handsome dessert cart.
If you still aren’t convinced, visit Dazie’s very soon and see what the cognoscenti of Queens already know. Whether it’s lunch or dinner, a meal at Dazie’s will be a memorable one. Plan your next private party at Dazie’s with accommodations for 50 to 80 people and impress your guests with the fine food and service. Dazie’s is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Reservations are strongly recommended for weekend nights. Complimentary valet parking is available on Friday and Saturday nights. Credit cards are accepted and Dazie’s is handicap accessible.
39-41 Queens Blvd.