Restaurant Of The Week
Of The Week
Sunswick Café and Bar is conveniently located in the up-and-coming neighborhood that is home to the American Museum of the Moving Image, the UA Multiplex Theaters and Kauffman Astoria Studios. Sunswick was opened just about a year ago by the hard-working partnership of Marie Valera and Steve Halpin. The unusual name of this lovely establishment came about after extensive research conducted by Valera. Sunswick is the way Dutch settlers in what is now known as Dutch Kills pronounced the name given to the area by the Native Americans who originally lived there.
Sunswick's interior was completely renovated by the two owners, exposing the original brick walls. The exposed brick, tile floors, soft lighting and handmade wooden bar give Sunswick a hip, SoHo-esque look that attracts an eclectic crowd of young people and families from the neighborhood, movie-goers and the creative people who work in television just across the street.
Halpin's extensive background in beer technology and refrigeration provides for meticulously maintained beer taps which render Heineken, Sam Adams, Pilsner Urquell, Guinness Stout and Brooklyn lager at optimum temperature and freshness. The fully stocked bar, manned expertly by Nicholas, can provide any cocktail desired and a fine selection of wine, starting at just $19 a bottle.
Sunswick is open seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. for lunch, into the wee hours for drinks. The kitchen closes at 10 p.m. during the week and at midnight on weekends. The menu is small yet complete, offering wonderful, freshly prepared starters, salads and sandwiches, as well as generously sized entrees to satisfy any appetite. We started with a chicken quesadilla which contains real grilled chicken that's been shredded into a flour tortilla, with melted cheese and beans and topped with their own guacamole and salsa ($6.95). Spinach and artichoke dip served with chips is a good snack or starter, for $7.95. Hummus and toasted pita is great to pick on along with a nice glass of wine. Sunswick's mozzarella sticks are made on the premises, not frozen and one taste will have you coming back for more. Buffalo wings with spicy sauce and BBQ wings with tangy sauce are both delicious and can be ordered at the bar or at your table.
Sandwiches and burgers are served on fresh kaiser rolls with hand cut French fries, also called pomme frites. A sliced chicken club contains real chicken on seven-grain bread with hickory smoked bacon ($7.95) and makes a delicious lunch or late night snack. Smoked turkey with Black Forest ham is topped with gruyere cheese for a European style sandwich. Sunswick's burgers are a juicy 8 ounces and are topped with a variety of cheeses and served with their own fries. Turkey and veggie burgers are also available, but for a real treat, try their free range bison burger, a healthful meat, free of chemicals and additives that will remind you of how beef once tasted. Cooked to order and served with grilled onions and Monterey jack cheese, this bison burger will still any appetite ($9.95).
Sunswick's entrees cover meat, fish and chicken with special kudos for their signature hanger steak. Hanger steak is a tender, boneless cut of meat, grilled to order and served with a tangy balsamic caper sauce and pomme frites ($14.95). Grilled salmon with tomato, olives, capers and mashed potatoes is another house favorite, while the New York strip steak available in 12 or 18-ounce sizes, cooked au poivre with a crushed peppercorn crust, can't be beat. For a lighter meal, try the farfalle pasta with fresh asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, roasted peppers and garlic.
Big, healthy salads round out the menu and are good at any time, day or night. Portobello mushroom salad with mesclun greens and chevre is healthy and delicious and goes well with a crisp chardonnay. Atlantic salmon nicoise salad tosses grilled, blackened salmon with greens, hard-cooked eggs, olives and capers for a really satisfying meal at just $10.95.
Though we were full, the mocha latte cheesecake seemed too good to pass up. So was the pina colada cake, carrot cake and strawberry shortcake so try and save room for a slice of heaven.
Besides the delicious food at Sunswick and its classy interior, what impressed me most was the friendliness of the staff and clientele. Everyone is immediately made to feel welcome here and it shows in the diversity of the patrons. Feel free to stop in before or after a visit to the museum or the movies, on your lunch break from the office, or for an after-work gathering with friends for drinks or dinner. Delivery is available to home or office too. Sunswick even offers a price-fixed brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For just $10.95 enjoy a drink plus eggs, salmon, bagels, burgers, salads and more. All are welcome and Marie or Steve are always on hand to greet everyone. Nicholas pours lovely cocktails and beer most nights so stop in to say hello.
Visit Sunswick anytime and relax with a drink and a delicious meal.
35-02 35th St.