Restaurant Of The Week
Of The Week
Now there's another reason to love our multicultural borough of Queens. A new dinner theater has opened in historic Long Island City at the Jackson Avenue Steakhouse. Diners have been going to the Jackson Avenue Steakhouse for years for wonderful steaks, chops and seafood, but now there's another reason to enjoy an evening there. The Jackson Avenue Steakhouse Playhouse, under the artistic direction of Gary Fisher Dawson, is proud to present "The Miss Firecracker Contest." This gothic comedy, written by Beth Henley, is a quirky look at southern life in a small town that will have you laughing and smiling throughout its two acts.
The idea of bringing dinner theater to Queens was the brain child of Dawson, along with the cooperation of savvy restaurateur Mitch Catanzano. Dawson has a long career in theater teaching and Catanzano has an equally notable career in the restaurant business. The combination of a fabulous meal, featuring world class steaks, chops, seafood, roast duck and more, along with the pleasure of live theater is a sure bet for a memorable evening. The homespun southern comedy "The Miss Firecracker Contest" opens April 5 and continues through April 21. Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Admission is by a $10 theater ticket, a $10 two-drink minimum and a selection of food from the superb Steakhouse menu. Parking is free, and only cash is accepted, but the price for everything is still cheaper than a night of theater in Manhattan, and it's so close to home. Call right away to make reservations in the cozy, limited-seating theater, 392-9896. What a great way to spend an evening, have a great meal and a few laughs.
The Jackson Avenue Steakhouse menu features consistently fresh, well-prepared dishes for all palates. Start with a cocktail from their well-stocked bar, or a bottle of wine such as the wonderful Chianti Borghi d'Elsa, at just $22 a bottle. Next choose from their wide selection of appetizers for your first course. I highly recommend the half rack of baby back ribs, with their homemade smoky barbecue sauce which are the meatiest and most tender I've ever seen. You can also order a full rack of ribs as an entrée. Perhaps you'd like to indulge in a combination of broiled plump shrimp and crispy baked clams ($8.95) or a steaming bowl of French onion soup topped with bubbly melted cheese. The jumbo shrimp cocktail is superb and the chicken quesadilla rolls are perfect for sharing.
The signature steak is Jackson's 24-ounce rib eye, cooked to order and served sizzling ($21.95). If you haven't eaten in a few days, try the 28-ounce Porterhouse which cuts like butter. You'll also be tempted by the tender filet mignon with béarnaise sauce. I previously tried the Long Island duck, slow roasted for hours to render all the fat, leaving tender, succulent meat that falls off the bone. The duck is topped with black cherry sauce that perfectly complements the flavor of the poultry. This time, I couldn't resist the Texas barbecued chicken and rib combination which was tender and flavorful. Both were cooked to perfection, so tender I could eat them with a fork and knife. All entreés are served with a choice of mashed or baked potato, home fries, hand cut French fries or rice. Additional sides are available including steamed broccoli, creamed spinach and beer-battered onion rings. On the weekends, roast prime rib of beef is offered and makes a great family dinner.
Fork-tender veal is sautéed in a choice of sauces and the shrimp scampi melts in your mouth. If you prefer fish, each night features a special catch of the day. That evening, Cajun tuna with mango salsa was served. The spicy sweetness makes a great topping to the meaty fish.
Save room for a homemade dessert like mixed berry sorbet, moist carrot cake, apple pie or chocolate mousse cake. Their fresh brewed coffee will have you asking for a second cup. An after-dinner cordial is the icing on the cake.
The restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Feel free to come any time. The bar is also a friendly gathering place for the many old-timers and newcomers in this booming neighborhood. For a truly exceptional evening, come for the dinner theater, where you can choose anything off the menu and enjoy a great show at the same time. The first production at the theater was a romantic comedy called "Standing By," which was a great success. Two more productions are in the works, so dinner theater in Queens could become a regular part of your social and cultural activities. Bring family and friends for a wonderful night out and call right away for "The Miss Firecracker Contest," from April 5 to April 21.
"A cultural fantasy to satisfy any palate or soul," that’s the dinner theater at the Jackson Avenue Steakhouse Playhouse.
12-23 Jackson Ave. L.I. City
Theater reservations: 392-9896