2004-08-11 / Restaurant of the Week

Destiny Restaurant Lounge And Sports Bar Has It All

Destiny Restaurant Lounge And Sports Bar Has It All

Long Island City’s newest hot spot has something for everyone. Located just across the street from MoMA Queens and LaGuardia Community College, Destiny Restaurant Lounge and Sports Bar is conveniently located and can meet all dining and entertainment desires. After eight months of renovations to a run down building, this sparkling new in spot opened six weeks ago and has been running at full steam ever since.

The chic, sleek interior of Destiny will put you in a relaxed mood whether you choose to visit at lunchtime, after work for a fabulous happy hour, evening dinner or do a little late night lounging with friends. The well-appointed dining room features black marble floors, brushed chrome and leather chairs and banquettes punctuated by pumpkin colored suede insets. Sleek lighting and soft background music sets a mood for whatever the night may bring. Sports aficionados will be delighted to hear that Destiny offers at least a dozen screens to watch favorite games. The sound is muted so as not to disturb the tranquil atmosphere in the dining room and each banquette has its own personal screen, which can be turned to a favorite program, or turned off altogether at the diner’s request.

Two completely private V.I.P. rooms, each with separate entrance, bar, and restrooms, are ideal for corporate parties or private gatherings. Executive Manager Ralph Fernandez will be happy to arrange a unique event. Fernandez also plays an integral role in managing the restaurant and bar daily operations, ensuring that each customer has a positive experience.

Chef Miguel Flores works his magic in the kitchen, delivering a varied and attractive menu to satisfy a wide range of patrons. The after-work crowd can sit at the comfortable bar, sipping fruity martinis, daiquiris, margaritas and ice cold beer and munch on something from the light menu. Fresh shrimp cocktail with tangy sauce and crispy calamari rings are quickly gobbled up by chatting companions. Shrimp in garlic butter sauce is another popular item on the light menu as are the requisite spicy Buffalo wings. Destiny has a lively happy hour every night, and Friday’s happy hour features half-price items from the light menu.

Serious diners like myself will want to relax at a table or comfy banquette and order appetizers such as wonderful goat cheese and herbs, piled on crispy baguette toasts resting on a bed of greens. Clean, fresh Prince Edward mussels are steamed with shallots, fennel, white wine and parsley ($9.50). Chef Flores’ crab cakes, served with a wonderful sweet corn and mango salsa, are petite in size but big on fresh crab flavor.

Dinner entrees include meat, chicken and seafood dishes. I highly recommend the salmon filet, pan seared to keep in the juices and served with a creamy risotto with diced vegetables ($21). Paella combines andouille sausage, chicken breast, mussels, scallops and shrimp, all on saffron infused rice cooked in lobster broth. This dish is worth waiting for and will provide extra to take home ($22).

Some old favorites such as grilled aged sirloin, cooked to perfection and served with homemade fries that are arranged to resemble a log cabin, can be found on the menu as well, Saint Louis style barbecue ribs served with homemade barbecue sauce are meaty and succulent ($12). Simply prepared free range chicken is roasted with rosemary and thyme and served with mashed potatoes and sautéed broccoli ($12).

In addition, the pleasant wait staff will describe mouthwatering specials such as grilled medallions of filet mignon and roasted pork loin.

Destiny Restaurant Lounge 33-02 Queens Blvd. Long Island City (718) 729-7010 www.DRLounge.comDestiny Restaurant Lounge 33-02 Queens Blvd. Long Island City (718) 729-7010 www.DRLounge.com

The lunch menu offers a fine array of fresh salads, sandwiches, burgers and entrées. There’s something for everyone behind that chic ambiance. The grilled vegetable sandwich, loaded with grilled zucchini, Portobello mushrooms, tomatoes and pesto mayonnaise, is quite popular ($7). I’m told the smoked salmon sandwich with cream cheese and dressed with tomatoes, red onion and lettuce is out of this world. The juicy Destiny burger is topped with roasted red peppers, caramelized onions and Swiss cheese. Entrees such as shrimp scampi and paillard of chicken make Destiny a great place for a more formal business lunch as well.

All desserts are made in Destiny’s own kitchen. I loved the coconut rice pudding topped with fresh berries. Crème bruleé, chocolate mousse cake and cheesecake are some of the other choices, and there are always daily dessert specials as well.

Visit Destiny Restaurant Lounge soon at lunchtime, after work, or after a stroll through the MoMA QNS museum. The cocktails and food are top notch, the interior is beautiful and you can even watch sports events while you socialize with friends. Keep Destiny Restaurant Lounge in mind for your next private party or corporate event as well.

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