Bliss Restaurant Serves A Meal To Remember
ppropriately named, Bliss Restaurant is a visual and culinary delight. On a corner at 46th Street (also called Bliss St.) and Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside, it holds a charming, tastefully appointed dining room that resembles a country inn, with pristine wood floors, old-fashioned shuttered windows and a stylish bar. The Bliss menu, featuring haute cuisine is designed and executed by executive chef and owner John McGrath, who has years of experience in New York’s finest hotels. Co-owner Dorothy Morehead, with deep roots in the quiet neighborhood through her thriving real estate agency just next door greets the restaurant’s guests. The wait staff could not be more polite or efficient. For all the fine food, wine and excellent service, Bliss is very approachable and affordable. You owe it to yourself to try a memorable meal at Bliss, especially mid-week, when a $20 prix fix menu is available.
Let the stress of the day melt away with a Bliss signature martini, lavender lemonade cocktail or “kiss my bliss” cocktail. The wine cellar provides vintages from Argentina, France, Italy and California in all price ranges. We sipped on a wonderful Languedoc while we spread black olive tapenade onto crusty, freshly baked sourdough bread. The menu includes only the best of beef, fish, pork and pasta.
The prix fixe dinner, offered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, includes choice of appetizer, dinner entrée and fine dessert right off the menu. A few items carry a slight additional charge, but there are plenty of tempting choices even without paying more. We started with a generous salad of Belgian endive and frisee, topped with chunks of creamy, pungent, English Stilton cheese, walnuts and apple-smoked bacon. The port wine dressing brought all of these wonderful flavors together. A large mound of fried calamari, served with a ramekin of creamy garlic aioli and tomato jam, got a unique flavor from the lightest touch of breading and a hint of sesame oil. The pasta encasing mushroom ravioli is so light as to be translucent and the mushroom filling is complemented by tomato confit and a drizzle of sweet pumpkin seed oil. Citrus cured salmon served with baby arugula and caper berries is an excellent choice for summer. Special soup of the day, such as the lobster bisque we devoured, can also be chosen as part of a prix fix dinner.
Our dinner entrees were beautifully presented on gleaming white dishes. Flaky, moist pan seared Mahi Mahi rich with buttery flavor, was served on a bed of Asian rice with fennel-tomato coulis, pine nuts and preserved lemon rind. I also sampled the dinner choices of my three dining companions. The pan-roasted pork tenderloin with caramelized root vegetables and herb-roasted potatoes rested in a small puddle of a reduction that must have taken hours to create in the kitchen. Marinated hanger steak was served with a generous portion of garlic mashed potatoes and caramelized shallots with balsamic glaze. It could be cut with a fork. The orecchiette (little ears) pasta was served with sweet peas, tender spring leeks and duck ham, which is cured right in the restaurant. Large shavings of imported parmigiano cheese added a bite to this incredibly well composed dish.
All the dishes mentioned are part of the standard $20 prix fixe menu. If you don’t want a three-course meal, you can order any item off the menu a la carte at reasonable prices. Desserts are meant for a king or queen and you will be lulled into a deeper state of bliss when you try the molten chocolate cake, espresso crème brulee, or individual cheesecake tartlets. Chocolate fondue served with peanut butter fudge and biscotti for dipping will send you to another world
“Incredible” is the best way to describe a meal at Bliss. Visit soon before it becomes impossible to get a table in this petite restaurant. Bliss opened this past January and already, weekend reservations are recommended, but midweek dining is easier. You are always welcome to visit with friends for a fabulous cocktail at the sleek bar as well.
Bliss is the perfect spot for a bed and breakfast style brunch, served on Sundays from noon to 3:30 p.m. Enjoy eggs to order or Florentine with baby spinach and Gruyere cheese. Fresh fruit pancakes and waffles taste better than ever here and the Cobb salad with sliced chicken breast, avocado, bacon, sliced egg and scallions will keep you full until evening. The French press coffee is a fitting finish to a superb meal at this out of this world restaurant.
Never has a restaurant’s name been so apropos. You’ll be amazed by this gem in the heart of Western Queens, just a short walk from the No. 7 train, making it a great after work destination, even for Manhattanites. Bliss is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m., closed Mondays. Sunday brunch is served from noon to 3:30 p.m. Credit cards are accepted and weekend reservations are recommended. Treat yourself to a Blissful, memorable meal.