2011-12-07 / Restaurant of the Week

HUSH CAFÉ LOUNGE AND GARDEN

Please don’t keep Hush Café, Lounge and Garden a secret or you’ll miss out on a great place. This cozy cafe entices you with a sultry lounge furnished in plush red velvet divans to allow for intimate conversation and nibbling with fabulous cocktails. Wood tables rest on cool tile floors for comfortable dining, flanked by palm trees and silky draperies. The outdoor garden is the place to be in warm weather when you can cool off and enjoy a frosty margarita or beer on the relaxing terrace.

Hush Cafe, Lounge and Garden opened five years ago by brothers Armin and Mumer Mrkanovic after years of success in the hospitality business. The friendly, attentive staff will make you feel at home and attend to your requests with a smile. Hush is an ideal spot for after work decompressing, as evidenced by the mellow crowd assembled at the sleek bar. Indeed the bartenders mix up an impressive array of cocktails, such as the Green Lantern cocktail made with coconut rum, Midori liqueur and pineapple juice. Brazilian caipirinhas are cool and citrusy, as are the frozen margaritas, made with a variety of fruits. The pomegranate cosmopolitan was perfectly mixed and served in an elegant glass. The sangria is hand mixed, fruity and refreshing, available in white or red varieties. A wide array of imported and domestic beers are on hand, as well as reasonably priced wines.

The intimate, yet spacious interior makes Hush a great place for your holiday office party or business event. Call today to book your night and leave the entertaining to the experts at Hush, who can prepare a menu for the evening with an open bar to keep all your guests happy. They’re planning an exciting New Year’s Eve event too, so check their Web site for more details.

Whether you just want a snack to go with your cocktails, or crave a full meal, the chef at Hush has something delicious in store. We started with a sampler platter of appetizers, featuring the house made hummus, thick and creamy and mildly spiced. Fried rings of calamari were crunchy outside and tender inside, and went well with the spicy chipotle mayo dip. Breaded butterfly shrimp are also crispy and delicious, resting on a bed of greens. The sampler allows you to choose any three appetizers, or you may order them singularly, such as “wings gone wild” served with bleu cheese dressing ($8) or a European style cheese plate.

The menu features a nice variety of wraps, sandwiches, salads and entrées to satisfy your cravings. My companion enjoyed the Vegas Caesar wrap, one of the most popular on the menu, made with tender grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, croutons and parmesan cheese on a tortilla. Once assembled, the wrap is gently grilled, rendering it a bit crispy and imparting wonderful flavor and texture ($9). The Caribbean chicken wrap is another house favorite, made with avocado, cucumber and citrus aioli. The “Dirty Bird” is made with grilled chicken, roasted peppers, arugula and sun-dried tomato for an Italian style treat ($10). The vegetarian wrap is chock full of freshly grilled vegetables and all are generously sized.

Hush takes pride in using only the finest ingredients in their kitchen. For an entrée you will remember, try the beef tenderloin medallion, a juicy filet of tender beef, cooked to order and served with grilled Portobello mushrooms and asparagus. Grilled chicken is topped with a savory ginger peach sauce for a light and flavorful meal, with grilled vegetables on the side. The same goes for the spicy chicken breast, and everything is cooked to order and served hot on pretty white plates. You may want to share one of their fresh salads with your dinner, or enjoy one alone as a light meal. The Hush salad is composed of organic baby spinach with red onion, sliced apple, gorgonzola and walnuts with a light vinaigrette. The classic Greek is tossed with tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, olives and chunks of creamy feta cheese. The Caesar and Chef Salads are great on their own, or topped with grilled chicken or tuna for $3 more.

Save room for dessert and indulge in the banana split with all the toppings, a generous wedge of cake or the Hush diva crepes. These tender crepes are filled with your choice of bananas, strawberries or peanut butter with Nutella, topped with hot fudge sauce and dusted with powdered sugar ($6). Lots of patrons come in just for dessert, with a cup of steaming hot coffee.

Hush Café, Lounge and Garden has a great Happy Hour served Tuesday through Thursday from 3pm to 8pm, where drinks are priced 2-for-1. There are happy snack specials to go along with their Happy Hour drinks. Don’t forget to book your holiday party or business event for up to 90 people at Hush Café, Lounge and Garden. Visit their Web site for more details and for news about their upcoming New Year’s Eve night. They’re open from 3pm to 1am during the week and until 4am on weekends. Don’t keep Hush Café, Lounge and Garden a secret….I’m telling everyone about the great ambience, food and drinks. See you there!

HUSH CAFÉ LOUNGE AND GARDEN

70-10 Grand Avenue  Maspeth
718.779.6061

www.hushloungenyc.com

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