2014-01-29 / Restaurant of the Week


The Court Square Diner is the place to be for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night munching. Dine amongst actors taking a break from Silver Cup Studios, or art aficionados taking in the works at PS1, or any of the locals who’ve been dining here since 1946 when this iconic diner first opened. The gregarious owners, Steve and Nick Kanellos, took over in 1991 and work tirelessly to maintain high quality in every dish they make. The Court Square Diner is your classic New York diner and you owe it to yourself and any friends or family visiting from afar to have a meal here. Arturo and the wait staff serve you with a smile and always bring their special charm along with fantastic dishes that include nightly specials, delicious baked goods, cocktails and fabulous desserts.

Come for dinner and enjoy a refreshing cocktail from the fully stocked bar, or a nice glass of wine or a cold beer. Here’s an impressive list of some of the evening’s dinner specials available for order on a recent weeknight: Braised short ribs of beef over rice, roast leg of lamb, grilled double cut pork chops with sautéed mushrooms and Marsala wine, seafood pesto with shrimp, scallops and a creamy Alfredo sauce enhanced with fragrant pesto. The chicken Tiffany was fantastic, gently sautéed with artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and white wine, served over pasta. Best of all, these nightly specials start at $12.95 and come with soup or salad and side dishes. Speaking of soup, the Court Square Diner’s hearty soups include lentil, chicken farfallini, French onion, Greek avgolemono, Yankee bean and more.

The Court Square Diner’s appetizers start your meal off right, or enjoy one or two of them as a late night or anytime snack. The classic “Disco fries” bring back memories of the 80s classic munch-out of golden, crispy fries smothered in melted cheese and gravy on the side. Today, baked stuffed clams taste just right with their flavorful breadcrumbs, as do the jumbo Buffalo wings with tangy sauce. The quesadillas are perfect for sharing, filled with jack cheese and chicken served with fresh guacamole, salsa and sour cream ($9.95). Fried calamari are golden and crisp, served with marinara sauce. I always start with a gigantic hunk of the Court Square’s ‘spanakopita’ or spinach pie, which is replete with lots of fresh spinach and a subtle amount of feta cheese, making this clean and crisp, not greasy or salty like some others. The classic Greek salad is a must, with crunchy cucumbers, olives and wedges of creamy feta cheese. Try the stuffed grape leaves too.

Start your day off right with breakfast at Court Square Diner, where the eggs are whisked up into delicious omelets filled with spinach and feta cheese, ham, cheese and peppers and more. Order an egg sandwich to go or a toasted muffin or bagel with butter and you’ll be on your way in minutes with a cup of freshly brewed coffee in hand. Pancakes, French toast and Belgian waffles are available seven days a week, but there is an extra special brunch served on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 3pm. The 7 train is just outside, making this a convenient stop.

Come in for lunch as so many do or have your order delivered to your office. Give them your fax number and you’ll receive the daily specials and soups of the day. Enjoy their triple decker sandwiches with roasted turkey, chicken salad, roast beef and Swiss and more. Many of your favorite items can be piled into a delicious wrap, such as the chicken Caesar wrap with lettuce, tomato, Romaine lettuce and classic Caesar dressing. Hot open roast beef or sliced turkey sandwiches smothered in homemade gravy will keep you going until dinner. The Cuban sandwich rocks, layered with roasted pork, ham, melted Swiss and pickles. The classic Reuben is piled with lean corned beef, sauerkraut and melted Swiss cheese. How does a souvlaki sandwich sound, piled on with lettuce, tomato, onion and yogurt sauce? You can order souvlaki and gyro as a platter also, or try a juicy eight ounce burger topped with your favorite cheese. Crunchy salads such as the Caesar, Cobb, Greek or spinach salad can make a great lunch or dinner, especially when topped off with grilled chicken, shrimp, salmon or steak.

At the Court Square Diner you’ll find classic diner comfort food, sautéed specials, fresh fish of the day and more. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes, roast turkey dinner with stuffing and gravy, Virginia ham, and roast beef with sides speak to me especially in winter months. Sautéed specials include chicken Roma with broccoli, garlic and Romano cheese over pesto pasta. Shrimp a la Court takes jumbo shrimp sautéed with tomato, garlic and feta cheese over linguine ($15.45). Classic Italian specialties such as veal or chicken cutlet parmigiana, tortellini Alfredo and cheese ravioli offer everyone’s favorites.

The display cases boast all the homemade desserts at the Court Square Diner from mouth watering lemon meringue pie that stands a mile high, to seven-layer cake, strawberry shortcake, carrot cake, creamy rice pudding, black and white cookies and more. The muffins and bagels under glass set my sights on tomorrow morning’s breakfast.

Include a meal at the Court Square Diner when you visit MoMa PS 1 or any of the other galleries and shops in Long Island City. It’s right there at the Court Square train station so you can stop in on your way to or from work and enjoy a great breakfast, lunch or dinner, nightly specials, late night snack, a full bar, fast, friendly service, and weekend brunch. Check out what actors, art lovers, hipsters and locals already know; the Court Square Diner is the place to go for classic New York diner fare, great service and more.

45-30 23rd Street, Long Island City
718. 392. 1222


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