2015-08-26 / Restaurant of the Week


O’Neill’s is a living, breathing part of Queens’ history, continuously owned and operated with loving care by the O’Neill Family since

1933. George O’Neill Sr. opened the “Plateau Tavern” in the quiet hamlet of Maspeth in 1933 serving beers and spirits to the locals until 1956 when George Jr. returned from the Army where he had been a cook, and turned the establishment into a fine, family restaurant. A devastating, 5-alarm fire destroyed O’Neill’S in 2011 and it had to close for two-and-a-half years. Just like a phoenix rising from the ashes, O’Neill’S reopened with its loyal clientele waiting to get in and enjoy more of the delicious food they had come to love. Indeed with exceptional steaks and chops, seafood and raw bar, hefty burgers and more, a trip to O’Neill’S should be in your future.

O’Neill’S remains a family affair with George’s hobnobbing, and daughters Deirdre and Tara, and son-in-law Danny running the show. You’ll be warmly welcomed as you make your way to the central, racetrack bar with dining rooms on either side. O’Neill’S specializes in private events for up to 160 people for showers, corporate and union dinners, graduations, and weddings. The cozy, fireplace dining room crackles with charm and piano music Friday and Saturday nights this Fall.

We settled into some cocktails from the bar including Mojitos and Margaritas while Deirdre walked us through the menu and their most popular dishes. The bar crowd loves their 17 varieties of wings, voted the Best by Citi Field’s judgment. We started straight away with one of the best Maryland crab cakes ever, replete with fresh lump crab meat, seafood seasoning and barely any bread, except the light coating that pan fries until crisp and golden. The remoulade sauce that accompanies it has the perfect bite for the sweet crab meat ($14). How about a dozen Little Neck clams or Blue Point Oysters with an icy cold beer? We were presented with an enormous platter of crispy, golden fried calamari with spicy Buffalo sauce and marinara sauce on the side. It is an understatement to say that their appetizers can be shared…wait until you see the portions! O’Neill’S shrimp casserole, Applewood bacon roasted in honey, and coconut shrimp also make great starters. The soup of the day might very well be Manhattan clam chowder or lobster bisque on the weekends.

Now for the star of the show, Deirdre recommended the Porterhouse for 2, which is even enough for 3, aged 30 days and cooked to perfection and served on a hot platter with all its sizzling juices. O’Neill’S Porterhouse is 42 ounces of buttah! The flavor and texture rival the ‘other’ steakhouses you may know. Their homemade steak sauce is uniquely textured and seasoned and is unlike the other sweet varieties you usually find. The Porterhouse comes with creamed spinach, golden onion rings and their cast iron skillet hash brown potatoes that are just addictive. The weekend offers Queen-cut prime rib of beef and my mouth waters just thinking about it. For one person, the 16-ounce ribeye can’t be beat and don’t forget the center cut pork chops and prime lamb chops that melt in your mouth.

Even those who eschew red meat will find roasted garlic chicken, chicken piccata and pasta dishes of the day such as fusilli primavera with vegetables. The burgers fly off the grill to serve the bar crowd and dining rooms with O’Neill’S classic being the favorite, topped with sautéed mushrooms, onions, three cheeses and smoky bacon. Fries, lettuce, tomato and pickle rest on the side of this generous burger. There’s even a Kids’ Menu for just $7 so the whole family can enjoy a meal together.

We have private rooms available for parties. Perfect for weddings, baby and bridal showers and birthday celebrations. Complimentary cake for all occasions. For all showers we have a wishing well and chair for our guest of honor.  We have private rooms available for parties. Perfect for weddings, baby and bridal showers and birthday celebrations. Complimentary cake for all occasions. For all showers we have a wishing well and chair for our guest of honor. Save room for dessert because the ice cream Bocce ball is made from creamy, quality ice cream dipped in a chocolate shell. There’s also cheese cake, warm apple tart with ice cream and toasted homemade pound cake. Coffee and after dinner cordials end the perfect meal.

For the best steaks in Queens, sports at the bar, and private rooms for all life’s occasions, O’Neill’S is your home in the heart of Maspeth. Visit their website for the whole history, photos, and menus. O’Neill’S is a cut above!

64-21 53rd Drive, Maspeth


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