Diver Sea Scallop with tomato and shitake mushroom barley risotto
Bear Restaurant & Bar (12-14 31st Ave., Long Island City)
As I wrote for Grub Street last week, Bear is officially open in Long Island City, bringing New European cuisine just a few blocks from Long Island City's Socrates Sculpture Park. I am also pleased to share that my photographs of their fall dishes are featured on their website (checkout the cool slideshow on the homepage). While I recently held an exclusive interview and spent some quality one-on-one time with the entire Pogrebinsky family who run Bear, that story (with new images) will be featured shortly in BORO Magazine. Until then, here is my Grub Street article along with a few additional images.
The dining room is studded with Swarovski crystal chandeliers set into the walls, with Venetian-tiled floors, and a full-service granite-topped mosaic bar.
On the "New European" menu, consider the house appetizer, "3-Shot Vodka," a seasonally rotating trio of small bites served with a mini-carafe of vodka intended to jump-start the meal and whet the palate. "Bear Wings" are actually large duck wings served with an apple salad and blue cheese dipping sauce.
Another house dish features Long Island duck slow-roasted with a whole granny smith apple, served with sunflower-oil-seared potatoes. Cocktails, wines, and several obscure craft beers (including two from the Great Lakes brewery in Cleveland) make up the drinks selection.
Talk about "Bear"ing a resemblance: Bear is owned and run by the Pogrebinsky family
Executive chef Natasha Pogrebinsky comes most recently from the Castello Plan in Brooklyn, but has studied in a few of New York's top kitchens, including at Park Avenue Seasons and as an apprentice to Salumeria Rosi's Cesare Casella. While initially just serving dinner and an abbreviated late-night menu (2 a.m. weekdays; 4 a.m. weekends), Bear will eventually serve lunch and brunch as well. The full opening menu (featuring my photographs!) may be seen here.