10/27/16 Update from the Bitches: This restaurant is now closed.
In my nearly three years living in New York City, I’ve sadly only made it out to Long Island City once for a daytime adventure at MoMa PS1 Warm Up, which I highly recommend to shake up your weekends in the city. It seems so far away, when it’s really only one subway stop from Grand Central on the 7.
I was recently invited to brunch at Station LIC and I’m willing to travel for the promise of a great meal. It was a piece of cake getting to Long Island City from Manhattan and I was frankly a bit embarrassed that my misconception of the trek had previously deterred me from exploring this cool pocket of Queens.
Station LIC is located an easy two or three blocks from the Vernon Blvd stop and I immediately was drawn to its inviting, industrial chic ambiance and interesting artwork. Jen, Station LIC’s PR gal, and I met at 1 p.m, basically brunch primetime, and pretty much had the restaurant to ourselves. Throughout the course of the meal, a few other diners joined us, a few of which hung out at the bar for pre-PS1 cocktails.
Jen and I were just getting acquainted so naturally brunch cocktails were in order. Station LIC has an impressive selection of cocktails beyond your average mimosa or Bloody Mary so it was hard to just pick one (or two…or three…).
I started with Giovanni’s bellini, made with bubbles, apricot, and fesh thyme. I easily gulped down this refreshing cocktail; it was light, fresh, and not too sugary, which can be the kiss of death during day drinking.
Jen’s a Bloody Mary fan and had a tough time choosing between the numerous takes on the classic brunch cocktail. Ultimately she went with the caioca per our amiable server’s recommendation. I don’t really care for Bloodys, but this particular cocktail is perfect for those who don’t normally like Bloody Marys. The passion fruit mix lightens up the drink and wasn’t too tomato-forward so I found it extremely palatable.
For our second round, I stuck with bubbles, but Jen ventured out with the Kitchen Sink Bloody. It’s Station’s classic Bloody recipe with housemade mix and Tito’s vodka, but is topped with an extravagant garnish of poached shrimp, bacon, pickles, radishes, celery, tomatoes, and blue cheese olives.
The garnish was fun to munch on and Jen enjoyed the Bloody mix. However, we both preferred the sweeter taste of her first cocktail.
For the sake of journalism, we felt obligated to order a few brunch entrees to split. Tough life, right? Station’s menu is vast – nearly items to choose between – and American-focused.
I’ve been on a smoked salmon kick so I knew I had to try the smoked salmon hash. This dish was a whimsical, deconstructed take on iconic bagels and lox. Poached eggs were served atop flavorful potatoes, homemade bagel chips, dill yogurt, and three large pieces of fish.
I appreciated that this dish wasn’t as carb heavy as its inspiration so we wouldn’t fill up on bread. The bagel chips were tough to cut into so we basically discarded them, but we really enjoyed the combination of eggs, salmon, potatoes, and the cool dill yogurt.
We also ordered the chicken and waffles, which was a daily special on the menu. This was one of most interesting presentation of chicken and waffles that I’ve ever experienced as the fried chicken was layered between ham and fried eggs.
This was actually Jen’s first time trying chicken and waffles and she gave it rave reviews. The chicken was perfectly cooked and the waffle was nice and fluffy, but I found the layer of ham a bit unnecessary.
Finally, we rounded out our feast with crème brulee French toast served with grand marnier, raw sugar, and blueberry compote. This dish was absolutely decadent and humongous; our fellow diners craned their necks in amazement when they watched it emerge from the kitchen. This brunch dessert was so rich and creamy that it didn’t require any syrup, but we could barely muster more than a few bites. This would be a bold entree choice, but it was the perfect way to end the meal on a sweet note shared with a group.
The Bitches say: B+. Creative cocktails and brunch entrees in an up-and-coming neighborhood. Definitely stop by if you’re in the area.
10-37 Jackson Ave
Long Island City, NY
Station LIC serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays beginning at 11 a.m.