PLAN DATE: THURS / APR. 4
Few people will be able to identify Georgia—the country—on a map. It sits sandwiched between Russia and Turkey, at the intersection of Europe and Asia, sharing tremendous mountains and dry wine-growing valleys. In Rego Park, there is Marani, an homage to kosher Georgian culinary tradition and to the diverse climates which characterize its lands. From blue-gray paint to extensive wood paneling along the walls, the restaurant feels like you’re in your uncle’s basement. The food carries the same warmth; try the ajapsandali—slow-cooked eggplant with peppers, tomatoes, and herbs—or bean pie. Every dish is flavorful and contains authentic herbs and spices native to Georgia. True to its name, (in Georgian, “Marani” means wine cellar) there is a great wine selection to choose from here, as well.
Afterward, experience a more traditionally American pastime—the diner. Dinerbar makes itself known from afar with its neon signage that feels reminiscent of what we once imagined the future would look like. For the most authentic diner experience, pull up to the bar and be transported to your favorite 90s television hangout (Peach Pit and Max fans will be pleased)—this time, with booze. Among a strong selection of homemade comfort food, there is an endless list of fun, boozy, diner-inspired drinks like spiked shakes and floats, as well as more modern—and less intensely indulgent—drinks, like the rose strawberry sangria. They even have a healthy libations section on the menu, so you can have your cucumber and vodka too.
Rego Park, Queens
Ethnic, Retro, Modern
97-26 63rd Road, Queens
idk tip: Marani also has a small dairy section in the basement, where they serve Khachapuri, a cheese-filled bread, and other Georgian dairy delights.
97-45 Queens Boulevard, Queens
idk tip: Come back for their daily “Boozy Brunch” from 10am-4pm Add $9 for a bloody mary, mimosa, screwdriver, Bellini.