Perched just behind the famed “Long Island” gantries on the Queens waterfront is the neighborhood’s newest culinary addition, American Brass.
Slated for a public opening on March 4, the large-scale, 14,000 square foot restaurant intends to bring further culinary diversity to Long Island City, according to co-owner Robert Briskin — who’s also one of the minds behind nearby upscale Italian waterfront restaurant, Maiella.
He brought over Maiella’s executive chef, Raffaele Sonilas, to work on the American Brass menu, which has traces of both Italian and French accents within the mainly American cuisine.
Solinas’ extensive dish list also finds creative uses for barbecue sauce, such as using it in a dry rub for breadsticks, as well as a barbecue calamari house special.
Solinas also adds a special touch to more classic offerings, such as a relish-like spread on the juicy and dense American Brass burger — served with a thick side of potato wedge, hand cut fries and array of aiolis and other dipping sauces.
“I needed the fries to be thick for dipping them in the sauce,” Solinas said, explaining why certain dishes, like mussels, are served with wedge fries rather than shoestring style ones.
Solinas also made fun and creative menu selections such as the “fat pig charcuterie” arrangement, named for the swine-shaped board it’s served upon. He’s also concocted decadent doughnuts and other desserts that will more than likely bring out your inner child when you dig in.
In addition to his array of donuts, Solinas has also crafted an Oreo key lime pie that’s layered both top and bottom with “milk’s favorite cookie.”
“I’ve loved Oreos ever since I was a kid in Italy,” the chef explained, adding that many of his sweet tooth dishes can be ordered specifically for takeout.
On the more adult side of things, Briskin’s beer selection comes exclusively from Long Island City breweries. He’s also working on a collaborative, special edition beer with the LIC Beer Project to be sold at both American Brass and Maiella.
The restaurant’s spacious interior was designed by Briskin’s wife, Molly Elizabeth Briskin.
Her sense of style and setting gives diners a modern yet classic feel as they look upon the unobstructed Manhattan skyline view, which has multiple vantage points within the delightful confines of American Brass.
American Brass, 2-01 50th Ave., Long Island City, Open seven days a week with varying hours. Reservations taken online.