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October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
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Be An Elitist

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One always hopes to find that one restaurant or cafe that will become his or her go-to place: where the dishes are mouth-watering, the prices reasonable, and the ambiance relaxing and beautiful. We’ve found it.

No matter what time of day it is, and whether for a special occasion or simply to spend quality time with friends or family, Elite Café provides a wonderful dining experience filled with dishes that will soon become your favorites.

Elite Café’s excellent cuisine is chiefly Mediterranean and reminiscent of Israeli and even Italian home cooking, featuring a robust selection of wonderful salads, pastas, sandwiches, paninis and much, much more. Located on Main Street’s kosher shopping district in Queens, Elite Café is a convenient location not only for nearby folks in Queens but also for those a short drive away in the Five Towns, Brooklyn or Manhattan.

When we walked in, we were greeted by the warm and welcoming staff and immediately seated. We soon noticed how large the room was, which was very un-café like. The ambiance is tasteful, with earth-tone brick stones lining the interior walls, lending an outdoor feel, and whimsical, fun decor lining the walls, including creative artwork and food-inspired accents, the most memorable of which are a giant fork and spoon hanging on the wall. An elegant light source streaming from the center of the ceiling, catching the sun’s rays through its green and turquoise glass, creates a beautiful glow.

When we eyed the menu we were taken aback by the wide selection of dishes, and were surprised by how reasonably priced they all were, with main dishes varying from $9 to $14. Looking through the menu, we noticed the breakfast selection, available until 2 p.m., the kid’s meals, and also the entire side of the menu dedicated to sushi. We came in during lunchtime, so we glanced over to the main dishes and surveyed the huge selection of sandwiches, wraps, paninis, salads and pastas, with between 10 to 15 different dishes to choose from in each category, along with soup, pizza and fish dishes.

Once the warm bread basket came to the table, and we tasted the freshly baked warm whole wheat bread, we sensed we were in for a special treat. We first ordered some cold drinks: an iced cappuccino and frappuccino. The manager suggested we also order an iced crushed lemonana, a special concoction reminiscent of an Israeli-style drink. The iced coffee drinks were perfect, just as good as in any specialty coffee house. The frappaccino, a blended coffee drink, provided a rush of frothy, sweet and creamy coffee, and could have been a dessert. But the lemonana was something else. Never had we seen a green drink look so enticing. A twist on the classic lemonade, this drink is served with nana leaves which lend it its green color and give it a refreshing mint flavor. Its taste matched its appearance; it was delicious and also made for a great palate cleanser between dishes.

The salad offerings are particularly delightful for healthy eaters, who may order a salad as their entrée. The many varied salads included blends of toppings of fruits and veggies, cheeses and fish. There are selections even for those on the strictest diets.

We decided on three salads as appetizers: the sweet potato salad, asparagus salad and teriyaki salad, along with sushi. All three salads arrived is large portioned bowls and were beautifully arranged with toppings of different colors and textures. The sweet potato salad was served on a bed of greens, topped with fresh cherry tomatoes, corn, red onion, tiny croutons and cashews, which provided a nice crunch, dressed with fine Italian dressing, with stir-fried sesame coated sweet potato strips and feta cheese surrounding the vegetables.

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The lemonana was something else. Never had we seen a green drink look so enticing.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/food/restaurant-review/be-an-elitist/2014/07/24/

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