Pier 26 Review

by Frayda
fish tacos with salsa and avocado and microgreens at Pier 26 Queens

Pier 26 is an elegant dairy restaurant, located in Queens. The Kosher Cactus visited in September of 2021. This review was written in September of 2021. 

Where  is Pier 26 located?

exterior of pier 26 queens
Bright and inviting- Pier 26 of Queens

Pier 26 is at 69-26 Main Street, in Flushing, Queens. The restaurant is between 69th Street and Jewel Avenue. 

The easiest way to get there is to drive, and although spots are scarce on Main Street, you can easily find parking on the surrounding residential streets. 

If you’d rather take public transport, the Q64, Q20A, and Q20B are all within easy walking distance of the restaurant. 

Unfortunately, this area of queens is bypassed entirely by the NYC subway system. (What is up with that?)

What time is Pier 26 open?

They are open from 5PM – 11PM, Sunday through Thursday. The restaurant is closed on Fridays and Saturdays. On Saturdays in the winter, Pier 26 will be open from 9PM.

What is the vibe at Pier 26?

mushrooms with soy and spices at pier 26
A great side dish or a delicious starter: Roasted Mushroom

Pier 26 is a fine-dining dairy restaurant that opened (literally!) about a month ago. The head chef, Uri Elbaum, really runs the entire space and the kitchen, and all of the mouthwatering dishes are his own creations.

The space is open, and fun, and the staff were absolutely fantastic. There was upbeat music, and great ambience, and although they don’t have a liquor licence just yet, I’m sure whenever it comes, the restaurant will only get more exciting. 

Do I need to make a reservation?

Yes! Pier 26 has been hustling and bustling since they opened, so you should definitely reserve before you visit. You can call, or google-search to make your booking. 

What kind of food do they serve at Pier 26?

For now, (like I mentioned, this place opened less than a month before we visited!) the menu is fairly small. To be honest, I prefer that- it gives the chefs a chance to really, really perfect each item.

The menu is mostly fish, which is selected fresh daily from the markets (no delivery service for this place!) and house-made-pasta dishes. Right now, the menu has some incredible starters, like Provoletta and a Cheese Sambusak. There are fish mains, like the Big Fisherman, and cheese mains, like Caico E Pepe. There are also salads, and a few dessert options. 

What is on the menu at Pier 26?

fish tacos with salsa and avocado microgreens at pier 26
The freshest Fish Tacos you ever did sea. (Geddit??)

When he came to take our order, the waiter gave us house bread and butter, which were a fantastic duo. The bread was warm, and the butter was garlicy, salty and delicious. It makes for a great starter while you wait for your food- and we were hungry!

These are some of the dishes that we loved:

Cheese Sambusak. It’s a little savory cheese pastry (like a samosa), stuffed with cheese and caramelized onions. There’s a chimichurri sauce on the side, which cuts through the richness of the cheese perfectly. 

Fish Tacos. First of all, this was the prettiest dish, by far. Full of vibrant colors and flavours, and it smelled fresh and looked so bright. The salsa was made of mango, avocado, cabbage and charred leeks, and tasted unbelievable. The fish and salsa was served on a soft corn taco, and topped with avocado slices and micro-greens.

Roasted Mushrooms. This is technically a side dish, but it totally fits as a starter, too. They arrived steaming hot, and tasted pretty good. 

Il Fenomeno. This dish is technically agnolotti (mini ravioli), but fenomeno means phenomenal in Italian, so… The pasta is filled with house made fig jam, ricotta cheese and walnuts, and set in a sauce of honey and red pepper. This was my first time ever tasting this combination of flavours, and honestly? It was really interesting. The dish was not as sweet as you’d think, even with the honey based sauce, and the nuts inside the pasta gave it a totally different texture than the standard ravioli. It was new, and surprising, and actually really well done. 

Cacio E Pepe. Although we did not order this, it would be remiss of me to leave this off the review; this dish is a show-stopper. The house-made fettuccine is prepared in the kitchens, doused liberally with garlic confit, and tossed in a flaming wheel of cheese, table-side. While the parmesan melts into the pasta, the chef cracks in some fresh black peppercorns. Even if you have seen the videos, there is nothing quite like the smell. The entire dish creates a sensory experience not to be missed. And the final product? Let’s just say, I gotta go back for this one. 

What else is on the menu?

pistachio sea bass, ratatouille,  red pepper sauce
Its called Lost In The Woods. Go find it.
  • Starters
  • Salads
  • Sides
  • Mains
  • Drinks
  • Desserts

What is the best dish at Pier 26?

According to our chef (who came personally to check on each table!), the best dish at the restaurant is Cacio E Pepe (read about that above), and a close second is the Big Fisherman.

The Big Fisherman is an entire fried red snapper, suspended on a giant ‘fishing’ pole. It’s served with a magnificent lobster sauce, battered and fried plantains, and a generous helping of purple cabbage slaw. The presentation is breathtaking, and the taste is unreal. 

How do I go off-menu at Pier 26?

creme brulee with pistachios and blueberries at pier 26
Creme Brulee, side view.

Watch this space! The restaurant is a little too new to be going off-menu just yet, but we will be sure to update this space at our next visit. 

What Hashgacha are they under?

Pier 26 is under the kosher supervision of the VHQ- Vaad Hakashrus of Queens. All food is Chalav Yisrael. 

Does Pier 26 serve drinks?

As well as a full coffee and tea menu, and the standard sodas, Pier 26 serves a small selection of virgin house-cocktails. Although we did not order any, some of them looked great, especially the Coconut Pina Colada, which was brought to the couple one table over. We ordered coffee, and it was just right. 

Currently (as of early Sep 2021), Pier 26 does not serve alcoholic drinks. They are hoping to have the licence within the next week or two, and will have a full bar, including alcoholic versions of their house-cocktails. 

Are there vegan/ vegetarian options on the menu?

raviolli with honey pepper sauce, nuts and ricotta filling
The phenomenal Il Phenomeno

Because the restaurant is dairy, Pier 26 is completely vegetarian.

The Julius Ceasar salad can be made without the pecorino shavings, and you can ask them to omit the poached egg from the Provoletta. In general though, most of the dishes contain either fish or cheese. 

Is Pier 26 kid-friendly?

I wouldn’t really recommend taking kids here. It’s not just that they don’t have high chairs (they don’t)- the space and the food are not really kid-friendly. This restaurant is more appropriate for a date-night, or a night out with friends. 

Is Pier 26 wheelchair accessible?

Of course! There are also 2 accessible restrooms in the restaurant. 

Does Pier 26 serve desserts?

chocolate bomb with chocolate fudge and brownie filling
Pouring hot fudge over The Enchanted Forest

Yes they do, and although there are just 4 options, each one is an absolute work of art.

We ordered the Enchanted Forest. It’s a chocolate sphere, set in a bed of bright green sponge cake. The waiter poured a little pitcher of hot salted caramel ganache, and the chocolate cracked open. Inside was a decadent peanut butter mousse. The presentation was impeccable, and the dish itself was very sweet, and absolutely delicious.

We also ordered the Bejamino Creme Brulee. The creme is set, and then topped with candied pistachios, blueberries and edible flowers. Perfectly done cream, and the top gave that satisfying crack when we broke it. 

Final Thoughts

This restaurant is really, really new. I loved the concept- mostly fish, some dairy dishes, good drinks, incredibly fast service.

There were a few technical glitches with some of the dishes- standard issues for a brand new restaurant. I’d love to re-visit in six months or so, and see how they have settled into their own groove.

Either way, it was a fun night out, and I’m so glad we went. For our meal of 4 apps, 2 mains, 2 desserts and coffees for each of us, we paid just over $250. 

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