A night full of taste (NFDP/not for dieting people)

Julian’s opened a new restaurant. And when Julian opens a new restaurant, you scheme, trade favors and chomp at the bit until you can go. Even if you live in Jersey and work in the Bronx for 60 hours a week, you find the time and the money to pay for three toll bridges, Throgs Neck (because we got lost) Verrazano, and Goethals (on the return drive), bump a too-slow-to-rise toll beam, aimlessly drive through the rain into Staten Island because the GPS is trying to be funny, and then arrive.

But when you arrive, the restorant is full of pleasant waiters, quick bartenders and a smiling Julian that loves nothing better than to create beautiful dishes and make you have a whole new relationship with fish. The Sangria is simply divine. And you do feel that you have arrived.

Being old friends with Julian, I am not suprised to see the happy faces of the patrons, and smell the heavenly dishes as they are coming from the kitchen. This guy is simply amazing. He is a strange breed, an Albo man who truly loves cooking, even if he graduated for business (Albanian mothers, you know), and he always does very strange things to the food that give it its finger-licking taste. He is a lot of fun to be around and he makes sure that everybody is taken care of. His wife is also very hospitable and quick to smile. I am confident his incoming little bundles of joy will be the luckiest kids in the world with a papa and mama like that.

“Beso” is so new it does not yet have a fully functional website (http://besonyc.com/), but that does not stop the patrons from filling it to the brim. It is his second venture, a Spanish Tapas place (the first in Staten Island, I’m told). “Bayou” (www.bayoustatenisland.com) is his first, a Cajun place, but with Julian you should always be prepared to eat food the way he intended it. Both restaurants are very nicely furnished, with enough artwork to convey the atmosphere, but thankfully lacking anything gaudy and screaming “look-at-me I am authentic” thingamajings. They are similar in that, and also in the complete satisfaction they bring to veteran gluttons like myself. (psst: a little birdie told me an Albanian place might be coming to the picture later this year. Please let it be so, please let it be so.)

I order the duck and it does not disappoint. It comes with aldente spinach pasta (how is that for ordering healthy), and I dig in.  From the grunts of my table companions, I assume their inner gluttons are in 7th heaven as well. We enjoy a lot of food and a lot of laughter and conversation, hogging Julian for almost the entire night. Of course we are the last to leave, right after the waiters and the busboys. However the ride home is easy and flies by, because now our stomachs are full and our minds are at peace. And I am proud to say, we do not hit anymore toll beams.So if you are in the area, do not miss either of these wonderful food experiences. 

 Beso Restaurant
“Fine Spanish Cuisine and Tapas Bar”
11 Schuyler St
Staten Island, NY 10301

Bayou Restaurant

“Cajun-Creole Heaven”

1072 Bay Street

Staten Island, NY 10305718-273-4383


16 thoughts on “A night full of taste (NFDP/not for dieting people)

  1. Ehhhh, Blete, Blete! You reminded me of that duck we had at that place, that time, with that other friend, you remember?

    E ç’na kujtove kohët e vjetra, tha…

  2. strangie, you know why i chose the duck… and next time you are in NY we’re going here.
    It is not hard to get to “Beso” just get the ferry and walk for a couple of blocks. A lot of people get the ferry too because they want to photograph the Statue of Liberty for free, now that the island has been closed.

  3. oh an albanian place opening up. I am awaiting it eagerly and of course green-eyed.

    I had heard about Julian from an other friend of his and somehow we have never made it to his place. Now I think we should given your reminder of his existence.

  4. self, ask Belle for astoria, she has it down pat. but if you are looking for a great italian place, go to DAZIES in Sunnyside, right under the #7 Train. yummy.
    there is a cuban restaurant in manhattan, which i absolutely adore, and a french restaurant (ask strangie) and an ethiopian restaurant, and a cute italian place, and a cheap nice japanese, and my lovely quiet indian place (oh boy, now you can see why i am broke)
    as for brooklyn, i love the little afgan-pakistani hole-in-the-wall places, because they really cook very well. went once to a russian restaurant on brighton beach, but was not very impressed with it.
    lol, i have to make a different entry for it.

  5. Blete,

    I know the indian restaurants in the east village, 2nd or 3rd Av., twentysmthing street. But, after I tried an indian restaurant in Pensilvania, I forgot them. I probably know the indian restaurant in Manhattan, is it smwhere around time square?

    I would love to try the cuban and the ethiopian one. I would apreciate it a lot if you could help me with their addresses.

    And I definitely will try Beso! 🙂

    Have a nice day and lots of thanks.

  6. honestly, i find a lot of places in the village do not justify the hype. too “atmospheric” and downright expensive for the young crowd is supposed to cater to. or maybe i haven’t been in the right places.
    Indian restaurant I like in manhattan: A little place called Bombay gardens on 7th ave between 23rd and 24th street, right off #1 train stop.
    the ethiopian one is called Meskerem on 47th street between 8 & 9 ave.
    the cuban one (Sunday brunches are the best deal because of unlimited Sangria refills) is called Calle Ocho and is on colombus ave, bet 82nd and 83rd street, right behind the natural history museum.

  7. Bee, i would love to try this new place, sounds like fun and good food. So, how was the duck? Was it better than the french restaurant where we ate when Strangie was here?

    p.s. Self, what kind of restaurants are you interested to eat in?

    Shoot me an email and i will tell you?

  8. Blete, ti kishe von ene ksaj nji warning “NFDP” – Not for diet prsoners… 😉 🙂

    Really cool descriptions there!!!


    PS correct this: because now are (=our?) stomachs are full

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