In this edition: Astorians on Front Toward Enemy, Luludi Living Frames, and a good brunch place that’s “quaint without being too hipstery.” —Tracy Infield

Congratulations to all who received 5-star reviews on Yelp in the past few weeks:

Located in the old Canz-a-Citi space, Front Toward Enemy  (40-11 30th Ave) had a soft open 2/12 for friends and family and opened on Thursday, 2/13. If you’ll recall, conditions outdoors that evening were nasty. (Snow, rain, and crazy-deep crosswalk puddling…) But between the advance buzz and Astorians’ love of a good “handcrafted cocktail,” turnout was impressive—as have been most of the reviews on Yelp since then: seven 5-stars, 2 4-stars, and a single 2-star review. Three M. from LIC was there on opening night: “I knew it was going to be good when the manager asked me in out of the cold—before they had officially opened.” Opinions range on its ambiance, from “Folksy atmosphere with great relaxed music and a spectacular vibe” (Drew N., Manhattan) to “I’ll turn my front towards someplace less pretentious” (Elle H., Astoria). Three M thought it “hit a sweet spot between industrial, hip, and polished.”

Opinions also varied on Astorians.com. Philo-Junius, geowrld, and hikaruhana recommend it. HarrisB, confirming the ownership of FTE and Canz are one and the same, doesn’t seem to be buying it:  “The owners wanted to keep with the trend of outrageously priced Manhattan and Brooklyn-style hipsterdom. $12 cocktails, stupid name, pretentious in every way imaginable.”

See also: The We Heart Astoria review and a great background piece by Jeanmarie Evelly on DNAinfo, “Canz Gets New Life as Bar With Handcrafted Cocktails, Live Music.

Front Toward Enemy is on FacebookTwitterfoursquare, and Instagram / INK361.

Front Toward Enemy: Cozy? Or pretentious? Your call. Photo via INK361

Front Toward Enemy: Cozy? Or pretentious? Your call. Photo via INK361

Owner Dominic Stiller stopped by the C.B. 1 meeting this past Tuesday night to get the go-ahead for outdoor seating at Dutch Kills Centraal (38-40 29th St). This will come as good news to one February Yelper who loved the food and service, but felt the ventilation could use an upgrade. Another recent Yelper gave them a solid 4 stars: “The owners have a great feel for the neighborhood. The menu is always changing and keeps getting better… the perfect fit for the location.” Let’s ignore the 1-star review from the malcontent from L.A. He doesn’t seem to be the kind of guy you’d want share a communal table with, anyway.

Luludi Living Frames: (23-07 24th Ave) gets nothing but praise from Jaime B. of Astoria, who says they have “some of the prettiest floral arrangements I’ve ever seen” including “moss purses with flowers, tiny terrariums with small plants, bigger terrariums with bigger plants, and just all kinds of other cool arrangements.” (Bonus points for these items being “surprisingly easy to care for—even for renowned plant killers like me and my husband.”) Jaime also recommends “a terrarium class if you’re looking for a fun activity that lets you be creative and have something to take home.”

Lockwood: Lauren M. loves this "local gem." Photo via Lockwood's FB page

Lockwood: Lauren M. loves this “local gem.” Photo via Lockwood’s FB page

And yet more 5-stars… for Lockwood (32-15 33rd St) from Astorian Lauren M., who suggests checking it out monthly because “they change inventory and always have something new” … Enthaice Thai Kitchen (33-20 31st Ave) racked up eight 5-star reviews so far this month, and high praise from Anthony F. of Astoria: “This is it. Best Thai in NYC. And I’ve worked on 9th Ave And 45th Street”  … Enthaice’s neighbor, Milkflower (34-12 31st Ave) also had a good month, with five 5-star reviews and a nice 4-star from Professor T. of Astoria: “I love the simplicity of this place” … And another Astorian, Clayton M. recommends William Hallet (36-10 30th Ave) for brunch: “The place wasn’t crowded, our waitress was attentive, and the mimosa and coffee kept on coming and were delicious.” He also liked the atmosphere: “Quaint without being too hipstery.”

ASM