Across the Queens border just north of Bushwick lies Ridgewood. The rhomboid-shaped neighborhood at the end of the M line is roughly bounded by Flushing Avenue on the west, Metropolitan Avenue on the north, the LIRR tracks to the east, and Myrtle Avenue to the South.
Home to the Mespachtes Indians centuries ago, it was farmed by Dutch settlers in the colonial era — of which the Onderdonk House on Flushing Avenue is a remnant — and eventually taken over by English settlers. They named it Ridgewood for its climbing elevation and thick stands of linden, red cedar, and beech, now largely gone.
Throughout the 20th century, it was, and still remains, one of Queens’ great working-class neighborhoods, home to Germans, Italians, Dominicans, former Yugoslavians, Chinese, Puerto Ricans, Romanians, and Poles, among others. This diversity persists, as a new generation of settlers, driven out of Williamsburg and Bushwick by high rents, crosses the border.
These days, it’s become the small neighborhood where almost anything is a short walk away, from elevated bar food to reasonably priced dinners to the latest, intensely-wrought version of New American. But what almost every new restaurant in the neighborhood seems to have in common is an interest in playing a part in an ongoing history, adding something that feels just a little different from what’s been there for decades. Here are some favorites.
Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.Read More