Sands of Persia Brings Elegant Desserts and Shisha to Astoria


Sands of Persia

There’s no shortage of hookah or shisha bars in Queens, but this new one, which is also a dessert destination, ramps up the luxury. It’s owned by Abhi Malhotra, who founded King Luxe Club in Westbury, N.Y., for high-end car collectors like himself, and Salil Mehta, the chef and owner of Wau, Laut and Singapura in Manhattan. Sleekly modern yet fitted with plush banquettes indoors, and additional outdoor heated seating, it offers more than 30 shisha flavors and a variety of smoking devices. A nonalcoholic drinks list includes teas and coffees, featuring Turkish coffee brewed over hot sand. Mr. Mehta’s desserts are elaborate: a yuzu cake with finger limes, meringue and orange mousse; Turkish sand coffee affogato with gold leaf; a baklava cone with pistachios and soft serve; and a sizzling brownie with soft serve. Savory plates like hummus with crudités are also available. This year, the partners will also open a three-story outpost in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, with branches in London and New Delhi to follow.

25-01 Steinway Street (25th Avenue), Astoria, Queens, 718-306-6767,


Newark Local Beer

Before Prohibition, Newark was the home of more than two dozen breweries. And even after Prohibition’s repeal in 1933, there were popular brands like Ballantine and Pabst. In recent years, it was down to only one major brewery, the behemoth Anheuser-Busch. Now Stephen and Miller Hughes are challenging that hegemony with a craft brewery and taproom in a 1920s building. Mr. Hughes, a home brewer who worked in a microbrewery— Ms. Hughes, who is helping to manage the brewery, works with neurodiverse students — is overseeing the production of a number of beers, including kolsches, saisons and I.P.A.s, served on premises and available for growlers. The taproom, done in a bare-bones industrial style, doesn’t serve food because their craft brewery license does not permit it, but customers can bring their own. There are games like table tennis and foosball.

540 Broad Street (Lombardy Street), 973-856-2234,

Jing Fong

This dim sum palace, reportedly the largest in Manhattan’s Chinatown, which closed last year, has reopened in another location, considerably reduced in size, down to 125 seats from 800. The Upper West Side branch remains open.

202 Centre Street (Hester Street), 212-964-5256,

Sobre Masa Tortilleria

Back in October, when Zack and Diana Wangeman opened their taqueria and bar, which delivered the flavors of Oaxaca, they also said that a coffee bar and retail shop would be added. Those are now open with Oaxacan coffee, Mexican hot chocolate, pastries and assorted tamales to take away, and with grocery items like fresh tortillas, chips and salsas.

52 Harrison Place (Morgan Avenue), Bushwick, Brooklyn,

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