Magazine article The New Yorker

Food & Drink

Magazine article The New Yorker

Food & Drink

Article excerpt

FOOD & DRINK

BAR TAB

Leaf Bar & Lounge

133-42 39th Ave., Flushing (718-865-8158)

"The vision, for me, is to make Flushing world-class," Helen Lee, the co-owner of this Queens cocktail lounge, said on a recent Thursday night. The rooftop bar, opened by Lee and her business partner Todd Leong last year, makes a compelling case for that dream: it's refined but comfortable (warm woods, flattering light) and disarmingly luxe. The parking lot below is an expensive game of Tetris played with Bentleys, Porsches, and MacLarens. ("Like the baby strollers?" Lee asked Leong. "Like the racecar ," he responded.) But around the corner soup dumplings at Nan Xiang are still $5.25. When pressed about the disparity, Lee asked, "Do you know the term fuerdai ?" Indeed, the neighborhood known for blue-collar Asian immigrants is making way for China's billionaire youth. (They could afford Park Avenue, Lee explained, but where would they go for hot pot? …

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