New York, N.Y — December 2, 2013 Recently we completed some menus for My Kitchen in Queens, New York. We love long-term relationships and this is one such relationship. We are thrilled to have been able to work for this new restaurant in Queens and hope you enjoy reading about them!
By Euletha Dukes
For anyone yearning for a bit of home or nostalgia, there is no shortage of suitable establishments in this huge, bustling city — from restaurants that serve meals family-style to the local watering hole where happy hour turns into a late evening meet-and-greet. I found a place that makes me feel at home in Forest Hills, Queens. It’s a little gem of a restaurant with a big heart, called My Kitchen.
The brainchild of Dhanny and Giuseppe Palma, My Kitchen is a marriage of two cultures — Trinidadian and Italian — both of which are big on food and family. This is entirely appropriate, since these two people have had a long and happy marriage of their own, side-by-side with their business relationship.
With 40 years of combined experience in food service and catering, Dhanny and Giuseppe had a clear vision of what the next step would be: to invite us into their kitchen and share their love of food with us. Now a fixture on Metropolitan Avenue, My Kitchen is here to stay. With Dhanny as greeter, server and bartender and Giuseppe as chef, diners immediately sense that they are welcomed into a rare, intimate dining experience.
One glance at the menu, and I immediately picked up on their international flair. The Stewed Oxtail is paired with polenta instead of the traditional rice. Both flavorful and gluten-free? Yes, please, and thank you! One of Dhanny’s personal favorites is the Portobello Mushroom with Gorgonzola Cheese appetizer. You don’t see this combination very often, but get ready for some intense flavor when you try it! The earthy taste of the mushroom paired with the pungent cheese really gives it a wow factor. If there’s anything that keeps me coming back, it’s authenticity, and I think they’ve got it down to a science. Everything is tried and true, straight from their own home kitchen. The Angel Hair Pasta with Grilled Shrimp & Fresh Spinach in a Plum Tomato Sauce has been a hit since the day their daughter taste-tested it 18 years ago.
I couldn’t help but feel inspired by Dhanny’s enthusiasm for the local businesses and events that she and Giuseppe are proud to support. A local printer in Queens produces their menus and banners. They get their desserts from a local bakery, La Dolce. And this year they hosted their first family-style Thanksgiving meal event, where every table was complete with a turkey, stuffing and other traditional fixings.
But their versatility doesn’t end there. Catering, weddings, corporate events, even wine-pairing dinners at your own home — you name it, they can do it. One stand-out quality that they pride themselves on is that you can literally call up and order any item, and they’ll have it ready when you come in. Dhanny told me of a time when a client, visiting with his wife from the Phillipines, called them up looking for soft shell crabs. It isn’t on their regular menu, but they made it happen. In Dhanny’s words, “It’s really making our kitchen theirs.”
I walked home remembering that warm greeting and welcome by Dhanny when I first entered the restaurant, thinking of who I could bring with me next time and what dishes we should enjoy together. An experience such as this needs to be shared. To feel like one is at a home away from home is a rare feeling, and I think My Kitchen has mastered the art of capturing it. They invite us all to enjoy “the best seats at the chef’s table,” and I heartily accept that invitation.