On an automobile dominated intersection in an automobile dominated part of Queens stands The Door, a restaurant in two parts. Cars are double-parking constantly to run into the takeout portion and pick up their orders, but a much calmer restaurant exists as well, some of the only upscale Jamaican food in the city. Jamaica, Queens has plenty of Caribbean food as well, but most of those you would not consider date spots, as they are usually just counters and sometimes have three or four tables.
The Door fills that gap though, a white tablecloth environment, waiters putting napkins in your laps, and professionalism all around. The prices are not stupid though, and you get a good amount of food for what you pay for, as each table is brought a basket of bread and each entree comes with soup or salad.
A mostly Caribbean crowd gives the place a tropical vibe, with island accents floating around amidst the tables, but it was really hard to get over the fact of eating Jamaican food in a fancy environment. There is however, a first time for everything.
The soup that was served on this visit was seafood soup (above), which had a nice kick and was good for dipping the dinner rolls and quelling your hunger. It arrives shortly after you sit down and get your drinks, of which the homemade fruit punch ($4.95) is a winner.
When it comes to standards, The Door is serving nice plates. The jerked chicken ($14.95, below) is tasty enough, with crispy skin but unfortunately seems wet inside. Not the positive kind of wet, not really juicy. The meat is good though, and for those not familiar with Peppa's, it could even do the trick. The really weird part was that the accompanying jerk sauce was so similar to BBQ sauce that I would not have known better if it were served with a brisket at a smokehouse. It is also just really weird not to be using your hands when eating jerk chicken, but I could not get up the nerve to pick up those pieces in this environment.
A better option is the curried goat ($15.95, below), which has a nice brown curry and has a medium-level spice to it. The pieces, most of which are still on the bone, are very tender.
Entrees come with rice or mashed potatoes, and in my opinion go better with the rice as this is always good for soaking up any stranded juices.
163-07 Baisley Boulevard, Queens, NY