Hazelnut crusted salmon at 'Aperitif' in Queens

BAYSIDE, N.Y. (WABC) -- In "Neighborhood Eats" we're heading to a bistro in Queens.

They feature French cuisine in a Parisian setting.

"Aperitif" if located at 213-41 39th Avenue in Bayside.

"I feel like this belongs here, this is what's been missing here in my neighborhood," a customer said.

And so you'll find her often eating the escargot at "Aperitif". Wait escargot in Bayside? Mais oui!

"We took the inspiration from the French bistro, brasserie feel which is a casual eatery where you can get good quality food with a good ambiance at an everyday price," said Alex Huve, of "Aperitif".

If you can't tell from the accent, Alex Huve is from Paris, he runs "Aperitif". The food is at the hands of the owner, Chef Julio Velasquez. Julio owns four other restaurants. This is his newest and housed in an old movie theater.

"To see our customers from 10 years ago or even longer than that coming in from other restaurants where I have been a chef, that's what keeps you going," Chef Velasquez said.

He serves up the classics like steak frites, fondue, and creme brulee, but he makes sure the menu has broad appeal.

Customers won't let him take his hazelnut crusted salmon off the menu.

He brushes the salmon with mustard and coats one side with hazelnuts. It's quickly seared and finished in the oven.

It's served with an apple parsnip puree and spinach and rounded out with a horseradish sauce.

"It's a little elevated for this neighborhood I think. You get a lot of pizza places and bars out here, but this place, you could bring a date here and it's really nice," a customer said.

"There's something kind of classy about it and i wouldn't say that I expect that of this area, so it's kind of a nice little get away," another customer said.

"We come here humble, we are happy to be so well received by such a wonderful group of people. It's a beautiful neighborhood, it's been great," Huve said.

Hazelnut Crusted Salmon
With apple parsnip puree, sauteed spinach and horseradish sauce
Serves 4

4 8oz pieces of salmon (2lbs)
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
1T Dijon mustard
3 parsnips peeled and cut into small pieces
3 golden delicious apples peeled and cut into small pieces
1lb spinach
2T horseradish
2 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
2T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

For the apple parsnip puree:
Boil the chicken broth
Add the parsnip and apple to the chicken stock and cook until soft
Puree in blender

The sauteed spinach:
Heat a 10 inch frying pan
Add olive oil and spinach
Cook for 2 minutes season with salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:
In a small pot heat the heavy cream and horseradish and cook for 2 minutes

For the salmon:
Heat olive oil in a large saute pan.
Season the salmon
Brush the salmon with mustard and crust with hazelnuts
Sear the salmon for a few minutes on the crusted side and then flip and place in the oven at 350 for 4 minutes

Place the apple parsnip puree on plate first, then layer spinach over it
Top with salmon and drizzle with the sauce

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