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Mexican Chef Returns to Queens in High(er) Style

Benita Areola: giving Queens a second chance.Photo courtesy Luna de Juarez

A good chef thought long gone has (lucky for us) returned: Benita Areola is at a new Pan-Latino restaurant in Astoria called Luna de Juarez. Areola cooked at one of the better Mexican restaurants in Queens in recent years, the late Fiesta Mexicana, a no-frills BYOB favorite in Jackson Heights. (She also worked at a restaurant called Fiesta Mexicana in Mexico, where the name is less promising.) Her light and refined food is expected to surface again at Luna de Juarez, but look for a more ambitious menu, live music on weekends, and a liquor license. This venue sounds better and better.

Luna de Juarez, 25-98 Steinway St., nr. 28th Ave.; 718-274-4350.

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