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Bellwether, New American Restaurant, Opening Soon on Vernon Boulevard

Photo by Ava Ranger

March 30, 2018  By Nathaly Pesantez

A restaurant focusing on New American fare is opening its doors soon in Long Island City.

Bellwether, the name of the new eatery, is located at 47-25 Vernon Blvd., and features a menu inspired by Mediterranean, North African and Asian cuisine, with an emphasis on using local and sustainably-sourced ingredients. The restaurant is set to open to the public on April 3.

The restaurant is owned by Matthew McCormick, a Long Island City resident for 10 years, and Preston Madson, known for serving as head chef of Freemans restaurant in the Lower East Side.

“We call the menu New American as it allows us to use an amalgam of different flavor profiles and ingredients,” Madson said.

Entrees in the seasonal menu include braised lamb neck, seared mushrooms, and the in-house Bellwether patty melt, while the starter section sees options like beef carpaccio and black bass. Grilled fava beans and parker house rolls are among some of the items in the snack section.

photo by Ethan Covey

The 60-seat restaurant also offers pastries and a custom cocktail menu.

McCormick said he’s always considered opening a restaurant in Long Island City, where’s he’s also raising a family.

“With all of the change in our area, I still view Vernon Blvd as our neighborhood’s ‘Main Street’,” McCormick said. “It has the history, and the charm. It’s very accessible for locals, but also easy to reach from the city and outer boroughs via subway and ferry.  Unlike other heavily traveled roads in our area, Vernon Blvd still has a calming presence during morning and evening hours.”

The new restaurant is open for dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

The corner restaurant was the former site of Masso Restaurant, which closed in 2017 after being in the neighborhood for over a decade.

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menu looks interesting and the space looks clean and sleek. Excited to try out the place, though, like others, I’m a bit disappointed in the pricing- they will definitely need the “destination diners” from Manhattan, etc to stay alive as this isn’t an all the time kind of outing for most people’s budgets, but Maiella is surviving just fine, so they should too!
Looking forward to the opening!

Aunt Lyn

Good luck with this new and exciting venture Matt!! Hope to be able to visit and check out your new place soon!


Well, kind of was hoping for food that was slightly more approachable and stuff that I could identify. Not sure how a lamb neck will bring my family in for dinner. Looks to me like its more of a cut and paste job
A lot of similarities between the 2 especially with the flavor profiles and the way the menu reads. Heavy on a lot of ingredients that I have no clue about. Might as well call this cuisine “All over the place cuisine” or re name the restaurant the confusion cafe. Decor likes cold and sterile and not warm. Hopefully a car won’t drive through that big window like it did a while back ago. my .02


on what planet does that Jams menu look like bellweather’s? Sounds like you not only need to get out more, but might need to revisit your ability to read too. oh wait, i get it, they both have Olives and a NY Strip.


This looks like a good menu. Amazing to me that places post menus without prices. That’s pretty annoying.


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