Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack ... and then add dumplings.
You can focus on Flushing and Astoria, or neighborhoods off the Cross Island Parkway, for a lineup big on variety, with a few heavy hitters, too.
Arturo's. 246-04 Jericho Tpke., Bellerose; 516-352-7418. The veteran Italian restaurant is consistent as can be. Go for the multi-tiered torta primavera, crepes layered with vegetables, cheeses and meats; the stuffed artichoke; striped bass Livornese; lobster fra diavolo; steak alla pizzaiola; and the foamy zabaglione for two.
Christos Steak House. 41-08 23rd Ave., Astoria; 718-777-8400. Celebrate a win at this protein palace. The porterhouse and strip steaks are first-class, along with steamed lobster and Greek appetizers, including grilled shrimp, grilled octopus, shrimp dolmades and those savory spreads. Greek cheesecake with honey, lemon cake and banana-cream pudding are the closers.
Green Papaya. 38-04 Prince St., Flushing; 718-353-1888. This Thai storefront has more heat than a big-league fastball. It's a casual eatery that fills fast. Some of the winning dishes are larb, a lively salad with pork; and curry beef stew, which has the sting of a line drive.
Kum Gang San. 138-28 Northern Blvd., Flushing; 718-461-0909. Day game, night game, extra innings - it makes no difference at Kum Gang San. The Korean restaurant is open 24/7. They've added Japanese dishes, but the main course is Seoul food, from the short-rib barbecue to a spicy cod casserole.
Sweet-n-Tart Cafe. 136-11 38th Ave., Flushing; 718-661-3380. Dim sum, lo mein and pan-fried noodles, congee, and Hong Kong-style snacks highlight the savory Sweet-n-Tart Cafe, which goes from the familiar to the exotic. Fine Shanghai-style pork dumplings, steamed roast pork buns, salt-baked pork ribs, Chinese sausage and taro casserole, scallion pancakes, clams in black bean sauce, chow fun. And tong shui - tonic combos to brace you for October.