William Hallet (36-10 30th Ave, Astoria, NY 11105)
It would appear as if God recently grabbed some epicurean wildflower wand and liberally sprinkled it over Astoria. From Queens Comfort to Pachanga Patterson, newly expanded Bare Burger to Eco Table and Queens Kickshaw, recent months have seen an explosion of new restaurants in the ever-expanding food scene that has become Astoria.
The next newcomer opening its doors at the end of June is William Hallet: An American Bistro & Bar. While dropping by Brooklyn Bagel today to satiate my newfound addiction to Wasabi Lox cream cheese on sesame bagel, my friends and I were offered a peek inside the new restaurant, where finishing touches are being added before the soft opening in a few weeks.
Named in honor of the settler of Astoria, the new restaurant combines the creative forces of the executive chefs of both Bistro 33 and Hell Gate Social, resulting in what promises to be an exciting menu. The manager explained the menu as "offering unique American dishes you can't find anywhere else in the neighborhood offered at a price point that is affordable and extremely comparable to other restaurants in the neighborhood." While I stole a sneak peek at the menu, I was told that nothing is official yet, as they continue to test dishes over the course of the next week. Eye-catchers included a duck sausage, a version of the classic Canadian cheese curd poutine, lobster rolls, and foie gras sliders with mission fig jam (again, none of these are confirmed--listed here only to represent the eclectic and promising forthcoming menu).
The owners, chefs, and staff who were present were genuinely excited to talk about their vision. The waitstaff comes from extremely qualified serving backgrounds, many from successful restaurants in Manhattan. From my initial impression, it seems that William Hallet is going to be a wonderful new addition to the neighborhood, open late nights to cater to the industry crowds returning to Astoria after their shifts. Please take advantage of the comments section to offer any other buzz you have heard as we eagerly await their opening! Welcome to the neighborhood, William Hallet!