Saturday, November 24, 2012

Not egg-sactly your typical brunch

Scotch eggs at The Queens Kickshaw (pickled quail eggs in panko-crusted sweet potato over a garlic-leek confit)
The Queens Kickshaw | 40-17 Broadway, Astoria |

Only open for just over a year, The Queens Kickshaw has already swept the "best of" title in a variety of categories from several respected publications: the best mac & cheese (New York Magazine), the best coffeehouse (The Village Voice),  one of the best restaurants in New York (Details Magazine), the best grilled cheese (New York Daily News), the best hard cider (The Queens Beat), even the best pick-up spot in Western Queens (Boro Magazine).  So when the accolades are rolling in from every direction, what can you possibly do to crank it to the next level?  You launch a killer, one-of-a-kind, "egg-centric" brunch.

Until today, the only sunrise menu offering was this delicious cheese crisp toasted brioche with egg, ricotta, thyme, and maple hot sauce.  Though it remains on the daily menu alongside such grilled cheese favorites as the Gouda (with guava jam, pickled jalapenos, and black bean hummus), today a new brunch menu is unveiled, which will be served alongside an edited version of the regular menu on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  "We have wanted to do this for a very long time," smiles Ben Sandler (co-owner alongside wife, Jennifer Lim)... "this" meaning a "brunch menu of standard and exotic egg dishes with a twist."

Chef Youngsun Lee
"We've been working on this off and on since September, really..." explains Chef Youngsun Lee, whose credits include substantial kitchen time at the original Momofuku Noodle Bar, CraftBar, Blue Fin, and even two of his own endeavors, the Kimchi Taco Truck, as well as Persimmon in the East Village.  Juxtaposing his Korean heritage (he immigrated to Flushing at age 12) and culinary training, guests can expect some playful, inventive, quite sophisticated dishes on the new brunch menu--all the while maintaining a harmony with everything else that is TQK (the plates are all egg vegetarian.)  Here's a photo rundown of the new items you can expect to see on the brunch menu starting today (as well as the scotch eggs at the heading)...

The steamed Egg Custard balances the fine line between a "western version of chawanmushi and an eastern version of egg custard," explains Lee.  "Chawanmushi can be too light and thin sometimes, and western egg custard can sometimes be dense, so we tried to find a balance."  Soy milk and heavy cream add a surprising, consistent velveteen smoothness that maintains even as this dish cools.  Jeweled with red peppers, gruyere cheese, and a dollop of ricotta it makes for a perfect light, but exquisite brunch.

The Eggs & Miso Butter are the stuff of which dreams are made.  This dish is something I cannot easily describe, but will not soon forget.  Cranberry walnut toast serves as the pedestal for what can best be referred to as an umami benedict, which is blanketed with ribbons of luxurious miso butter, a glistening pair of Japanese-style cold poached eggs, and tangy mounds of pickled mustard seed "caviar".  The plate is runny, messy, and exceedingly satisfying.  By the time you master how to balance each component on a forkful, the plate is finished.  Though I attempted to show restraint as I sampled several egg dishes during my visit, this was the one that I absolutely had to devour in its entirety.

The Egg Salad is TQK's "nod to deli salads" explains Sandler, although those plastic containers never contained anything this good.  Served with homemade flatbread, the egg salad is made with both hard and medium boiled eggs, resulting in tiny orbs of glistening orange yolk adding a playful texture to the all-American classic.  Accompanying is a bowl of potato-beet salad tossed in a refreshing homemade lemon aioli.

And just wait 'til you get a bite of this french toast, a morning grilled cheese of perfectly custardy toasted brioche with a sweet and slightly tart hard cider pear compote, all crowned with a crisp, peppery chili frico adding crunch and a subtle kick.

TQK's twist on a sunnyside egg and home fries is this layered potato cake.  Wafer-thin gruyere scalloped potatoes are baked to golden, served alongside two eggs.  

Eggs with fingerlings and roasted vegetables will change seasonally with the market, but presently the dish is gorgeously prepared with tender balsamic glazed brussels sprouts.

What egg menu would be complete without an omelette?  TQK serves two beautiful renditions, a quattro formaggi (pictured) with gruyere, cheddar, manchego, ricotta, caramelized onions, and shallots--as well as a farmers market omelette with gruyere, red pepper, tomato, and shallots.

The other house favorites appearing on the brunch menu include the classic grilled cheese (above), the gouda, the egg & cheese sandwich, mac & cheese, the kitchen sink salad, and the orange caramel bread pudding.  New brunch cocktails range from a red pepper Michelada to a ginger shandy and sparkling cider sangria.

Congratulations to the entire TQK family on what is certain to soon be acclaimed as yet another best...

The Queens Kickshaw on Urbanspoon

No comments:

® All Rights Reserved by Bradley Hawks
© Copyright 2011 Bradley Hawks
All images & articles are the sole property of Bradley Hawks unless otherwise specified. Please email for permission to use.


Related Posts with Thumbnails