2011-10-19 / Restaurant of the Week


Molly Blooms will instantly win you over with warm, Irish hospitality, a cozy interior, spacious outdoor garden and, of course, lots of wonderful beers, spirits and great food! The charming, loquacious, and civic-minded owner, Ciaran Staunton, opened Molly Blooms on St. Paddy’s Day to the delight of his adoring neighbors and friends in Sunnyside and beyond. This is his second venue, after much success at his Midtown Manhattan pub called “O’Neill’s”.

Molly Blooms, which is named for a character in a James Joyce novel, is the favorite of so many locals, including Lori, Paola, John and his daughter Sarah, who all come for the friendly atmosphere, warm greetings, and one of the few quiet, outdoor spaces in the neighborhood. The large patio was open in the summer, and is now covered and heated for all-weather enjoyment. Live Irish music is featured on Tuesday and Sunday nights from around 6pm. Molly Blooms is very family-friendly and I saw several couples with strollers, enjoying a night out in the garden. This is also an inclusive pub, so all are truly welcome here.

The staff is just great and they all made me feel at home. I arrived alone, but in a few minutes was surrounded by so many lovely people and engaged in lively conversation. Julianne, Stacey, Katrina and barmen John and Michael see to your every need and do it with a smile. They serve a perfectly poured Guinness, Smithwick’s or Stella from the taps with other beers coming from as far away as Chicago, Long Island and Brooklyn. A full bar provides for your favorite cocktail as well, and they have a nice selection of wines.

Besides all the merriment and spirits, Molly Blooms has a tidy menu with freshly prepared meals, made with quality ingredients, served hot. I couldn’t resist a platter of their meaty buffalo chicken wings, served with spicy sauce and bleu cheese sauce ($8). Nachos with all the trimmings are great for sharing, and can be eaten at the bar or at a table. Beefy mini burger ‘sliders’ are topped with a dab of chipotle spiced mayo for extra flavor ($8). Adults and kids alike will enjoy the chicken fingers, cut from fresh chicken breast, never frozen and breaded by hand. The accompanying French fries, also cut by hand, are some of the best around. I don’t know how they get them so crisp on the outside, yet tender in the middle, but I know that I couldn’t stop eating them.

Next I had to have the classic fish and chips, done to perfection here. First, they use a hefty fillet of supremely fresh cod and dip it into a secret batter with a touch of beer that renders the outside so light and crunchy. The fish inside is flaky and juicy and a dab of house made tartar sauce makes this the perfect lunch, dinner or snack, served with those excellent fries and a bottle of malt vinegar on the side. My new friend just next to me, ordered the night’s special chicken curry and deemed it “excellent”.

I don’t think you can get a half-pound, juicy burger made to order anywhere in New York for just $7, but Mollys makes a great one here. I tried the turkey burger on a recent visit and was really impressed with the quality and freshness of the meat, and the freshly baked, flaky brioche roll was a classy touch. Named for the author, the “Joyce’s Parisian ham and gruyere cheese sandwich” is a take on the classic Croque Monsieur, done very well here, on brown bread with Dijon mustard and your choice of fries or salad. “Leopold’s House Salad” is a healthy toss of greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, roasted peppers, fresh croutons and dressing, perfect for a light meal, with or without grilled chicken.

I love breakfast, especially when you can have it any time of day. Molly Blooms serves the full Irish breakfast each and every day, including two eggs, Irish bacon, sausages, white and black pudding, potato bread and grilled tomato for just $9. This is an ideal way to start the day, if you plan on building a new highway, or makes for a satisfying lunch or dinner. I heard a lot of praise for the brioche French toast with fresh fruit, something I’ll be back for. With cooler weather coming, McAnn’s traditional Irish oatmeal, or porridge, as it’s called, is a healthy warming start to your day. Even the desserts are nice here and include warm apple pie with vanilla ice cream, or the sinful chocolate fudge brownie served with ice cream and whipped cream. Mr. Staunton, a resident of Sunnyside, recently hosted a fundraising event for several charities and is the host of many special neighborhood events, private parties, and more. Molly Blooms is open seven days a week from 11am on weekdays and from 10am on weekends. The kitchen stays open during the week until 10pm and until midnight on the weekendsfor late night snacking. The bar stays open until the wee hour of 4am. Have a visit to their nicely done Web site for more photos, events and information. For a real neighborhood pub experience, complete with friendly staff and patrons, fine ales and good food, visit Molly Bloom’s in Sunnyside. Don’t forget the live music on Tuesdays and Sundays for some more Irish culture and charm. Slainte! (That means ‘cheers” in Gaelic.)

43-13 Queens Blvd.  Sunnyside


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