2017-09-20 / Restaurant of the Week

QUEENS BULLY

Queens Bully opened in July on the site of the former Baluchi’s Indian restaurant. This bohemian chic restaurant and bar is just what the Forest Hills neighborhood calls for; great cocktails, diverse menu, and a great vibe in a casual but hip setting. The name comes from a nickname for the “Boulevard” near where owner Rohan Aggarwal grew up. He and his partner Suraj Patel wanted to offer a casual eatery that reflects the cultural and culinary diversity of Queens. We all know that Queens is the most culturally diverse neighborhood on the planet, with more than 176 languages spoken. Well, those cultures come with their delectable cuisines and Queens Bully pays homage to some of them, with an emphasis on excellent barbecue. The original wood beam ceilings have been revealed and restored along with exposed brick, lending a cozy atmosphere. The lengthy, elegantly back-lit bar is beset with vintage stools, and the tables were made by hand from reclaimed wood. A lot of thought went into the creation of Queens Bully and it shows in the décor and especially in the food. Rohan and Suraj source their ingredients from local bakeries, fisheries and farmers. Meats are hormone-free so you can eat without remorse. Moreover, the service is so warm and friendly, you’ll feel at home here and families are very welcome.

We jumped right in, ordering some of their fabulous cocktails, such as “Birds and the Bees” made with batch bourbon, elderflower liqueur, lemon and honey, and the “Funky Introduction” based on fine tequila with peach liqueur, jalapeno, cilantro and lemon, which was very refreshing. Classic cocktails like the Sidecar and Mai Tai are also quite popular, along with a fine selection of reasonably priced wines and two dozen brands of beer.

Rohan had the chef prepare a variety of appetizers for us and we couldn’t have been more pleased with the handmade Naan pizzas, which nod to Queens’ Indian culture. These shareable pizzas are topped with arugula, mozzarella, grated parmesan, and balsamic vinegar or the Bully BBQ chicken Naan pizza topped with their famous BBQ chicken, red onion, and smoked gouda cheese. Next came the mac and cheese, served in a mini cast iron skillet ($10). I had never seen avocado fries and yet Queens Bully puts a crunchy batter on slices of buttery avocado and flash fries them and serves these crunchy, tender spears with sauces for dipping ($8). The Fresh Meadow Mussels are steamed with herbs and lots of garlic to be sopped up with fluffy Naan bread ($15). Corona corn elote nods to Queens’ Mexican community with kernels of sweet corn and queso fresco served in a skillet and irresistibly good. Italians get their due with a platter of buttery buratta mozzarella, flanked by juicy red and yellow tomatoes, drizzled with balsamic reduction. We cleansed our palates with a salad of kale and Brussel sprouts, served on chilled plates; a nice touch!

Queens Bully prides itself on preparing fine, barbecued meats and poultry, purchasing only sustainably-grown products where possible. They have their own smoker which lends a special flavor to their chicken, brisket, and ribs. Without question, you should order one of the Bully’s Butcher Block items, meant for sharing. The smoked half chicken is brushed with their own bourbon bbq sauce, served with slaw and corn bread. The Bayside brisket is simply delectable, and the baby back ribs need just a fork to coax the meat from the bone. Other entrees feature short rib tacos, shrimp and grits, and the Maspeth grilled rib-eye for those meat-and-potatoes folks.

Consider lunch at Queens Bully where you can dine on the Corona pulled pork sandwich, the Rockaway Beach shrimp burger topped with Old Bay cream on a brioche bun, the short rib grilled cheese sandwich, and the Bayside brisket sandwich. You’ll be served quickly so you can get back to work with a smile.

Desserts are just as fabulous as everything else so don’t leave without at least sharing one. The S’mores are great, the banana bread pudding is pure comfort, and the key lime pie is cool and creamy, served in a metal dish that comes from the freezer for extra coolness.

Queens Bully has a phenomenal Brunch menu served Saturdays and Sundays with lobster eggs Benedict, waffle and fruit platter with crème fraiche, kale and beet salad, artisanal Naan Pizza, Aloo Tikka burger, and their famous barbecued meats, to name just a few items.

Queens Bully is the perfect spot for a group birthday dinner or brunch, or any special event. Just write to the events specialists at events@queensbully.com and leave it all to the experts at Queens Bully. The E and F trains are just down the street so even your guests from Manhattan can get here easily and the R and M trains are a stroll away. Visit their website for mouth-watering photos of their dishes and the enticing atmosphere and vibe. I can’t wait to go back to Queens Bully and get “bullied” again!

113-30 Queens Boulevard
Forest Hills  718.520.8600

www.queensbully.com  #queensbully

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