Astoria, Dessert, Food and Drink, Restaurants, Vegetarian and Vegan
May 22, 2015

The Queens Kickshaw Introduces Their Spring Menu

Best of Astoria winner The Queens Kickshaw always has something new and exciting to share, so the WHA team was delighted when they offered to treat us to a sampling (…)

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Best of Astoria winner The Queens Kickshaw always has something new and exciting to share, so the WHA team was delighted when they offered to treat us to a sampling of Chef Kenji’s new spring menu. In typical Kickshaw fashion, it features playful vegetables, creative vegetarian dishes, and a few surprises.

We started out with the Li Hing Mui Popcorn, which was dusted with cayenne pepper. The popcorn had a nice kick, without the spice being overwhelming. If I was just stopping at the Kickshaw for drinks, this would be a nice snack to munch on to complement a pint of beer.

A spicy & sweet start to the evening: Li Hing Mui Popcorn

A spicy & sweet start to the evening: Li Hing Mui Popcorn

 

We then dug into a selection of appetizers: Cider Cheese with Soft Pretzels, Fiddlehead Ferns with asparagus, and Shishito peppers. The peppers were a nice surprise: they were very sweet and crisp, and were served with a drizzling of a smoky sauce with sesame seeds.

Look how gorgeous those shishito peppers are!

Look how gorgeous those shishito peppers are!

 

The fiddlehead ferns and asparagus also presented vegetables in an imaginative way: they included a pomme puree and ramp butter, both of which played a vital part in the deliciousness of the dish. If you order it, be sure to use every bit of the ramp butter, as it really makes all the flavors shine.

All vegetables should be served with ramp butter.

All vegetables should be served with ramp butter.

The Cider Cheese with Soft Pretzels was my favorite of the three, featuring fluffy pretzels accompanied by a cheddar cream cheese. This would also be a great snack to complement beer, and I have a feeling I’ll be ordering this one quite a bit!

Soft pretzels and cheese: a match made in heaven.

Soft pretzels and cheese: a match made in heaven.

We then tried the Broccoli soup with carmelized onions, brioche croutons, and lemon oil. It was very smooth and satisfying. Anyone who claims to dislike broccoli should give this soup a try; it might change some minds!

Now THAT'S what I call a lovin' spoonful!

Now THAT’S what I call a lovin’ spoonful!

We were then presented with the Spring Pea Risotto, Manchego Grilled Cheese, and heirloom bean salad.

A trio of winning dishes: split pea risotto, manchego grilled cheese, and three bean salad.

A trio of winning dishes: split pea risotto, manchego grilled cheese, and three bean salad.

The Spring Pea Risotto was heavenly, very rich and comforting. It’s made with morel mushrooms, pickled ramps, and lemon oil. I normally stick to the reliable grilled cheese sandwiches when I visit the Queens Kickshaw, but this might change that! The Manchego grilled cheese is another winning sandwich among many. Served on herb focaccia, it had the perfect balance of cheese and vegetables. The freshness of the bean salad, which included champagne vinaigrette, goat cheese, and pistachios,  provided a great contrast to the richness of the previous dishes. After giving it a try, Meg commented that The Queens Kickshaw always does such a fantastic job with vegetables, and this menu item is an excellent example.

Then it was time for the desserts, which brought me to a harsh realization: I’ve been doing The Queens Kickshaw wrong this whole time. Of all the times I’ve been, I’ve never ordered dessert. BIG mistake. We were served the “HB&J” Bread Pudding, the Carrot Cake “Chia Pot,” and the Chocolate Pudding, which really deserves its own post.

The bread pudding featured a custard brioche, blueberry jam, and hazelnut butter. It was certainly different than any bread pudding I’ve ever had before, and in a great way. Adding this twist on peanut butter and jelly seemed both simple and brilliant at the same time, with fantastic results.

PB&J? Even better: HB&J!

PB&J? Even better: HB&J!

The carrot cake was served in a small flower pot (reminiscent of a Chia Pet) and was topped with a perfect cream cheese frosting and a sprinkling of pistachios. If you’re a carrot cake fan, you are in for a treat!

Carrot cake ch-ch-ch-chia pot!

Carrot cake ch-ch-ch-chia pot!

Saving the best for last, the chocolate pudding was my highlight of the evening. The chocolate and whipped cream were a match made in heaven, but what really put this dessert over the edge was the feuilletine, which was sprinkled over the top. It tasted like the sweet, crispy shell at the top of creme brulee, and now all I can try to make it myself!

This chocolate pudding is what dreams are made of.

This chocolate pudding is what dreams are made of.

 

We all left the dinner sufficiently stuffed, but happily satisfied after a spectacular meal. If you haven’t tried The Queens Kickshaw’s new spring menu yet, I highly suggest you get yourself a seat now. (But if you don’t, it just means more chocolate pudding for me!)

 

The Queens Kickshaw 40-17 Broadway Astoria.  (718) 777-0913 thequeenskickshaw.com Facebook Twitter Instagram

 

 

About Lindsay Goyette

Lindsay has been eating and drinking her way through Queens since 2011. A casting director by day and Astoria explorer by night, you can usually find her checking out live music, theatre, or the newest neighborhood spot to enjoy a craft beer.

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