Astoria, Restaurants, Vegetarian and Vegan
Jul 28, 2014

We Previewed The Queens Kickshaw’s New Summer Menu Items

We were fortunate enough to be invited to taste a variety of new and newer dishes on the seasonal Summer menu at The Queens Kickshaw. And friends, we were not disappointed. (…)

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We were fortunate enough to be invited to taste a variety of new and newer dishes on the seasonal Summer menu at The Queens Kickshaw. And friends, we were not disappointed. Mackenzi and I ate salads, soups, sandwiches, dessert and more, and we think this is one of the Kickshaw’s best menus. It was also great to meet Kenji Hurlburt, the new Executive Chef there, who is creating some seriously good grub.

First, though, we were treated to this beautiful arrangement by nearby florist Petals & Roots. What a lovely accompaniment to the table! It was also a great subject with which to do some test photos.

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We also tried a cider by Wanderlust, from Oregon—unfortunately we have no photographic evidence, but it was delicious and very much what I was looking for in a cider—crisp, a bit sweet, and very refreshing. We both enjoyed it. Now on to the food!

The first few things that came out were a salad and a couple of chilled soups.

Baby Kale Salad

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This was essentially the salad they served us at the Cider Dinner last month. It contained two kinds of kale, sourced from Brooklyn Grange and Upstate Farms, toasted hazelnuts, apple, lemon-parm vinaigrette and a tiny bit of marmalade on the bottom of the plate. I am a sucker for kale salads and this one did not disappoint. I loved the earthiness of the kale paired with the sharpness of the apple and vinaigrette, and the nuttiness of the hazelnuts. A winner in my book.

Chilled Corn Soup

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Gazpacho

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I am not really a fan of cold soups, so neither this one nor the gazpacho below are really my style, but boy were they tasty. I couldn’t choose which one I liked better. The Corn Soup was smooth, rich, and sweet, with a distinctive roast corn flavor, though I would have loved a more pronounced chili oil flavor. The gazpacho, on the other hand, was smooth yet contained more high, acidic notes from the tomatoes and peppers. I loved the avocado element, too.

Watermelon Salad

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Now, if I sounded wishy-washy about the soups, never fear—I’m totally committed to this watermelon salad. It was amazing! Like summer on a plate—red and yellow watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, olives, and feta. The combination of sweet and salty was delectable, and all the textures where combined in a light, satisfying dish. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Next we were sent a couple of vegetable dishes and some queso (back on the menu!).

Roasted Yellow and Green Wax Beans

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I love wax beans, so I was anticipating liking this, and I sure did! It’s treated like the asparagus that recently departed the menu, topped with a mustard bechamel and garlic chips. Hard to deny these are some tasty veggies.

Marble Potato Salad

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Baby potatoes are adorable, and these are that and then some. There are two different colored potatoes, a bright green herb pistou that is a flavor bomb in and of itself, pickled onions, hard boiled eggs, a kind of white sauce (I can’t remember if it’s yogurt or aioli—my guess would be the later), and fun crispy shallots on top. Really good stuff here.

Vegetable Friends—Beans and Potatoes

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Gluten-Free Queso

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This disappeared off the menu for a while, and they decided to bring it back, revamping it in a way to make it gluten-free by using GF beer. The chips are made by Tortilleria Nixtamal in Corona, which are fried in oil that is separate from gluteny things. So this is a fantastic option for the GF friend in your life, even if that’s you. I loved how creamy and a little spicy it was, and the Nixtamal chips are substantial, as always.

Then they brought out a couple of sandwiches for us to try—one was brand new and one was an restructured sandwich.

Tomato Burrata Sandwich

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This is new but has been in circulation for a little while on the menu. I loved it, but that’s in part because burrata is one of my favorite cheeses. It really adds something special to this sandwich that would more often be made with simple mozzarella. The yellow tomato was a nice adition, too, as is the bright herb pistou, and the foccaccia bread they use goes perfectly with it. This is officially my favorite sandwich on the menu (sorry, Gouda).

Gruyere Sandwich

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The contents of this sandwich include caramelized onions, cornichon, pickled red onion, and of course, the gruyere cheese. It’s quite rich, but so tasty that you just don’t want to stop. I liked how there was a sort of delightful chewyness to it. I think the revision is quite good.

Both sandwiches came with this yummy salad, too:

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Out came the entree dishes.

Ricotta Gnocchi

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Gnocchi has a notorious reputation for being heavy, but these did not even come close. I liked how soft and light they were. The sturdier vegetables were a good foil to the gnocchi, and I also liked the addition of huitlacoche, a sort of mushroom that grows on corn. This is a nice summery main course.

Summer Pot Pie

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I liked the savoriness of the filling, as well as the puff pastry, but I was so warm that afternoon I couldn’t fully enjoy the pot pie. I think I would prefer to eat this in the early fall.

Finally, dessert!

Chocolate Pudding

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Berry Cobbler

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Bread Pudding

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Of the three desserts, by far I enjoyed the chocolate pudding. I knew what I was getting into, having tried it back in June when TQK was at Socrates Sculpture Park. It was even better! I love the addition of corn flakes to the generous amount of whipped cream. This is a seriously good version of chocolate pudding and I’m so glad it’s on the menu. I also liked the berry cobbler quite a bit—the tart berries and sweet streusel topping is the sort of combo that has my number. I was least interested in the bread pudding, but I know there will be many who really like it.

So there you go. The new menu goes into full effect today, so head on over and enjoy some delicious food at The Queens Kickshaw!

The Queens Kickshaw, 40-17 Broadway, Astoria, NY 11103, (718) 777-0913, thequeenskickshaw.com

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

2 Comments

Mid-Summer Update | Harmonious Belly

[…] eating a lot of vegetables from my CSA, which is in full swing now. Recent restaurant trips include The Queens Kickshaw, where I tried their new fabulous Summer menu (see the watermelon salad above); Spicy Lanka, a Sri […]

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Dee

Be careful if you have any dietary restrictions! I went there with friends this Sunday afternoon after reviewing their menu online and deciding it would be a great place to dine. Unfortunately they were serving a different menu (Brunch Menu) and there was absolutely nothing I could eat on the menu due to food allergies. I was not allowed to order off their regular lunch menu. My friends and I had to leave and find another place to dine. This whole experience left a very bad taste in my mouth….

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