A shabby (on the outside) diner in one of the least foot-traffic areas of Queens – although a 5 minutes ride on the 7 train to Grand Central Terminal – has become the food scene darling for the last year or so. At first opened for breakfast only, after a few months started doing lunch and for the last few months they do dinner Mondays through Thursdays. The menu is comfort food meets haute cuisine meets diner fare and the result is, I must say, delicious.
The chef is Hugue Dufour, a Quebecois who has the famous Montreal’s Au Pied de Cochon on his resume; he and his team of a few people pull an impressive few hours at dinner, when the small space is crowded beyond belief.
The menu (that changes often from what I hear) is printed and laminated as placemats. A word of warning: it’ll be hard to choose, everything sounds so good.
We were five people and ordered quite a few dishes. Missed pictures are the tureen that the soup comes in (it was more than enough for all), the butter chicken and a caesar salad.
The clam chowder is smokey, thick and delicious. The snails and bone marrow gave me goose bumps – the crunch of the breadcrumbs with the softness of the snails bathed in bone marrow is divine. The beau soleil oysters are delicate and maybe a bit overpowered by the coffee sabayon, but still very good. The beef tartare is one of the best I ever had and the braised octopus is smooth and tender. I didn’t try the caesar salad neither the tuna sashimi but I was told that they were very good, as well as the butter chicken.
For desert there was a huge and very good rendition of Paris Brest, again, shared.
And as I’m not happy at all with the pictures, I’ll have to go again – right?