108-25 Ascan Avenue
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 261-6599

There were a number of reasons I picked Forest Hills when I moved from Manhattan. First, the price. Second, the express subways (having the LIRR as a rainy-day back-up's nice, too). Third, the Banana Republic and the Barnes & Noble. Fourth, the Starbuckses. And of course, fourth, the numerous restaurants that weren't all Greek.

Although there are many restaurants here, and many good ones, there are only about a half-dozen or so which are truly great and could entice a Manhattanite down from his hill. Q is in that shortlist.

Whenever friends visit me, especially if they don't drive, I push Q as a dining option. It's hard enough getting people to travel here, so when they come, I want them to want to return. The only downside to Q is that it's one of the more expensive, if not the most expensive, Forest Hills haunts.

Q calls itself Thai, and it's certainly pretty close. But if you want real Thai, I'd head west down Austin Street until you find Bann Thai. Q is more European-influenced. And that's good. Anyone who thinks that they'll be getting the sort of food here that will remind them of their year teaching English in Bangkok after college while trying to figure what to do with their life will be sorely disappointed.

The walls of Q are far from empty. Photos of famous customers and magazine reviews line the front, followed by a massive Twister board mounted to the wall (I have no idea what the significance of the twister board is, but it clearly influenced their business card). Palm trees with green mini-bulbs, jazz music, dim mood lighting, and ceiling fans a la Raiders of the Lost Ark set the atmosphere. Spies could eat here. In the back is the open kitchen where you can watch the chefs prepare your food and occasionally distract you as huge explosions of orange flame burst from their pans.

Day One:
Bro wasn't very hungry and neither was I, but we wanted something and we wanted that something out of our respective apartments. We figured on Q as a good option since it's only a ten minute walk away. At this time, a Sunday at 8:45 PM, there was almost no one there. A few people at the bar and a couple of couples in the back. We sat by the window so I could get a good camera angle and I ordered a glass of pinot grigio.

Since we weren't very hungry, we only ordered one thing each. Bro got the Steamed Dumpling appetizer. It was large enough to be a teeny meal in and of itself and came with a little side salad. Bro liked it but I didn't get to try it. It seemed like a jerk move to grab a bit of someone's food when all they got was an appetizer.

I chose the Chicken Pad Si Eau, a stir fried noodle dish, very similar to drunken noodles crossed with pad thai. At first, for some reason, I wasn't impressed. But after a few bites it grew on me. Next thing I know, I looked down and I'm rubbing the sauce up with my finger. "You missed a noodle," Bro was kind enough to point out. Not anymore, says I as I ate it. I'm getting this again.

We decided to get dessert and coffees. I neglected to write down the names of the desserts and can't find the dessert menu online, but if you take a look-see at the photo I can point things out. I got the the chocolate cake dessert on top. It's ultra-super-rich. A chocolate-lovers dream come true. And Bro picked the lower one, which looks like cheesecake, but is actually a tropical fruit tart. Like a key lime pie with passion fruit and mango instead. It tasted like a fruity explosion. Negative dessert comment: I ordered a refill on my coffee, and got charged a second time. I mean seriously, who does that?

This meal, which was pretty small, an appetizer, an entree, a glass of wine, three coffees, and two desserts, plus tax and tip, broke the bank at $65.19.

Day Two:
A few days later, I got off work late and got a call from Bro. He was heading back from Manhattan and wanted to know if I was up for grabbing dinner. I suggested another round at Q, and we agreed to meet up. I hoped the kitchen would still be open by the time we both arrived, which ended up being at around 9:45PM. But it was and we were greeted by someone, who I'm guessing is the owner, sitting at the bar chatting it up with her friends or regulars. One of the tables in the back was occupied and someone took our window seat from the last time. But other than that, there was plenty of space. There's something about going to a restaurant late and being one of the only people there but not feeling like you're being rushed out that I absolutely love. Jazz music playing overhead added to the chillness of the atmosphere.

Our one mistake was ordering wine. Neither or us were in the mood for it, and honestly, a diet Pepsi would have been perfectly fine. But we did, partly because Q fancies itself a wine bar. That's a stretch. But I can see how the mood can give that impression. So consider this your warning, two glasses of pinot noir (I didn't look at the wine list, I just asked if they had pinot noir) set us back $24.

On to the appetizers. Bro got the Chicken Satay, skewered thin strips of grilled chicken with a peanut sauce. Satay is something that any good Thai restaurant needs. I don't know how traditional it is, but along with Pad Thai is one of those signature Thai dishes that have to exist on every menu to lure in those who aren't keen on ordering anything new. Bro liked the satay, but I thought it was a little tough and too bland for my taste. My choice was the Chicken Coconut Soup, with lemongrass, mushroom, and scallion. Q makes one of the best, if not the best version of the Thom Ka Kai soup. It's very sweet, with a spiciness that's just strong enough to get your nose to run a little.

For entrees, Bro and I stuck with beef dishes to at least keep our recent red wine idiocy from being a total waste. Bro chose the Stir Fry with Filet Mignon. This was your standard stir fry dish with beef and vegetables (only better), but the beef was of a noticeably higher quality. The cubed filet mignon was very tender, with a little more spice than Bro would have liked, but barely spicy by my standards. For some reason that I could never quite grasp, Bro doesn't like mushrooms, meaning a little pile of them appeared on my plate when I wasn't looking. A little wicker basket of white rice comes with the dish.

My choice was the Beef Drunken Noodles. This was delicious and I'm absolutely recommending it. It was allegedly spicy from garlic and chili, but I have a high tolerance and can't really say that it was terribly potent, though I can say that there was certainly a bit of burn. Of course, it was gone damn quick.

Our two glasses of wine, two appetizers, two entrees, plus tax and tip (no dessert) clocked in at a hefty $97.00 even.

You Might Also Like



The contents of this website/weblog are the property of its author and are protected under the copyright and intellectual property laws of the United States of America. The views expressed within are the opinions of the author. All rights reserved.

Readers are free to copy and distribute the material contained within, but such external use of the author's original material must be properly attributed to the author. Attribution may be through a link to the author's original work. Derivative use is prohibited. The borrower may not alter, transform, or build upon the work borrowed.

The author is free to change the terms of this copyright at any time and without notice. At the written request by the borrower, the author may choose to waive these rights.