Queens has long been home of a mind-boggling variety of culinary delights, but until now, turducken was, shockingly, not one of them.
And now it is, thanks to William Hallett, a brand-new restaurant in Astoria. The self-described “all American bistro and bar” is the creation of George Rallis and Gary Anza, two chefs whose combined CVs include Firebird, Blue Fin, Church Lounge, Bond St., Bao 111, and Hell Gate Social, which Rallis owns with his brothers.
The menu skews seasonal, porky, and vaguely Southern: In addition to the spin on terducken, which involves bacon, meat loaf, and bourbon ketchup, it features an heirloom tomato salad, an oyster po’boy, and a PBLT that tarts up lettuce and tomato with pork belly and garlic aioli. And yes, there is a burger.
Following in the footsteps of the numerous establishments that take their names from antiquated maps of the city, William Hallett is named for the neighborhood’s 17th-century landowner, who gave Astoria its original name of Hallett’s Cove. It was eventually renamed after John Jacob Astor, a filthy-rich Manhattanite. But one assumes that’s one bit of history that Queens is content to ignore.
[Via Tasting Table]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 26, 2011