Thai Up The
Q a thai bistro: 108-25 Ascan Ave.,
Forest Hills, 261-6599
Cuisine: Inventive Thai
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 5-10:30 p.m.;
Friday & Saturday 5-11:30 p.m.
Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard
Parking: street only, paid lot is a
good stroll on a nice day
It was a dark and stormy night . . . the
kind of night where you just want to slip out of the chain restaurant cliché and into the
comfort of a fine glass of wine, something a little out of the ordinary to eat, and the
company of a good friend.
Oversized crayolas are perched over the
door, Twister becomes modern art on the wall, eccentric candleholders flicker on the wine
bar and freshly cut mini yellow roses adorned the tables this week. The rain persisted
outside the folding glass façade that will open up in the drier Queens weather. But
inside, the sudden frazzle of firelight from the cooking grill . . . which is open to the
restaurant and incorporated into the dining area . . . sizzled the food, the atmosphere
and the enjoyment.
Serving what they call "innovative
Thai" cuisine, Vesna Gmerek and Jean Gmerek have offered an eclectic little hideaway
in Forest Hills for four years, with a menu ranging from the intriguingly exotic to the
easily recognizable with a pleasant twist.
My companion decided he enjoyed the Thai
beer called "Singha", and I selected a glass of white wine from their extensive
wine list. Vesna explained that one of the reasons she opened Q with her sister-in-law was
to offer the kinds of things she enjoyed but had trouble finding in her neighborhood . . .
like a fine glass of wine for sale by the glass rather than just the bottle.
For an appetizer, we devoured the Bang Bang
Shrimp (marinated in Thai herbs and coconut milk, served with peanut sauce and cucumber
salad, $7.50) and the Steamed Dumplings (minced chicken and shrimp served with soy ginger
As main courses, we share Q Chicken
($14.95) with a unique and special peanut sauce and tender vegetable strips; and the
Drunken Noodles. Now, we ordered the Drunken Noodles because the name tempted our
imagination, but we cleaned the plate because they were wonderful. With just a slight hint
of hot spice, we selected the beef (could have been chicken) which was very tender and
served with garlic, Thai basil, red peppers, and . . . of course . . . broad noodles
And we finished the Q experience with
Chocolate Truffel Cake ($6). Suffice it to say that my friend said he had been depressed
by the rain for days, until having the truffle cake. I also dared to try the Thai tea
($2.50), served with condensed milk, which was a rich golden red color and a light,
interesting taste for a satisfying change of pace.
As is Q, where lifes little pleasures
are served up with the most satisfying twists.