A seat of the former Baluchi's Indian restaurant chain reopens Thursday with the son of the original owner at the helm. Queens Bully—a nod to its location on Queens Boulevard, not the playground harrier—is a globally-inspired restaurant with a sweet familiar connection, not just because the space has stayed in the family, but also includes a touching tribute on the menu.
Rohan Aggarwal, who's running this restaurant with business partner Suraj Patel, included a strong barbecue component to his restaurant, a nod to his father Rakesh Aggarwal, who "always wanted to open a barbecue restaurant," according to an interview with AM New York. "He had a love for barbecue. He ended up purchasing an industrial smoker, but he never ended up using it."
Executive Chef Arim Isabel, who cooked at honky tonk eatery Southern Hospitality, will put that smoker to use in cooking chicken in barbecue suace, slow roasted brisket, pulled pork and baby back ribs. Brisket shows up with sausage on one of three naan-based pizzas, a nod to Baluchi's; there's also a tandoor oven on-site, ready to roast up meats and bake bread.
It's really a "something for everyone" kind of menu—great for picky eaters and concert-goers—with inspirations drawn from Greece, the Rockaways, Mexico, Korea, India, Germany, the Mediterranean and Italy, among other notable cuisines and places.
A basement-level hydroponic garden will provide herbs for certain dishes and cocktails; other produce has been procured from the Forest Hills Greenmarket. Opening in spring of 2018: a rooftop garden, which could be a quiet(ish) escape from the cacophony of the boulevard.
113-30 Queens Boulevard, Forest Hills, (718) 520-8600; queensbully.com