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After I heard that William Hallet had recently opened, I was eagerly looking forward to a chance go visit. So on Saturday night, a few friends and I planned to meet there for dinner.

Michelle and I arrived just before 9pm, and all the tables were filled, so we sat at the bar to await the arrival of the rest of our party while we admired the ambiance and décor. The staff was very friendly, and we ordered two glasses of Pinot Grigio at the bar. Just before Maria and Sasha arrived, a table in the front window opened up, so we ended up with what seemed like the best seats in the restaurant (we had a view of the whole bar as well as a window looking out on the street – and passers by seemed interested in the new restaurant as well, one woman walking by heard the music from inside and started dancing on the sidewalk).

Maria was ecstatic when she saw the menu – and after much debating between different options, she ended up ordering the turducken sandwich. Sasha chose the heirloom tomato salad with a side of french fries, and Michelle and I both opted for the vegetable tatin. I had been craving onion rings lately, so after hearing a glowing recommendation for William Hallet’s, I ordered a side of those as well.

We’d been worried there wouldn’t be a lot of vegetarian food options, since we hadn’t seen the menu yet, but in addition to the salads and the vegetable tatin, there was also a vegetable terrine appetizer and many vegetable side dishes. I think in the future I would enjoy ordering a selection of vegetable sides and making a meal out of that, but this time I was very excited to try the tatin.

Everyone enjoyed their food immensely – Maria kept gushing over her turducken sandwich, “I’m in my happy place!” she proclaimed, “I love food so much!”. Michelle and I both savored every bite of the delicious vegetable tatin – a puff pastry base loaded with herbs and roasted vegetables and greens. I could tell there were a fair number of mushrooms in it, and I normally dislike mushrooms, but they didn’t even bother me in this dish – dare I say I might have even enjoyed them? That’s how good it was. I ate every last bite, mushrooms and all! I love anything that mixes sweet and savory, and the flakey light sweetness of the puff pastry with the rich heartiness of the vegetables was just perfect.

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Vegetable tatin

 


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Heirloom tomato salad

 


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Turducken

 


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The fries were delicious, thick-cut and perfectly crisp on the outside with a tasty dusting of herbs and spices. And the onion rings… we all adored the onion rings! There was something about them that just set them apart from other onion rings, an ingredient in the batter that we couldn’t identify. As amazing as they were though, we could barely finish them because we were so full of food by this point.


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…Yet we couldn’t resist dessert! We were going to order one trifle and one whoopie pie and share them both among the four of us, but when we were told that they were out of the whoopie pies this evening we just decided to get two trifles instead.
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The soft, moist poundcake and the lemon curd were the perfect summer treat – and then we dug our spoons into the dish further and discovered the cherries at the bottom. “There are cherries in here! There are f-ing cherries in here!” exclaimed Maria, excitedly. “Oh my god, oh my god, there are cherries in the bottom!” echoed Michelle.

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You would think we were a group of starving people, the way we devoured this dessert. Even though our stomachs were already bursting from dinner. I had thought the desserts would be small, and each one just a couple bites for us to share, but the trifle was actually quite large, and we probably could have been fine splitting just one! But they were so delicious that we managed to eat both of them anyway.

All four of us were thoroughly satisfied with our experience at William Hallet, and we made plans to return again in the near future. Maria said she wished she could just move in and live there all the time. The food was delicious, the place looks beautiful inside and out, our waitress Ellie was wonderfully friendly and nice to us, all of the music that was playing over the speakers while we ate was great, and we had a fantastic time.

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36-10 30th Ave
Queens, NY 11106
(718) 269-3443
http://www.williamhallet.com/


I don't know if this is the finalized version of the menu, since it is such a new restaurant and they are most likely still tweaking some things, but since I haven't seen a copy of it online yet I took a photo of it as it currently stands:
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menu as of July 9th, 2011 - click image to view it larger on flickr

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Comment by Jackie D on July 15, 2011 at 11:07am
Turducken. Everything about that is a resounding YES.
Comment by Daniel P on July 13, 2011 at 9:29am
Thanks for the review. I caught WH opening a couple weekends ago and have not gotten to fit it into my 30Ave choices yet, but hope to soon.
Comment by Jon Friedner on July 11, 2011 at 3:36pm
looks really good, but i'm confused as to why a sandwich without turkey, duck or chicken is called "turducken."
Comment by JennQ on July 11, 2011 at 3:14pm
The only thing I don't dig is the no substitutions conccept. I wonder if its a staunch rule or would they, say, omit mushrooms from a dish for someone with allergies (like me).
Comment by Chris Rompf on July 11, 2011 at 12:46pm

This place looks and sounds amazing...can't wait to try it and sugarfreak! The exterior is too cool!

 

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