Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mary Queen of Scots

Nope, this isn't a European history lesson. I was pretty tickled at the idea that there is a gastropub with a Scottish touch that opened last year here in New York. When I think of Scotland, I'm usually thinking of golf, tartans, kilts and pretty scenery. Food? Not so much. Since they are cousins of the English, I'm just not on the lookout for quality Scottish food. Now I'm thankful that Mary Queen of Scots (MQS) opened to show New York City what good Scottish inspired food can be.

The booths at Mary Queen of Scots are fun for a group.

The bar area

I went to MQS unintentionally twice in one week, and I can say that if this is how they eat in Scotland, I'm on my way there. My second time, I went with New Friend M, and we started out with cocktails and some of the small plates. New Friend M saw something that she recognized on the menu:

Devils on Horseback
Devils on Horseback are essentially a riff on bacon wrapped stuffed dates. Some recipes call for prunes instead of dates (I'm glad MQS went with the dates), and the stuffings vary from mango chutney to cheese, almonds or smoked oysters.

We also made sure to include a veggie (why not?). I'd had this dish only a few days earlier, but I was ready for another taste.

Fried Boozy Brussels Sprouts
with whole grain mustard

As I get older, I am so happy to have discovered Brussels sprouts. Fried and with tangy mustard? A revelation. I'm always looking for news ways to enjoy this vegetable, and I may need to try make this at home.

New Friend M had to run leaving me to stuff my face alone.

Roasted Duck Breast
with Butternut Squash, Pumpkin Seed Dressing & Honey and Sage Jus

I was pretty shocked at the size of the duck. It was so thick and so succulent it reminded me more of the texture of a pork chop. MQS' duck was so juicy, and the jus added a nice sweet herb taste after a dipping. Fun!

Banofee Pudding
with Coffee Caramel Sauce and a Graham Cracker Bowl with a dollop of freshly whipped cream

I am not a pudding person, but for some reason I was in the mood for banana flavors. Usually pudding is so thick and reminds you of the type of pudding that Bill Cosby used to hawk on TV. MQS' pudding was airy and smooth as silk. Perfectly whipped cream is always a great topping.

Is this authentic Scottish fare? I'm not sure, but I'm sure the beauty of Scotland sure makes for some good inspiration.

Mary Queen of Scots
115 Allen Street
New York, NY


Hannah {Culture Connoisseur} said...

Mmm bacon and dates sounds like a really yummy pair actually. WHat a cool little restaurant!

Daphne said...

I think I type this on every food-focused post. This time is no exception: YUM!

At first, I missed the top caption for the brussel sprouts and was wondering what the heck those were. I've never been to Scotland, but I remember watching a Travel Channel special on it long ago. It ain't Scottish if something isn't deep fried. So they say, anyway.

I like the ambiance of the place as well, based on the pictures. It seems to have a cozy feel.

Oneika said...

I have no idea if it's authentic but it looks good!

Try Anything Once Terri said...

@Daphne - It is very cozy! It's a great place in the cooler weather. It makes you not want to go outside.

@Oneika - I have no idea either, but it sure was good!! :)

April D. Thompson said...

Food porn at its finest. Wouldn't have imagined Scottish food to look like this either, but anything with bacon or deep fried gets my vote! YUM!

Our Wired Lives said...

Scottish food has definitely had a bad rep if this is how it is suppose to look. This is beautiful. I want those brussels in my belly! And the decor is stunning for a bar.

Monique said...

But for the boozy brussel sprouts, I'd be happy to try everything on the menu. Yum!


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