Thursday, August 10, 2006

Q in Port Chester

A que, yes the que, is a wonderful thing. Thick slabs of St. Louis style ribs rubbed in spices, glistening with melting pork fat and nuanced smoke and sauce. Crisp skinned chickens, hot, moist and speckled with pepper and char from the fire. Soft, juicy brisket, sliced into marbled slabs and draped over pieces of fresh baked bread. No matter your particular cultural inclinations, this is the American moment for Bar-B-Que. Laid back, kicked up and down home, it is where we are right now.

Down in Port Chester in a bright orange building with an ultra-modern dining room and an open kitchen, Q is serving up some righteous bar-be-que to the good folks of Westchester County. The duo that owns and runs Kneaded Bread, The WesFoodie’s dream land of scrumptions (click here for my first bit on KB), Jennifer and Jeffrey Kohn are the founders of Q. This is good. The same high skills, warmth and attention that defines the KB staff can be found at work in Q. This team knows how to run a restaurant and make their guests feel welcomed, wanted, and comfortable. Which isn’t so easy to do when you have to order at the register.

Now, I was reading Liz Johnson’s post on the bar-be-que at Bailey’s in Blauvelt and its tough to look at those pictures without wanting to tear into some ribs and holler up some more. Besides delectable que though, the two joints don’t seem much alike. Q isn’t a raucous place with juke box blaring like Bailey’s sounds like. There’s no impromptu square dancing or open mike hootinanis in between these orange walls either. It maintains a certain laid back elegance. But there’s nothing constrained about the eats.

The main courses are served with some moist, dense but crumbly and, well, corny, corn bread. If you really want to get into some good eating, order up the biscuits with maple butter. They are outrageous, buttery, fist sized pillows of flaky dough. The maple butter is rich and sweet – knife a small slab of it on top and the firm syrup laden cream pushes the biscuits right over the top (which is where you want to go when you’re eating que).

While you’re up high with the maple sugars, dig down into some of the sides. The collard greens are a flash of vinegary sweetness, slow cooked and served in a pork infused broth. The baked beans are a warm stew of complex spices and sugars around tender but firm beans. You can’t go wrong though – they’re all good.

When we look back on the Zero Years its pretty darn safe to say that the memories will be scattered across a backdrop of smoke, Dixie Chicks and Little Willies, swaggerin’ n’ struttin’ Texans, fear, loathing, country home buying, blogs, and yes, Queing. There’s no denying that its all part of the mix – love it or loath it. If you want to catch some of the smoke – the good tasty grilling kind – get yourself and your kin down to Q. Kick back, get your fingers saucy and taste the moment - this part of it at least is real good.
Q Restaurant
112 N. Main St.
Port Chester
(914) 933-7427


Anonymous said...

Your description of the biscuits with maple butter added an inch to my waisteband.

Which raises the question: do you have any pictures of the size of your gut - before and after starting this blog?


Anonymous said...

How do the ribs compare to ribs on the run, which now is open on both sides of central avenue.