**For full post and pics**: http://www.lauhound.com/2011/08/mary-...
Mary Queen of Scots is a relatively new restaurant in the Lower Eastside that serves Scottish gastropub fare. I know exactly zero about Scottish food, I've never been there and I can't remember running into a Scottish restaurant in the US. Given my knowledge base, I don't have much authority on what most of this stuff is supposed to taste like and I get the feeling this is a somewhat modern take on Scottish food. That said I think it's a pretty enjoyable place.
The restaurant is located in the defunct Allen & Delancey space. They did a nice job decorating the place. It's all wood with exposed brick and a sort library bookshelf motif. It's got a lot going on without feeling cluttered. The service was good, our server was attentive without being overbearing and was very friendly.
Here's what we got:
- Oysters: These were oysters served with a shallot thyme mignonette. I'm blanking as to where they are from right now, but they tasted fresh with a nice briny taste. The simple mignonette complemented them well giving them a nice tangy flavor without being overpowering. 8/10
- Marinated Olives: This was olives marinated in oil and seasonings. It's kind of hard to mess up olives and the version here while standard was tasty. 7.75/10
- Ploughman's Lunch: This was a platter of Mrs. Quieke's cheddar, scotch quail egg, pork rillette, cornichons and black pepper-apple chutney. The cheddar was standard, but fresh and tasty. The scot quail egg was decent (breaded fried sausage wrapped hard boiled egg), but I don't think it stacked up against the one at the Breslin, it wasn't as flavorful or decadent. The pork rillette was good and tasted like a nice pate, it went well with the freshly grilled bread. The cornichons and black pepper-apple chutney complimented the pork rillette well. 7.75/10
- Mushy Peas: I love mushy peas, they don't sound good, but they're delicious. I was excited that they served these. They're a bit creamy and have a mild pea flavor, which doesn't sound spectacular, but I think they're great. Most people at the table were like "are those going to be any good?", but they all of them ended up liking it. 8/10
- King Prawn Fish & Chips: This was exactly what it sounds like fried king prawn, fried fish and fries. It was served with a homemade tartar sauce. It was pretty self-explanatory, but it was good. The batter wasn't overly dense of greasy. The meat of the prawns tasted fresh and sweet and the meat of the fish was nice and flaky. The fries were nicely freshly fried. Overall, this was good. 7.75/10
- Lamb Desi: This was my dish. It consisted of a stewed lamb curry served with grilled naan bread, yogurt and curry leaf steamed rice. This sounded sort of odd coming from a Scottish gastropub, but Britain has a long history with India and the Indian food in London is amazing, so I guess it made more sense once I thought about it. I'm not even totally sure why I ordered it, but it just sounded like it would hit the spot. It turned out to be pretty tasty. The curry while much more mild than you would get at an Indian restaurant was tasty. The lamb was nicely cooked and the meat was very tender to the point where it would fall apart. It almost reminded me more of a pot roast that had a curry flavor as opposed to a normal Indian curry. The bread and rice were both fresh and tasted great with the curry sauce. 7.75/10
- Chips and Curry Sauce: This was pretty self-explanatory; it was simply freshly fried fries with a curry sauce, but it was good. 7.75/10
- Seared Tuna Salad: This was haricot vert, quail egg and seared tuna in a worcestershire-red onion dressing. The seared tuna was fresh and all the ingredients went well together. 7.75/10
- Milk Chocolate Pot de Crème: This was a decadent chocolate pudding that came with a toasted black peppermint marshmallow. The pudding was nice and creamy and not overly sweet; the toasted black peppermint marshmallow went well it. Overall, this was nice. 7.5/10
- Banoffee Pudding Coffee Caramel: This was very good. It was a banana toffee pudding in a graham cracker crust served with some homemade whipped cream and sliced bananas topped with a coffee caramel sauce. It was rich and decadent, but I thought it was made very well. 8/10
Overall, I enjoyed my experience here. All of the food was solidly good, the setting was nice and the service was good. Part of why I like living in the Lower Eastside is that the food scene seems to have a constant flow of new good restaurants opening up and I'd categorize this as one those. I'd recommend trying it out.
Mary Queen of Scots
115 Allen St, New York, NY 10002