FOREST HILLS, NY – Everything is turning up aces for New York City restaurant maven Tim Ducey, owner of the newest, hottest tavern in Queens, Acey Ducey. With wildly creative spins on typical American comfort food classics as well as modern dishes reflecting more upscale tastes, Acey Ducey is so much more than just a place to come watch the game and have a few drinks with your wings and beer.
“It’s like is your best friend opened up a place down the street, and everybody went to hang out,” said decade-long patron Rodney Zilla. “But then your friend hired a kick-ass chef who gave the menu some style, and now the place is bumpin’!”
Indeed all Queens rejoices at the new restaurant’s arrival. Always well-liked by everyone from Astoria to Jamaica for his good cheer, affability, and sincerity, now Ducey has become one of Forest Hills’s favorite sons for breaking out with such fanfare and providing the neighborhood with a vibrant new place.
“We all love Timmy, and we’re ecstatic the restaurant is doing so well. He’s getting more customers a night than Danny Brown or Dee’s!” gushed Zilla energetically. Indeed, between the newly invigorated menu and the loss of the St. James pub, their closest competition, Acey Ducey is now the only first-class taverna/pub in town between Middle Village and Jamaica and between Burns Street and Metropolitan Avenue.
“We’re really trying to be much more than just a sports bar or a pub,” says Ducey, a lifelong Pittsburgh Steelers fan. “We developed a slightly more complex menu focusing on exceptional flavors, while also offering dishes everybody likes, just with an interesting, flavorful spin.”
They clearly succeed. Take the “Camacho Taco,” (named after the Acey Ducey chef, Marvin Camacho…not the boxer of the same surname). It’s the biggest, hottest taco you ever ate. A thick, wide, deep-fried tortilla stuffed to bursting with beef, melted cheese, lettuce, tomato and other veggies, then slathered in Hellfire sauce, (a condiment of the chef’s own design sure to please everyone, including Beelzebub, Mephistopheles, Azazel, and Lucifer for its perfect blend of fiery heat and explosive flavor). At 10 dollars it’s a great bargain.
Then there’s the Ace of Steak – a tasty marinated whole skirt steak smothered in caramelized onions and shaved parmesan cheese, served on a rustic herbal ciabatta roll (15).
“Don’t forget the garlic basil aioli too!” gushed diner Ted from Maspeth. “It’s mouthwatering and so thick and juicy I’m having trouble getting my jaws around it! It’s like a triple-decker.”
The Acey Ducey burgers are equally huge, thick slabs of beef piled high with toppings. At 10 dollars plus 75 cents per topping, you are stealing from Tim. Add a side of onion rings the size of Goodyear radials for a meal as down-home American as apple pie or try something more exotic like charred asparagus or sweet potato puffs for an interesting change of pace.
Even something as mundane as grilled cheese sandwiches gets a much-needed makeover from the clever Ducey and Camacho.
“We take grilled cheese to a whole other level. It’s Gruyere and blue, but then we add bacon, caramelized onion, and spicy pickle,” Ducey adds proudly. Consider it a graduate level studies thesis in grilled cheese and for only 10 dollars.
There’s even more creativity when it comes to flatbread pizzas. Sure there’s the traditional Margarita with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil, but that’s only the beginning. The pizzas get totally tricked out and fused with myriad other cuisines and dishes to create ingenious multi-ethnic mash-ups. The mushroom flatbread, for example, features whole portobellos.
“Nobody else does that!” cheers Jessica, a curve-a-licious, young Jets-jersey-wearing hottie with a dazzling, mega-watt smile and bright eyes.
Then there’s the Chicken Ducey with roasted red peppers, spinach, and goat cheese or the Shrimp Fajita Flatbread with jumbo shrimp, green peppers, and onions, and fajita seasonings.
“Dude, they’re totally pimp,” said diner Rob from Middle Village. For those of you that don’t speak NYC Hipster dialect let me translate – that’s “pimp” in the new sense of the word meaning “really good,” not “pimp” in the old sense of the word meaning “guy who runs hookers.” Still, Rob has a point – the flatbreads reset the bar for creative pizzas in Queens, and they’re only 7-12 dollars each. That’s a bargain all day long.
“We’ll even be serving brunch soon,” adds Camacho. “Look for my special French Toast Bites – Challah bread dipped in egg, cinnamon, brown sugar, and other spices, then rolled in Frosted Flakes and deep fried. It’s so rich, it’s almost like a donut.” Hey Cronut! You’re about to become so 2013, because you ain’t got no chance against the French Toast Bites.
Everybody already loves Acey Ducey for its wide selection of craft beers on tap such as Mackenzie’s black cider, Delerium Tremens, UFO raspberry wheat, Smithwick’s, and two dozen others. But with plans for “Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ day,” on certain weekends, “Hip-hop brunch,” on others and “Sportswriters Night in Queens” when the greatest NYC sports writers will gather to read, be interviewed, and sell books, you’ll kiss all those “Darts League and Football” places goodbye for good. Conveniently located on the corner of 71st Avenue and Metropolitan, Acey Ducey is champagne quality at beer prices. Best of all, it appeals to everyone – from businessmen in suits to hippies in fleece, from jocks in sports jerseys to nubile young girls…it’s the place to be right now.
“It’s a scene that’s totally ready to break out,” said Rob. “Timmy’s had great luck with his other places, but this may be his best yet.”