All hail The Pig & Queen, newly opened in Rockville Centre. This is the fourth venture from partners Peter Mangouranes and Paul Olive, owners of the Massapequa Park establishments The Good Life (English-style pub), Jam (breakfast and lunch) and Massapequa Perk (coffee house).
The Pig & Queen freely mixes Southern, Cajun, New American and “bro” cuisines with pit-smoked barbecue, all washed down with more than scores of craft brews, bourbons and inventive cocktails.
Mangouranes, who oversees the culinary side of the operation, explained that “the pig” and “the queen” were affectionate descriptors for the two types of customers he was hoping to attract. For the former: snacks such as crispy pork belly over root-beer-barbecue beans ($10); a “pig” sandwich with Cajun sausage, pulled pork, pork-belly scraps, jalapeño cheese sauce and beer-battered onion rings ($13) and “Q heaven,” barbecued meatballs with crispy braised pork shanks and grilled sausage served over jalapeño-Cheddar grits ($22).
For the latter (who, he conceded, might well be the former’s date): a vegetarian quesadilla stuffed with black-eyed pea hummus, feta and chipotle honey ($9); burnt cauliflower with truffle oil ($9); the “Miss Lucy” sandwich with smoked turkey breast, herbed mascarpone and mild green chilies on a multigrain baguette ($11) or sesame-crusted tuna with sautéed cake and gingered quinoa ($22).
The restaurant has two smokers for making baby back ribs, St. Louis ribs, brisket, pulled pork, Cajun sausage and turkey breast. Mangouranes said that it was a challenge trying to figure out how much smoked meat the restaurant would go through in a given day. “Our brisket takes 14 hours,” he said. “If we hold it too long it can dry out — and once it’s gone, it’s gone for the day.”
The Pig & Queen is open Mondays to Wednesdays, 4 to 10 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 4 p.m. to midnight; Saturdays, noon to midnight and Sundays, noon to 10 p.m.
201 Sunrise Hwy., Rockville Centre, 516-690-6655, thepigandqueen.com