222 Franklin Street, @ Green in Greenpoint
(no reservations accepted, BYOB w/corking fee)
Queen's Hideaway is a deliciously idiosyncratic restaurant whose genius relies on whatever's in season, while adding a healthy dash of personality, creativity and some "fuck you, we'll cook what we like" attitude. Its a place, helmed by chef Liza Queen, that essentially takes on the traits of the four women who run the joint -- Lots of spice, lots of sass, always honest and solid. There's a southern tinge to the food, but in all honesty, it's just damn good homestyle cookin'.
The flavoring isn't for the timid or for folks who want things "on the side". This is food for people who like some punch in their eats, and don't need it fancy for it to be really good. The menu generally has 5 entrees, 5 appetizers and 3 or 4 desserts. Get any kind of fritter, or get anything smoked -- it adds incredible depth to dishes, and the smoking of whatever is done out back daily in the midwestern-styled garden. On a recent night, I started with a poached, smoked egg served over julianned bell peppers and a 'gnarl' of spaghetti squash. Then onto a the "BBQ Pork Picnic" - smoked pork (fat and all!), chopped into 1' long slivers, served over black beans, squash and perfectly tender collard greens.
The always entertainingly-worded menu changes daily -- look for themes based on events like Breeder's Cup or Millicent's Metal Massacre (lots of seafood killed while all metal soundtrack played). Tang is served for 25 cents a glass. And don't skip dessert - pies, crisps or simple benigets are all terrific. The Hideaway has gotten tons of good press, so go early, on an off-night, or expect to wait. You'll be glad you did.