Back in 2005, this NYT blurb about Greenpoint, Brooklyn eatery the Queen's Hideaway had me at pies. Specifically, "Pies. On a windowsill. Cooling."
I scuttled to Franklin Ave. - which may have 700 green condo developments now, but at the time, wasn't remotely on anyone's radar unless they were keenly into Polish sausage - and had the meal of my life. One of them, anyway. Chef Liza Queen was cooking whatever looked good at the market, and her standards were incredibly high. Also, it was a pretension-free zone. There were salt and pepper shakers made out of Jim Beam nips and a turntable where staffers played Led Zep and Prince 45s. As for the pies, they were handmade daily by a woman named Millcent Souris, a.k.a. the Pie Queen of Greenpoint. This was a restaurant to fall deeply in love with, and I did.
Cut to 2008: The neighborhood's changed a lot (thanks in large part to the restaurant itself), and Queen's landlord got grabby. So on Saturday, loyal patrons once trekked up Franklin Ave. for the last time for a bash dubbed Queen's Hideaway: Last Night Ever. There was suckling pig. There was venison. Dutch pancakes were slathered with cream and topped with cornmeal-crusted fried oysters. There was pie made with inky buckshot Maine blueberries, and chocolate chess pie with sea salt (made by Millicent, natch). Most of all, there was singing and toasts and more than a few tears. So raise your glass to Liza Queen, and hope that she finds a new spot to call home (and kitchen) soon.