Liza Queen of Potlikker

Liza Queen is celebrating the first anniversary of her Williamsburg restaurant, Potlikker. How? “I’m going to France,” Queen says and laughs as she continues, “So, I had friends who were asking, ‘Oh, are you guys going to have a party?’ And I just said, ‘Absolutely not. I’m leaving the country.’”

And, truly, Queen deserves a week in the south of France after having spent the last year working 70-hour weeks running her latest restaurant, which is where we are sitting, enjoying the late spring sun that streams in through the large, Bedford Avenue-facing windows, talking about what exactly makes Potlikker so special. First, there is Queen herself. Hailing from central New York, Queen spent a decade in Portland, Oregon, where she developed her culinary skills and an appreciation for seasonal and local foods long before it was a trend in Brooklyn. Once she got to New York, she opened her much-loved and well-reviewed Greenpoint restaurant Queen’s Hideaway in 2005, an experience that was not without low points, but one that prepared her for the launch of Potlikker last year. And, one year in, Queen can say, “I think it has been really solid. It’s nice, because the Hideaway was such a disaster in so many ways. I mean, the Hideaway was four-and-a-half years of me making huge mistakes. But then I came out of that thinking, ok, here is this list of things that I don’t ever want to do again, and here’s a list of things that I want done a certain way. So this time around, this first year, it’s been exhausting and frustrating and all that, but by the end of this year we’re in an entirely new place; we improved and became tight so much more rapidly—I started in a better place and then it improved and became tighter so much faster. So, I’m knock-on-wood happy about it.” And, really, she has every right to be. Potlikker has quickly become a vibrant part of the Williamsburg dining community, serving innovative seasonal fare, and becoming better every day.

Potlikker; 338 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen

Photo by Austin McAllister

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