Friday, February 19, 2016

Have You Ever Eaten At Queen Italian Restaurant On Court Street?

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Years ago, an Italian neighbor here in Carroll Gardens told me that the best Italian restaurant in the immediate area was, by far, Queen at 84 Court Street.  I never actually followed her recommendation because the prices on the menu do seem a bit high,  but every time I walk past, I tell myself that I should just walk in one of these days.
I have admired the restaurant's old fashioned neon sign for years, especially since it is one of the only unchanged store sign left on Court Street since I moved here 30 years ago.

According to Queen's web site, the restaurant opened its doors in1958 by the Vitiello family. It is still a family-owned restaurant, which serves its guests "the tastes and flavors of all the twenty regions of the Italian peninsula."

I would love to know if you ever eaten at Queen? What are the best dishes here? How does this eatery compare to some of the other Italian restaurants in the immediate area?  If you have never been, have you ever been tempted?



22 comments:

Trumbull Bully said...

Bully present...

Line Bagels up for sale?

https://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/off/5454824963.html

That was supposed to be a hot corner!

Katia said...

Bully, Line bagel has been for sale for a few months now.
http://pardonmeforasking.blogspot.com/2015/09/carroll-gardens-businesses-for-sale.html

Anonymous said...

Service was good. The appetizers were good, but the rest of the meal had probably the worst food I'd ever had in the neighborhood. I never knew pasta could taste so bad, let alone $24 pasta.

chance bliss said...

i've been there twice and have had a lovely experience each time. i generally don't visit the old school "red sauce" italian spots in the neighborhood, nor do i think very highly of marco polo's, so when friends recommended queen, which was then seconded by our landlords (who are 4th generation from the neighborhood), then my wife and i decided to go.

first impressions were funny and charming - a distinguished older maƮtre d' greets our party upon entering, helping the women in the party out of their coats and then hands them to an assistant, and then we are leisurely escorted to our table.

dishes are indeed expensive but generous, with an unexpected level of refinement. it wasn't haute cuisine, but it was very satisfying and while it's one of those places where there seems to be three waiters for every customer - who hover over the table every three minutes - the service was nonetheless friendly and accommodating.

most surprising for an italian restaurant was the diversity of the clientele - it seemed to represent many different parts of brooklyn. for some, it was a destination restaurant, for others a good neighborhood joint. there were kids in their 20s on date nights, older couples celebrating anniversaries, families from different stripes having sunday dinner or birthday dinners. i think that was the best aspect of being there, and motivated us to go back again - this time with more friends.

Jennifer Gebhardt said...

Haven't eaten there in years, but when I had my first baby, my husband brought me chicken parm from Queen to the hospital. So, special place in my heart.

Anonymous said...

Great food, great service, very authentic, used to be closer on Court Street years ago. Prices ARE high, so high that I wouldn't really go back given the other options in the neighborhood, but really can't say enough about how quality the meal and service were.

Michael Castellano said...

I've never been there but always heard great food

baa said...

I use to eat the pizza and other dishes from Queens in the 1960s (15 cents a slice)to the 80s.

Anonymous said...

Queen was below Atlantic I think years ago. I forget why they moved. It was fun to go there. Pizza was the only thing I had. Never went when they moved. Anyone here remember Helen's?! Red booths. Helen cooking in the back? Waiters with ties and vests? I think it was on same block as Marietta near Chase. That place was what it lacked in culinary made up for in ambiance. Queen I have foggy memory but did have pizza there.

Anonymous said...

We went to Red Rose recently! On a cold night the food was hot the garlic bread amazing and the waiters right out of Central Casting, sweetheart! The best of the old time places.

Lindab said...

We ate there for lunch recently. It was absolutely delicious. I had the best sole oreganatabi have ever had. The interior decor is nicer than the exterior and the service was excellent at a crowded lunch hour. We have been going here for 30 years and are considering having our sins wedding rehearsal dinner there

Rick Anderson said...

For many Brooklynites who work in the Court Street area, the Queen has always been the "go-to" place for lunch or after work drinks. It does attract a diverse clientele which is reflective of Brooklyn. Many local politicians have used the Queen as their "clubhouse" for making deals.

The food is consistently good especially some of their fish dishes. The pasta is old school and the portions are plentiful. The prices are high compared to other local places.

It is worth trying once.

Anonymous said...

I've not eaten there but there is a story about the restaurant. The location is a relatively new one- it used to be located on the site where the movie theater and Barnes and Noble are located. It was one of the commercial spaces that was assisted with relocation to allow for the other building.

Kathleen said...

Forty some years ago I worked on Court Street and Queen was THE lunchtime pizza joint. I remember great pizza,fantastic food, great prices and a really fun fellow I dated who worked there. Yes, some great memories for me.

Trumbull Bully said...

Bully here...

Man, I'm out of the loop! I'm going to stop in the old 'hood for some brunch at Brucie tomorrow followed by some beers at Angry Wade's. It's been too long!

David Castillo said...

I have been to Queens several times. The best Mozzarella in south Brooklyn. The bread basket with several options of bread, the seafood dishes, the specials and great service makes Queen stand out from the rest. Abide that it is not cheap, which keeps it to special occasions. I highly recommend you going.

AliCat said...

If you go to The Queen, you have to have the fried zucchini, it is like no other fried zucchini ever. So good.

I have always loved the food there, but it isn't light, it is heavy but good. Some of the best fettucine alfredo ever.

As a few have mentioned, it used to be one block south, but the interesting thing was that Court street between Schermerhorn and State had an XXX movie theater, to the theater's right was Queen Restaurant and to the left of the theater was Queen Pizzeria. There were stories that they were connected through the movie theater.

When they were moved, they didn't keep the pizzeria because there was Nick and Joe's on that block (between Livingston and Schermerhorn), but it was rumored that you could still have pizza delivered (and for some reason a part of the rumor was that the pizza was made in the basement, no idea why that was relevant or if it was true).

Nick and Joe's was previously called Alex and Nick's. There were people who LOVED Nick and Joe's and others who favored Queen's pizza. It was often a discussion amongst the kids of the hood, and since the slices were about 50 cents in the early 80s, often the debate had people go for a slice of each to compare...lol.

Worth the price when you want a special meal. Also, a lot of the wait staff is the same staff from when I was a giril.

Katia said...

You have no idea, how much I have enjoyed all these comments and little neighborhood history lessons.
I remember the XXX movie theatre before it was demolished to make room for the new movie theatre and Barnes and Nobles. (Still hate that new-ish building and wonder how in hell it ever made it through Landmarks)

I also remember the Spanish restaurant on Court right off Atlantic Avenue and the Chinese restaurant across the street from there, though I forgot the names of those eateries long ago.

Anonymous said...

This thread reminds me of Helen's, the last of the really old-school joints on Court in Carroll Gardens. (People may dispute my math.) Ate there in the... late 90s, just before they closed. Boy that was some medicore food. Became the card shop, now it's... Fragole? Or something next door.

Anonymous said...

It's excellent. Portions are large and can be shared. Not just old-school red sauce. Some of the dishes like black rice risotto with crab are beyond sublime. My husband took me there before we moved around the corner 33 years ago.

Anonymous said...

@Katia - the west side of Court Street between Atlantic Avenue and Livingston Street is outside of the Brooklyn Heights historic district (the district begins behind those commercial buildings). The LPC had no say in the design of the building with the theater/BN (unfortunately).

Katia said...

Aha, Thanks for telling me. That explains a lot. I really don't like that movie theatre building.