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Queen on Court in Brooklyn - semi-Dine-In Brooklyn experience

Olive123 Mar 29, 2009 08:28 AM

I posted this review under a Dine-In Brooklyn thread and wanted to share it generally.

Ate at Queen with my boyfriend and two friends last night. It was very crowded, so we waited awhile to be seated for our 7:30 reservation, had to request menus from a random restaurant worked when no one brought any over after 5-10 minutes, 20 minutes to get a wine list after asking twice. They also refused to give us the dine in Brooklyn menu, saying it was only available until 7:00. The dine in Brooklyn poster did not indicate this, but we were told that the menu Queens posted in their window includes this caveat (we checked on the way out, and it did, but this didn't help us). We were not off to a good start at all. Service was extremely slow throughout. There were stale items in the bread basket. The roasted garlic paste in the oil for the bread was a nice touch. The appetizers received good to extremely good reviews (the peas/asparagus/leeks appetizer - everything was very fresh; fresh mozzarella - fabulous; clams - loved by one, meh by one). "Parmesan" offered with our entrees was actually romano; this is a pet peeve and kind of inexcusable at an Italian restaurant of the non-Olive Garden ilk. The lasagna and eggplant parm entrees were unremarkable. Friend who got the carbonara loved it but others thought it tasted like soap (don't think the others had ever had carbonara before, so I take their reviews with a grain of salt); shrimp entree also received a favorable review. We did not have dessert. With the dine in Brooklyn deal this would probably have been great, but we were all pretty annoyed by the experience. That mozzarella was fantastic, though.

  1. bobjbkln Mar 30, 2009 08:30 PM

    According to Dine In Brooklyn, Queen only has a Lunch Special, so there is no reason you should have expected the Dine In menu.

    4 Replies
    1. re: bobjbkln
      Olive123 Mar 31, 2009 09:11 AM

      Responded to this on the other thread, but here it is again. You are correct - lunch only; my mistake. The poor service, stale bread, parm/romano issue and inconsistent dishes still will make me either not revisit Queen or to order only what I know to be good. Might also stick with take out or delivery. I had read that the specials/seasonal items are generally more successful than the standard menu, so perhaps we should consider ourselves warned on the lasagna and eggplant parm.

      1. re: Olive123
        buttertart Mar 31, 2009 10:26 AM

        The specials are really very good, but the service is not what it used to be. We go back about 3-4 times a year for dinner. The closest to regular menu food I've ordered is the veal chop, which was as good as they usually are.

        1. re: Olive123
          Fleur Apr 1, 2009 09:51 PM

          Queen is a fine dining Restaurant, not a take out or delivery place. But then I have never understood the concept of take out. Certainly not at those prices. The food gets steamed in the containers, and is but a shadow of what it would be served at table.

          Their specials of the day Menu is always outstanding. Some of the finest Italian food in the City..

          Their Mozzarella is incredibly delicious. I have never had anything quite like it elsewhere.

          1. re: Fleur
            LED Apr 2, 2009 04:49 AM

            I have to disagree. Queen's cheese ravioli delivered is some of the best comfort food I can think of in all of Brooklyn Heights/Cobble Hill.

      2. Bob Martinez Mar 31, 2009 11:11 AM

        I've gone many times and I've never had bad service. Queen gets written up on the board with some regularity and i haven't noticed service as being a particular issue in the past. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't doubt your experience but it's an indication of a bad night, not a bad restaurant.

        If you can forgive them, it's worth a return visit.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bob Martinez
          Olive123 Mar 31, 2009 11:37 AM

          Possibly the service was off because it was so crowded. It was absolutely hopping when we got there. We saw that as a good sign, for sure, and didn't mind waiting for a table.

        2. t
          Tay Mar 31, 2009 11:54 AM

          I honestly didn't know what to make of your review. Aside from the bread, which was probably cold toasted and not stale,(Still not acceptable but easily remedied) Opinions of the food 'see sawed' back and forth from 'unremarkable 'to 'excellent.' Nothing bad, I'd say mostly positive, but I think the misunderstanding about the Dine In Brooklyn option being unavailable somewhat colored your review. As you said, you 'were all pretty annoyed by the experience.'
          I'd agree that your start was not very good but aside from the cheese, ( News Flash: Many good restaurants offer Romano in place of the more costly Parm) Everything else sounded good.. You might want to give it another shot after the Dine In frenzy has passed.
          Bob's right (As usual) The food is well worth it.

          15 Replies
          1. re: Tay
            Bob Martinez Mar 31, 2009 12:17 PM

            "Bob's right (As usual) "

            Looks like those cash stuffed envelopes I give to Tay are paying off. :-)

            1. re: Bob Martinez
              Tay Mar 31, 2009 02:54 PM

              "Looks like those cash stuffed envelopes I give to Tay are paying off. :-)"

              Lol!... I jest calls 'em likes I seez 'em...

            2. re: Tay
              Olive123 Mar 31, 2009 12:30 PM

              My review is merely a statement of my experience at the restaurant. We received two bread baskets, same issue. The dishes certainly did range from unremarkable to excellent. It is fine for a restaurant to offer romano instead of parm, but not to pretend that it is parm. I don't care for romano and neither did my dining companions. We were pretty annoyed by the overall experience, not merely the Dine In Brooklyn menu issue. I have a feeling that the service was in complete disarray because it was so crowded that night. We likely will give it another shot, but as I mentioned, we may stick with delivery to avoid any additional service-related aggravation, since the service was truly a mess.

              1. re: Olive123
                Tay Mar 31, 2009 02:59 PM

                I sincerely hope your next encounter is more satisfactory :-)

                1. re: Tay
                  Olive123 Mar 31, 2009 04:14 PM

                  As long as they don't stop making the fresh mozzarella! For me, that was the winner of the evening.

                  1. re: Olive123
                    buttertart Apr 1, 2009 06:14 AM

                    That's always available as far as I've seen. It is wonderful. I love the restaurant, but I have had iffy service when they're especially busy. Which I forgive because the food is so damn good!

                    1. re: Olive123
                      Brklynbobby Apr 1, 2009 08:05 AM

                      What's the big deal with their fresh mozzarella? I live in Bensonhurst. I can get it made fresh everyday at any number of Italian salumerias. It doesn't have all that much flavor to begin with. I prefer gorgonzola.

                      1. re: Brklynbobby
                        Bob Martinez Apr 1, 2009 08:17 AM

                        Have you eaten at Queen?

                        1. re: Brklynbobby
                          BrookBoy Apr 1, 2009 10:30 AM

                          You have not had fresh mozzarella until you've had fresh mozzarella at Queen. Go and try it and then let us know what you think...

                          1. re: BrookBoy
                            Bob Martinez Apr 1, 2009 10:31 AM

                            Never mind.

                          2. re: Brklynbobby
                            Scagnetti Apr 2, 2009 09:11 AM

                            I agree. I've never gotten the fresh mozzarella thing and I've had the "good" stuff from Pastosa's and Faicco's.

                            And don't get me started on smoked mozzarella either!

                            1. re: Scagnetti
                              Tay Apr 2, 2009 12:24 PM

                              I think it's more of a texture rather than taste, thing. Queen's is almost silky... II just feels good. :-)

                      2. re: Olive123
                        BrookBoy Apr 1, 2009 10:39 AM

                        As another long-time patron of Queen I want to urge you to give Queen another shot. As Bob Martinez said, it sounds like you got a bad night. I know they've had some turnover recently in their staff and that probably contributed to the service issues you experienced, but, like Bob, I've never had a really bad service issue there. It could also be that they may have been short-staffed on that particular night.

                        As you noted in your original post, it was very crowded, which is actually the norm at Queen. The fact that they continue to draw large crowds even in this economy, and the response of so many Queen supporters here should indicate that they might actually be worth another try.

                        1. re: BrookBoy
                          Steve R Apr 1, 2009 01:50 PM

                          As most probably know, we like Queen a lot as well and have been there more times than I can count (well, more than my fingers and toes at any rate). Including several times with Bob Martinez, as a matter of fact. The only time we had a truely bad experience was on Valentine's Day, when we were part of a "get 'em in, get 'em out and charge 'em a lot" money making production line there a couple of years ago. So, it doesnt surprise me that you got the "worst of Queen" during "Dine-In Brooklyn" week, even if they didnt give you the deal that drew you in.

                          That being said, I just have to let you know that we went a week before you, when there was no DIB "special" going on. And we almost walked out! After being seated by the maitre d', who's been there for many years and knows us, we were quickly waited on and sold a bottle of wine. Then we were left to sit without any further service for 15 minutes. There were 2 big parties of 16 and 10 being catered to and I noticed that other tables for 2 werent getting anywhere either. Then we got a stale bread basket without half the stuff going to other tables. Then, we watched as the large tables (and even the 4 & 6 tops) were served the fresh soft rolls (I forget what they're called... they have a flour coating and are shaped almost like dumplings). We called over the bus boy who told us that "they'll get to us" but they're "busy". I called over the maitre d', who promised to get our waiter but never did. Our waiter arrived after hanging out at the bar for 5 minutes and also said that he was quite busy with the big tables. We managed to get him to take our order... if he didnt, we had already decided to bolt. The food started arriving 5 minutes later and was, as usual, very good (yes, we got the mozz., among other things). The rest of the dinner was fine, but we never got the rolls or anything other than the basics. As you probably figured out, we werent in a rush and were actually in a pretty laid back mood, treating all this as entertainment. I think that if we were with friends we had brought for the 1st time or not in this frame of mind, we'd never have put up with it.

                          No real purpose other than to share on this... just sayin' that all aint always rosy at The Queen. But they do make some mean stuff.

                          1. re: Steve R
                            Tay Apr 2, 2009 08:00 AM

                            " I think that if we were with friends we had brought for the 1st time or not in this frame of mind, we'd never have put up with it"

                            As much as I appreciate their food, as long as I'm paying the same prices as everyone else, the one thing I won't accept is indifferent, uncaring service. If Staff is new or just inexperienced, I'm understanding and even encouraging. If there is a mistake in the order or the kitchen, well, mistakes happen but bad service?... Nuh uh... No matter how good the food, no excuse is acceptable.

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