Williamsburg's Potlikker's Amazing Food - NYC

Liza Queen's riveting return

The brilliant food at Williamsburg's Potlikker is some of the most personal cooking we have had.

After a two-year detour to cook in Saigon, Potlikker's chef-owner, Liza Queen, returned to northern Brooklyn to open her fine diner. Queen calls the easygoing restaurant's cuisine "American regional." That term is too broad, too simplistic. She cooks like an auteur: A Truffaut of sandwiches. A Hitchcock of eggs.

Consider Potlikker's brunch: One sandwich ($14) loads corned tongue that has been confited in duck fat onto rye bread. The tongue is then mounted with Ewephoria, a Dutch sheep's-milk Gouda, watercress and house-made kraut and buttermilk dressing. All substance and pluck, it is like every Reuben, and like none of them.

Queen's Creole eggs ($13) are a census poll on a plate: A Mexican chile-tomato sauce enveloping shirred eggs served with black-eyed pea fritters and house-pickled jalapeño slices.

There is Vietnamese iced coffee ($3), too, and, with a bow toward the South, an oversize baking-powder biscuit ($6), cooked to order, split and thwacked with lemon curd and, when we dined, blackberry compote.

Sitting at the counter, as we watched Queen cook, we immediately started making plans to return for dinner.

Potlikker, 338 Bedford Ave. (bet. S. Second and S. Third sts.); 718-388-9808 or potlikkerbrooklyn.com