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Northern Italian in southern Brooklyn?

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Are there any really solid northern Italian restaurants south of the Slope in Brooklyn, or do we have to venture to northern Brooklyn? Looking for good northern Italian with a light touch in Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Sunset Park, Gravesend, Midwood, Ditmas Park, etc.

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  1. Park Slope isn't exactly northern Brooklyn, but I get your drift. Interested to hear the answers as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Peter Cuce

      Hmm, yes, I was definitely a bit too narrow-minded there, but I was curious to know if the very southern-Italian-seeming parts (as much as they are still Italian at all) of southern Brooklyn had any northern food. Let's include the Slope and neighboring areas after all, but especially areas with easier parking, like the South Slope, Red Hook, and maybe Carroll Gardens. I don't normally drive much, but I have some relatives visiting and they love northern Italian, preferably nothing too heavy. When I lived in NJ they adored a place in Lyndhurst called Gelone; I'd like to find something like that here without having to fight too much BQE traffic. Preferably with entrees under $25 if possible. Peter? Anyone?

    2. Nope, none that I know of. There are a couple of places on Bay Ridge's 3rd Ave strip that say that they are Northern Italian, but their menus don't seem to back it up. All of the ones that we frequent are in the Northern Bklyn neighborhoods. However, although I haven't been there in years and was never enthralled by it to begin with, Tomasso's is the kind of place that does a little of everything and Northern Italian items are within the menu. They may well be okay at it.

      1. We ended up at Piccoli Trattoria at 522 6th Avenue in the Slope. I don't even normally like Italian food very much, but this place is excellent. On top of the good quality of the food, the portions are not so enormous that you feel compelled to overstuff yourself. Some people with huge appetites may regard that as a minus, but to me, it's a plus. That way, you still have room for dessert at the end.

        All the pasta is made in-house.

        This place is no secret -- we got there at 9:55 p.m. and it was still hopping, though we were able to get seated immediately. (I usually only post about things that are lesser-known, but since I posed the original question, I figured I'd report back with the [delicious] results of our search.)

        4 Replies
        1. re: Ike

          Glad you liked it &, correct, it's not a secret place but well liked in the area. The chef/owner is also co-owner of Fragole on Court St & that's been a neighborhood "go to" place for quite awhile now. These, plus several others dot the "northern-ish" Bklyn neighborhoods :-) and fit the bill for moderately priced good food. If you're ever in the mood for another adventure into Park Slope for Northern Italian, you should stop at Al di La, a very longstanding CH favorite.

          1. re: Ike

            wondering, what did you eat there?

            Id say that in addition to Al di La, Locanda Vini e Olii and Marco's also are northern italian in style. They both have a restrained serving size as well, but neither are inexpensive.

            1. re: jen kalb

              We had the "arcobaleno" salad, which was not bad, but the real highlights of the meal were the entrees: Spaghetti al granchio (described on the menu as "homemade black spaghetti with wild blue crab meat, scallion, lemon and calabrian chilli"), fettuccine cacio e funghi ("homemade fettuccine with wild mushrooms, light cream sauce & pecorino romano," though we asked for it with garlic and olive oil instead of cream sauce, and we were glad we did -- cream sauce is usually too heavy for our tastes), and ravioli with goat cheese, which was probably a special, unless something is not accounted for on the online menu.

              This place's atmosphere is really tops, too. It has a charming, convincingly rustic thing going on, with a great pressed tin ceiling. Anybody who is looking to take a hot date to a classy joint in the Slope that's romantic-rustic rather than over-the-top fancy, check it out. (Of course, as chowhounds, our ideal is probably to find somebody who'd like to go to Flushing with us and eat weird spicy crap in a grimy downstairs mall like 41-28 Main St., but sadly that's just not always possible, at least not in my universe, and lots of chowhound ladies seem to be married already. Unless of course, CBS turns this into a dating site, too, on top of whatever else they're about to do to it. Uh oh, I'd better stop giving them ideas.)

              1. re: Ike

                thanks for the info - it sounds like an interesting menu tho maybe not so "northern italian" - the ingredients are eclectic enough that all I would really say is its non-redsauce italian. Do they have meat or fish on the menu in addition to pasta?