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Best Italian Restaurants In Brooklyn

Best Italian Restaurants In Brooklyn

The superb Italian restaurants in Brooklyn reflect Italy's delicious regional cuisine and culture. Fine Italian dining should come as no surprise, since generations of Italian-Americans have settled in this eclectic and welcoming borough.

Italian culture has made a lasting imprint on the Brooklyn landscape. From the lighter, truffle and lemon with butter sauce meat and pasta dishes of the Piedmont and Lombardy regions to the classic lasagnas and manicottis a la Napoli. No matter which regional dish you choose, every bite is a delight.

Antica Pesa - Brooklyn 

Antica Pesa is one of Brooklyn's most popular restaurants as far as  any cuisine is concerned, not just Italian. But they do excel at dishes from the land of Michaelangelo and DaVinci. This charming, very cool restaurant manages to capture a vibe that is both urban sophisticated yet, relaxed and casual. Unlike most trendy, buzzed-about restaurants, you don't come to Antica Pesa just to be seen and have a quick drink or bar bite, before moving on to a nearby club or lounge.
Antica 5 
Dining here is all about living in the moment. Antica Pesa is about lingering over your meal while you savor each and every bite. The romantic, upscale atmosphere encourages you to whisper sweet thoughts into the ear of the one you love. During the winter months, you can enjoy the ambiance that is created by their glowing fire place. Antica Pesa's owners, the Panella family, want you to follow the traditions of their native Italy and embrace life to the fullest. That's easy when you dine here. The Panellas have been in the restaurant business for many generations. The family opened the original Antica Pesa, in Rome's Trastevere district, back in 1922. It is still going strong. There is quite a background story to the restaurant's name. In Italian, Antica Pesa refers to the "old scales". Starting in the 17th Century, inhabitants of Vatican City as well as local farmers, used scales to portion out the food that they donated  to the poor in the nearby Trastevere District.
Antica 3 
At Antica Pesa in Williamsburg, the kitchen re-works traditional Roman recipes to give these dishes a more contemporary look and flavor. Most of  the tempting desserts are made in-house. Antica Pesa's chefs use only the finest imported cheese and olive oil. Many of their pastas are also imported from Italy. Ingredients are farm to table, just like in the old days. Even the salads here have their own distinctive personality. The Insalata Estiva is a perfect example. Your bowl is filled with  baby arugula, spinach, French beans, pickled eggplant, toasted almonds and it's all dressed with mint and yogurt. The pasta alla checca salad gives you fresh Italian pasta, served cold, with buffalo mozzarella, smoked caciotta cheese, basil, seasonal tomatoes and olive oil.
Antica 2
For those who like their pasta hot, or at the very least, warm, try Le penne alla Norma. Your pasta is blended with ricotta salata cheese, sautéed eggplant, tomato confit, fresh basil and San Marzano tomatoes. The kitchen knows what they're doing when it comes to  delectable fish, chicken and meat dishes. One of their signature dishes, the Maialino da latte, consists of milk-fed porchetta, roasted yellow peaches in rosemary oil, baked  cherry tomatoes, grilled fennel and spicy toasted almonds in a Dijon mustard sauce. The organic beef filet is seared to perfection, with caramelized onions, grilled bell peppers in a balsamic reduction with a red wine glaze. If that's not the epitome of delicious, we don't know what is.

You cannot go wrong with any of the sweet endings here. But the dark chocolate and olive oil sponge cake with a pistachio mousse, cherry compote, milk and Amarena Fabbri cherry gelato is hard to top.

Location and Hours 

115 Berry Street
Brooklyn, NY 11249
(347) 763-2635
www.anticapesa.com
 
Hours
Sunday to Thursday 6 PM to 10 PM
Friday and Saturday 6 PM to 11 PM

Patrizia's of Brooklyn

When your in-laws or parents come in to visit, take them to see chef Giacomo Alaio at Patrizia's. The food and atmosphere is worth the trip to Williamsburg. And if you already live in the neighborhood, so much the better.
Patricias Pizza 3 
Chef Giacomo prepares every dish using fresh organic ingredients as well as family recipes that date back over 150 years. Now that really is old-school. The Alaio family are hands-on owners who want to make your visit with them as memorable and enjoyable as possible. They know that you have worked hard all week to earn your money and, when you choose to spend it at Patrizia's, the Alaios want you to get your money's worth. Born in Naples, Giacomo Alaio moved to Brooklyn when he was just eight years old. But, as an adult, he returned to Naples and worked with his cousin at the family restaurant. Here Giacomo was trained as a chef in the proud Neapolitan tradition. Returning to his beloved Brooklyn, Giacomo set out to do his own interpretation of traditional Neapolitan cuisine.
Patricias Pizza 2 
Appetizer sensations include the Portobello mushrooms with pesto and goat cheese and chef's signature pepperoni alla Pozzuoli, which are Holland peppers stuffed with Buffalo mozzarella and prosciutto. Chef's soups are  something really special, particularly the pasta fagioli and the cheese tortellini in chicken broth. Pasta offerings range from Gnocchi pesto, penne alla vodka, baked ziti and fettuccine Carbonara to the scrumptious fioretti alla boscaiola, which is stuffed pasta in a delightful mushroom and prosciutto cream sauce. Unlike many cream-based sauces, this one is not heavy at all.
Among the many delicious meat and fish dishes, the Chicken Pecora (chicken with spinach and goat cheese), is certainly the best. Of course, the skirt steak with broccoli rabe might just have something to say about that.

Location and Hours

35 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11249
(718) 218-9272
www.patriziasofbrooklyn.com
 
Hours
Tuesday to Thursday 11 AM to 10 PM
Friday and Saturday   11 AM to  12 AM
Sunday                     12 PM to  10 PM
Monday                     Closed

Aurora - Brooklyn 

Owner Gaspare Villa named Aurora  after his favorite place to dine in all of Italy. Gaspare, a native of Rome, thought nothing of making the long, two and a half hour drive from Rome to Tuscany, so he could enjoy all of the culinary delights that Aurora had to offer. In a country that is so rich in wonderful restaurants and culinary traditions, that is one powerful compliment.
Aurora 1 
Needless to say, the cuisine here is Tuscan-inspired. And, the food is not only authentic, it's also very good. If it is important to you, then it's important to the Chef and owner here. That's why they serve organic, locally grown products along with hormone and antibiotic-free meats. Aurora also has an excellent wine list that is composed of bio dynamic and organic reds and whites. Aurora is sure to have a dish that you will love. Menu selections range from Cicchetti (small plates life artisanal flat breads and imported cheeses and meats), Antipasti (grilled octopus, peach salad), and Secondi (mains like branzino, mushroom ravioli and Tuscan-style strip steak) to contorini (sides such as cauliflower with raisins and chimichurri and fingerling potatoes).
Aurora 3 
One of their most popular dishes, by far, is the Taglierini al granchio. You will savor every bite of the artisanal hand-cut squid ink pasta with Summer zucchini, mint, blue crab meat and a zesty touch of Calabrian chili. One of Aurora's best features is its large and leafy garden. The wall that surrounds the restaurant's picture window, at the rear of the establishment, is entirely covered in greenery. The scene is so very picturesque and stunning. The garden is a big reason as to why Aurora is so popular with the young and hip wedding set.
Aurora 2 
Aurora's catering  staff and chef will assist you every step of the way in designing a customized food and beverage program for your big day. You won't have to worry about who to leave off the invitation list either. Aurora's dedicated special event room can hold up to 100 people. Aurora... the address may be in Brooklyn, but the ambiance is strictly Italian.

Location and Hours 

70 Grand Street
Brooklyn, New York 11249
(718) 388-5100
www.aurorabk.com
 
Hours
Monday to Thursday 12 PM to 11 PM
Friday                     12 PM to 12 AM
Saturday                 11 AM to 12 AM
Sunday                   11 AM to  10 PM 

Acqua Santa - Brooklyn 

Chef and owner Mariano LaManno personifies the charm, creativity and zest for life that is typical of most Italians. But the personable chef may just be "one up" on creative geniuses in science and fashion like Marconi or Armani. After all, Marconi may have invented wireless communication and Armani is royalty in the world of fashion, but neither one can hold a candle to Chef LaManno when it comes to working some magic in the kitchen.
AcquaSanta 1 
Here at Acqua Santa you get the real deal when you dine at Chef Mariano's table. Trained in Italy, the chef cooks authentic Italian cuisine, not an Americanized version of an Italian classic dish. That makes all the difference when you want to dine as the Italians dine.
 
The chef doesn't believe in overly complicating things. He sticks to basics but  uses premium ingredients along with more than a touch of ingenuity. With over 30 years of experience, the Chef will take you on a mouth-watering culinary journey. One of your stops should be their magnificent garden room, complete with grapevines that are draped over wooden poles and on the ceiling beams.
AcquaSanta 3 
The menu features eight different pasta dishes and, really, any one of them could become your new, favorite meal. The Saffron Fettuccine with mushrooms, shrimps and zucchini is acclaimed by regulars and new customers alike. Love gnocchi but are a little tired of the same old potato dumplings? Then try chef's beet gnocchi that is plated with a light cream sauce along with parmigiana, rucola and prosciutto. Chef's pappardelle Bolognese just may be the tastiest version of the classic pasta with meat sauce that this writer has ever had.
 
Dinner packs a flavorful Italian punch but don't ignore brunch at Acqua Santa. The chef's talent for combining simplicity with flair is showcased on his brunch menu. The Omelette Piemontese is stuffed with mushrooms, together with cream of porcini and white truffle. Also available is a luscious asparagus and Parmigiano cheese omelette.
AcquaSanta 4 
For a hearty meal try the smoked spicy Italian sausages with sunny side up eggs or the Spaghetti Carbonara. Everyone, from the hostess, bussers and servers to the chef himself, is very friendly in a truly genuine way. The staff puts a smile on your face. You will be smiling even more if you order a glass of imported Italian wine to go with your meal. The wait staff is expert when it comes to pairing wines with different dishes, so feel free to ask for their thoughts.

Location and Hours 

556 Driggs Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 384-9695
www.acquasanta.com
 
Hours
Monday to Thursday 12 PM to 11 PM
Friday                     12 PM to 12 AM
Saturday                 11 AM to 12 AM
Sunday                   11 AM to 11 PM

La Nonna - Brooklyn 

Chef Cono Morena's Williamsburg restaurant is the epitome of casual sophistication. Long, fashionable tied  curtains  are on display around the tables. There is an outdoor seating area with tables that are festooned with yellow umbrellas. The al fresco seating area could easily pass for a sidewalk Trattoria in Rome.
La Nonna 2 
A mostly self-taught chef, Cono also owns a Pizza restaurant in Williamsburg. This is the spot where the chef first got started. La Nonna is the chef's second establishment and it is putting this bright young up and coming culinary star on the map. The chef named the restaurant  in honor of his grandmother (Nonna), who taught him the values and work ethic that he so cherishes. If it weren't for Nonna, Chef Cono would not be the kind of person he is. Especially when it comes to being in the kitchen. No one could cook like Nonna.
 
But after you sample one of his dishes, you'll agree that Chef Cono does come close. He upholds his grandmother's culinary traditions with pride. Fish plays a large role in the menu here. But these are no ordinary fish dishes. Just taste the shrimp and caramelized walnuts in a saffron cream sauce, the lobster-filled ravioli or the Chilean sea bass with calamari, roasted tomatoes and miso toasted bread crumbs and you'll know why La Nonna is the talk of Williamsburg.
La Nonna 3 
If you're not in the mood for fish, there are a number of pasta and vegetarian dishes that you can choose from. The eggplant with fresh mozzarella and pesto belongs in the foodies hall of fame. The romantic atmosphere and delicious food makes for a winning combination at La Nonna.

Location and Hours 

184 Kent Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11249
(718) 302-1100
www.lanonnabk.com
 
Hours
Tuesday to Saturday  12 PM to 11 PM
Sunday                     12 PM to 10 PM
Monday                     Closed

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