Italian Restaurants - Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
Clinton Hill in Brooklyn, NY is on the verge of becoming the next "hot" place to live in Brooklyn. Discover the delights of some of the best Italian restaurants in a neighborhood made for foodies.
New Yorkers are just getting to know this previously undiscovered gem of a neighborhood. Clinton Hill is starting to attract everyone from young professionals and families to millennials.
There's a lot popping in this centuries-old but in no way old-fashioned neighborhood, including a burgeoning arts scene as well as a bevy of intriguing restaurants, bars and cafes. New residents are discovering what students at Pratt Institute and St. Joseph's College have known for years... that there are some delicious eats to be enjoyed in Clinton Hill. As befits a New York neighborhood, the cuisine on offer here is diverse and multi-cultural. Whether you're in the mood for pizza, pub grub, farm to table or fine Italian cuisine, you'll find what you're looking for in Clinton Hill.
Da Ciro - Clinton Hill
For over twenty years chef Ciro Verdi dazzled Manhattan foodies with one spectacular dish after another at his famed Lexington Avenue location.
But all good things do, at some point in time, come to an end. Chef Ciro took a well deserved break from the hectic 24/7 life of a restaurant owner and kitchen maestro.
The great news is that Chef Ciro, who happens to be one of the most charming and genuine people you will ever want to meet, is back in action.
Ciro Verdi, together with his long-time manager and business partner, the multi-talented Victoria Frignani, have opened Da Ciro in Clinton Hill.
Devoted fans of Da Ciro (which means "by Ciro" in Italian), have followed the chef all the way to Brooklyn. And wherever you might call home, it's certainly a trip worth taking.
Ciro and Victoria have created everything that you would want in a restaurant: fantastic food, friendly and professional service, a romantic ambiance as well as an exquisite wine list. And, oh yes, Da Ciro just happens to have one of the most beautiful backyard dining spaces in Brooklyn.
None other than celebrity chef Bobby Flay is a big fan of Chef Ciro's food. Da Ciro and the chef have been featured numerous times on the Food Network. Chef Flay is particularly enamored with Ciro's superb pizza creations.
A vibrant, lively neighborhood, Clinton Hill is the perfect setting for a high-energy restaurant like Da Ciro. Victoria makes things run smoothly at the front of the house and on the business end while chef Ciro works his magic in the kitchen.
Famous for his specialty pizza, Chef's signature pie is, what else, but the Di Ciro! This delicious pie is topped with hand crafted tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, oven-dried tomatoes, wild mushrooms, arugula and Prosciutto.
But as good as the pies are, this restaurant is about so much more than just pizza.
The chef works wonders with only a deceptively simple piece of chicken. Just taste the Involtino di pollo, which consists of a chicken breast stuffed with zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, goat cheese, roasted red peppers and mozzarella. This succulent dish is served with mashed potatoes.
The pasta is made in-house and can only be described as molto bene. Order the Bucatini (tubular spaghetti), with fresh chunks of tomatoes and pancetta. There's no way that you'll leave even a couple of strands of this luscious dish on your plate.
Another memorable dish is the fettuccine with mushrooms in a savory veal stock reduction and truffle oil. That is good!
When you're tired of cooking at home and want to make your evening out extraordinary, then make Da Ciro your restaurant of choice.
Location and hours
458 Myrtle Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205
Tues.-Thurs. 12 PM to 10 PM
Fri.- Sat. 12 PM to 11 PM
Sunday 12 PM too 10 PM
Graziella's - Clinton Hill
A neighborhood favorite since 2004, Graziella's is known for their quality ingredients, attentive service and generous portions.
The owners, Vito Randazzo and his father-in-law Louis Devivo invite you to enjoy their traditional dishes in the company of friends and family, along with a little wine and lots of laughter. The restaurant is named after Vito's Sicilian mother. Many of her recipes can be found on the menu, from the Randazzo family to your family.
Families from Clinton Hill and Fort Greene, as well as millennials all flock to Graziella's for their delicious pizza. You can go classic and order a Margherita or white pie. But why not be a bit adventurous and try their kale and shiitake pie or the sensational pizza Vito with ground sausage, mushrooms and caramelized onions.
One of their best-sellers is the Pizza Luigi, which is topped with tomato sauce, basil, mozzarella, anchovies, olives and red peppers.
The restaurant also offers a large selection of antipasti, salads, sauteed veggies, pasta, meat and fish dishes.
The kitchen likes to change things up, so look forward to enjoying their daily specials. Variety is indeed, the spice of life.
Vito and Louis are extremely proud of their Mediterranean grilled octopus dish, the always popular eggplant rollatini and straight from Mama Graziella's cook book, the chick pea panelle.
Their signature chicken dish is the Rosemary lemon chicken; a large and tender chicken breast sauteed in garlic, lemon and artichokes.
The restaurant's decor is a contemporary take on a typical classic Italian restaurant, very warm and relaxing. The big draw here, though, is the back porch outdoor dining space. This spacious patio-like dining area is illuminated by small lights. It is secluded and romantic.
Location and Hours
232 Vanderbilt Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205
(718 ) 789-5663
Monday-Wednesday 3 PM to 10 PM
Thursday-Sunday 11 AM to 11 PM
Speedy Romeo - Clinton Hill
"Green Market Fresh" is their motto and the folks at Speedy Romeo live up to their promise of delivering dishes to your table, made with only the freshest, most flavorful ingredients, each and every day.
All of the ricotta and mozzarella cheeses are made in-house. Produce is locally sourced. And your pizza is topped with premium San Marzano tomatoes.
The restaurant itself has quite an intriguing history. Over a century ago, the building housed a very popular bar. Generations later, the bar evolved into a liquor store. More recently, the space was turned into, of all things, an auto body repair shop.
Now, however, the space has returned to its hospitality roots thanks to chef and owner Justin Bazdarich. With a vintage, almost 19th century chic vibe, Speedy Romeo features solid wood floors, exposed brick work and an open kitchen whose centerpiece is a wood-fired Italian pizza oven.
The restaurant is named after a champion race horse. Speedy Romeo's portrait hangs near the kitchen, in a place of honor for all to see.
Italian is the culinary theme here. The kitchen does their own version of the classic Caesar salad. A bowl full of romaine lettuce is drizzled with lemon, anchovies and grated cheese. Another appetizer that you'll fall in love with are the stuffed peppers with both hot and sweet sopressata and both ricotta and pecorino cheese.
Their pork chop scallopini with celery root, radicchio and apple celery slaw is a taste treat. This is traditional Italian cuisine re-imagined. The kitchen's take on chicken parm is nothing short of sensational. Instead of the usual cutlet swamped in cheese and sauce, you get a half chicken with fresh mozzarella, parmesan crumbs, tomato and kale. Every bite is flavorful and vibrant.
They also do a very nice whole Branzino with roasted fennel, grilled lemon wedges and herb oil.
If you have a craving for pizza, you will find your happy place right here. The Dangerfield, named after the famous comedian, is topped with pork and veal meatballs, ricotta bechamel and garlic chips. The KC Royale pie contains clams, pancetta, kale, fontina, bechamel and a lemony drizzle. The Saint Louie pie is a feast on pizza crust with generous helpings of provolone cheese, Italian sausage, pepperoni and pickled chilis.
Location and Ηours
376 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Monday-Thursday 12 PM to 11 PM
Friday 12 PM to 12 AM
Saturday 11 AM to 12 AM
Sunday 11 AM to 11 PM
Locanda Vini and Olii - Clinton Hill
Having opened its' doors in January of 2001, Locanda is one of the oldest and most loved restaurants in the up and coming neighborhood of Clinton Hill.
The original owners, Catherine and Francois Louy, opened their restaurant in a space that had been previously occupied by a historic neighborhood pharmacy. This well respected pharmacy had been filling prescriptions for Clinton Hill residents for 103 years.
Locanda, hit the ground running and quickly developed a reputation for being the go-to spot for authentic Tuscan cuisine.
Catherine and Francois took a chance on a young talented chef from Florence, by the name of Michele Baldacci. His flair for the dramatic and ability to blend the culinary old world with new and innovative recipes put Locanda on the map with foodies, families and critics alike.
Chef Baldacci headed a team of hard-working, trusted employees. In 2010, though, there was a changing of the guard at Locanda.
The Louy family decided to hand over the reigns to Chef Baldacci together with his co-workers, sommelier Rocco Spagnardi and general manager Michael Schall.
The trio of new owners respected tradition, keeping the best of the past while introducing their own personal touch to the running of Locanda.
With a truly encyclopedic knowledge of wine, Rocco worked for years as a sommelier in his native Italy before traveling to Switzerland, England, Australia. Finally landing in New York, Rocco joined the Locanda team in 2009.
Michael Schall was actually a customer at the restaurant, prior to becoming an employee. Michael frequently dined at the restaurant and connected with the staff and owners. Eventually, Michael came on board as a waiter and then worked his way up the ladder to general manager.
Michael, Rocco and Chef Michele have added a vibrant energy to Locanda. Their enthusiasm is tangible. You just get a good feeling dining here.
Some of the changes include having all bread baked in-house every day, including a few scrumptious Tuscan varieties. They have also added regular wine pairing dinners, once a month. More about that later.
Antipasti selections are well worthy of entree status. Foodies come here just to sample the chef's amazing appetizers which are different from what you'll find at most Italian restaurants.
Signature specialties are highlighted by the tripe alla Fiorentina which is topped with grana padano cheese: the chicken livers and Taleggio risotto and the marvelous Fettunta, a delicious dish of Tuscan kale over olive oil and garlic rubbed bread, accompanied by cannellini beans.
Everybody loves a great charcuterie and cheese board. Well, the chef at Locanda has something a little bit more out of the box in mind for you. Guaranteed, you have never tasted anything like the Locanda Campagna meat and terrine board.
This delightful platter consists of a terrina composed of pheasant and apricots, prosciutto di Parma, roasted pork loin with a caper and cornichon mayonnaise. The dish is served with Tuscan styled fried dough or coccoli fritti.
There's seemingly no limit to the delightful sauces that chef Michele creates to accompany his hand-made pasta.
The very tasty pappardelle al coniglio, is a savory dish that features a rabbit ragu, flat noodles, sage, rosemary and white wine.
Chef's Taglierini al tartufo is a pasta lover's dream. The house made pasta is blended with shaved black truffles and tossed with asparagus, butter, grana padano cheese and a tartufa puree (porcini mushrooms, black olives and anchovies).
When nothing less than a hearty meat dish will do, try the pork shoulder casserole with escarole, carrots and potatoes. The grilled Piedmontese beef tagliata with sea salt seasoning, rosemary and an arugula salad is also a must-try.
Treat that special someone in your life to one of chef Baldacci's elegant and delicious wine dinners.
These five course dinners focus on local produce and seasonal Italian culinary traditions. The chef personally pairs each course with an appropriate wine from a particular vineyard or region. These dinners are usually sold out in advance, so check Locanda's website for announcements about their next wine dinner event. You will carry the memories from this night for many years.
Location and Ηours
129 Gates Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Monday to Thursday 5:30 to 10:15 PM
Friday-Saturday 5:30 PM to 11 PM
Sunday 5:30 PM to 9:45 PM
Belli Osteria - Clinton Hill
Belli Osteria definitely has that very special date night vibe that you're looking for when you want to spend some alone time over a great meal, with your significant other.
Dine by candlelight and enjoy a fabulous meal amidst cozy and intimate surroundings.
The food itself will create an unforgettable romantic mood. The menu is an intriguing mix of Italian cuisine and New American fare.
Belli Osteria's "most wanted" menu item is the Belli Burger, a perfectly grilled Angus beef patty. The burger is topped with melty, gooey Gorgonzola cheese, caramelized onions, roasted peppers and arugula. If that's not enough to tempt your taste-buds, this dish is served with Truffle Parmesan dusted fries.
The owners place a great deal of importance on sourcing their ingredients locally. Organic products are utilized whenever possible.
All of their beef and pork comes from Vernon Valley Farms, which means quality on your plate. Whether you are enjoying a meat lasagna, Rigatoni with Bolognese sauce or their signature rosemary-garlic steak, rest assured that every succulent piece of meat is hormone and anti-biotic free.
Belli is all about continuing the home made, slow cooking tradition made famous by Italian Grandmothers everywhere, from Brooklyn to Naples.
The chefs at belli want to take you back to those luscious Sunday dinners that you enjoyed at Grandma's house. There, everything was fresh as a daisy. Nothing canned ever made it into Grandma's kitchen.
Enoc, belli's expert pasta maker lovingly hand crafts all of his pasta using only farm fresh eggs, flour and extra virgin olive oil.
When Enoc's pasta is turned over to the chefs amazing things happen, like the potato gnocchi with grilled black kale and jalapeno pesto, pecans and shaved Manchego cheese.
Grandma's cooking is also well-represented by the butternut squash ravioli with sage and Mascarpone cheese.
The chef's delicious organic grilled polenta with fontina cream sauce and mushrooms as well as the risotto with sausage and green peas are earning rave reviews from neighborhood regulars who simply won't eat anywhere else.
Honorable mention goes to Belli's flat bread pizzas. The spicy chorizo, (sourced from an upstate New York farm) with red peppers, mozzarella and house-made tomato sauce is to die for.
There's nothing better than unwinding after a long day at work with a delicious cocktail or glass of craft beer before dinner.
The bar at Belli knows how to mix a delicious Chipotle Margarita as well as a Bellini and Mojito.
They have a great list of local craft beers and some really nice imported reds and whites. You will not go thirsty here.
Location and Ηours
860 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Monday-Thursday 5 PM to 11 PM
Friday 5 PM to 11:30 PM
Saturday 11 AM to 11:30 PM
Sunday 11 AM to 11 PM
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