284 Grand Street Brooklyn
(Between Roebling & Havemeyer Streets)
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Our Rating: ★ ★ ★ Good
Cards: Cash only
Hours: Mon-Thu 5 pm – 11 pm; Fri 5 pm – 12 am; Sat 11 am – 12 am; Sun 11 am – 11 pm
Booze: Full bar
Subway: L to Bedford Ave or Lorimer Street
NY Mag says:
In no time at all we zoom over the Williamsburg Bridge to the charmingly rustic Fiore, with its spiffy service, flea-market treasures, and enticing Italian home cooking. Warming up over a bottle of Mount Veeder Cabernet, the six of us share the excellent grilled pizzas, all of them: bianca with cheese and prosciutto, a peppery two-cheese pie, and the house’s namesake, paved with zucchini and perfumed with truffled Robiola cheese. Then it’s on to a runny Burrata, a mound of fried calamaretti and zucchini, and a salad that mixes roasted butternut squash, radicchio, Pecorino, and walnuts–enough to share. When Teodora’s chef-owner Giancarlo Quadalti finished restoring this crumbling little building, he realized he didn’t want to run a trattoria beneath his own duplex, so he persuaded chef Roberto Aita of Roc to cross the bridge. Now Quadalti stops by for dinner often, joining us tonight for cavatelli with broccoli rabe and sausage, and monkfish with roasted garlic, preserved lemon, and caper sauce. I’ve tasted three versions of bucatini all’amatriciana in the past week, and this one, just $9, is the best. Twelve dollars for half a giant-size chicken on roasted potatoes gives new strength to the dollar. Next time I’ll ask for the herbed fries or roasted potatoes “extra crispy.” Of the $4 desserts, I like the polenta cake and a primitive apple torta, but the tiramisu has uptown class. Our penny-pinching pals with a car are already planning an encore, and I’ll be joining them.
As Williamsburg’s population switches over from three-to-a-room artists to three-bedroom-owning yuppies, pricier restaurants are bound to follow. However, this rustic Italian trattoria reaches out to both camps: Its black-and-white checkerboard floor, brick walls and thick wood tables look more like the decor you’d find in swanky brownstone Brooklyn, but the unpretentious staff and low prices ensure large crowds of bargain-hunting hipsters. Amidst a sea of old-school, red-sauce joints, the rustic Italian menu hold its own. Appetizers score especially high: creamy tufts of burrata; an endive, frisee and smoked pancetta salad dressed with a tangy shallot mustard dressing; and a heaping portion of lightly fried ribbons of calamari and zucchini. Entrees nearly maintain that standard, especially thin-crust pizza topped with zucchini and fragrant truffled robiola cheese, and flaky salmon bolstered by artichokes, prosciutto and olives. Overly salty lasagna falls short, however, as does a rote lemon tart for dessert. Hits: The consistency is remarkably high, considering the menu’s affordable prices. Misses: The secret is out, meaning longer waits for a table.