Italian Favorites, Done Just Right

Not that there’s anything wrong with foams or fusion food, but sometimes all you really want is a well-prepared plate of pasta and a decent bottle of wine. Simple pleasures like these are why you go to Po Brooklyn, the month-old Cobble Hill outpost of the popular Village restaurant. “The food was fresh and tasty—not mind-blowing, but filling and homey,” reports Sarah McC. “None of us had anything we didn’t already know and love, but that’s a nice thing.”

Early favorites include roasted beet salad (with endive, artichokes, and watercress); grilled portobello salad (with arugula and shaved Parmesan); white bean ravioli; orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe; linguine with clams, pancetta, white wine, and a touch of chile; grilled balsamic-glazed salmon; and sliced veal sweetbreads sautéed with pancetta and potatoes. Among the desserts, panna cotta with cherries and the Po Sundae (mint gelato, cinnamon-spiced pine nuts, and chocolate sauce) win praise. Portions are generous; delicious polpetta di carne (meatballs with tomato sauce and Asiago), an antipasto, is almost big enough to be a main course, Sarah says. Service has been gracious and assured right out of the gate.

The $50 six-course tasting dinner (salad, two pasta courses, main course, cheese course, dessert) is a fine way to sample the menu—but it’s a ton of food, Nehna advises. Much of her meal was drawn from the regular menu, though there were a couple of surprises, and the kitchen is flexible, including an entrée of sweetbreads upon request, for example.

“All in all,” she adds, “we enjoyed it and could easily see going there often. I was hoping that Po would gamble more with unusual Italian fare—more offal and that sort of thing, the kind of stuff you find at Babbo. I would really love it if the owner decided to take some risks, offering something you couldn’t have gotten on Smith Street before.”

Po Brooklyn [Cobble Hill]
276 Smith Street (between Degraw and Sackett streets), Brooklyn
718-875-1980
Map

Po [Greenwich Village]
31 Cornelia Street (between Bleecker and W. Fourth streets), Manhattan
212-645-2189
Map

Board Link: Po is open for business

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