Anella in Greenpoint just went uptown, hiring a chef with a pedigree (Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Cafe). Hounds are noticing.

This neighborhood spot, open less than a year, has shifted from straight Italian to a broader menu, still grounded in the Mediterranean, with an emphasis on seasonal flavors. sweetpickles recounts a dinner highlighted by beautifully tender, almost creamy beef short rib. It came in a couple of forms: chopped up in ravioli with scallions and lightly crisped hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, or in a big hunk with braised red cabbage, orange, and potatoes. Mussels were briny and delicious, steamed in white wine and butter and brought out in a Dutch oven. A starter of roasted carrots also hit the mark, sweet and tender and served with house-made ricotta that approached the lightness of crème fraîche.

Dessert was a near-miss: slightly spongy chocolate bread pudding, though the buttermilk ice cream that came with it was nicely semi-sweet. Still, sweetpickles is sold: “I hope more food-minded folk check it out. It would be a shame to see such noble efforts go to waste.”

Anella [Greenpoint]
222 Franklin Street (between Green and Huron streets), Brooklyn

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