Specialties from Sardinia are among the smart orders at River Deli, which opened in May in Brooklyn Heights. One standout is malloreddus sardi alla campidanese, a short, saffron-flavored pasta with sausage, tomato sauce, and pecorino. "We had to work around the malodorous-sounding name and the pasta that looked rather like a plateful of grubs," Deb Van D says, "but it was really good."
In fact, pastas in general seem to be solid bets here. Steve R loves the pappardelle with mushrooms. Others say the lasagne is first-rate. The owners, who are from Sardinia, are gradually adding more of their native specialties, and pasta with bottarga recently joined the menu. Another is pane frattau, a traditional dish of flatbread layered with tomato and egg. Other winners include grilled tuna, the salumi and cheese platter, and mussels in buttery, garlicky broth.
Overall, hounds find River Deli likable and promising, though they report some early missteps, including inconsistent portion size and wines served too warm. "The place is rather new and very cute," boccalupo writes. "There is a lot of room for improvement here, so let's see how things develop."