Having lived in this area for over five years, I didn't have high expectations checking out Il Brigante. In the neighborhood, I've seen a fair share of come-and-go's... of dodos... and those Wall St dress-ups that make Carmine's feel as if it's "the original" :) So, tonight, while doing laundry, between washing and drying, I thought-- what about a pizza run?
There was one other table when I came in just over an hour ago. Service was fast and friendly as I decided on the Margherita pizza and the daily special, mussels in white wine sauce. The place boasts a coal oven and, although I haven't been to Italy, I'd wager their pizza would pass native standards. The dough is outstanding-- not too crunchy nor chewy, just that someplace in-between that made me wolf it down and lick the plate clean (okay, I really didn't lick the plate clean... but I wanted to :)
Then the Mussels. And I thought the pizza was the highlight! These were very fresh, not overcooked and I was smiling through the sixteen, wiping the foccacia(?) bread in its sauce and eating every morsel of food. Total bill? $20.59. It's rare I have a meal this satisfying but perhaps it was because my expectations weren't too high to begin with. Having said that, I do believe Il Brigante is here to stay!