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Outer Boroughs Italian

Il Passatore - New Williamsburg Italian


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Restaurants & Bars 15

Il Passatore - New Williamsburg Italian

Glutton_ny | Nov 15, 2007 11:22 AM

I just tried a new East Williamsburg place that has only been open a week: Il Passatore on Bushwick Ave at the corner of Metropolitan. It is a charming cozy Italian with a menu from the Romagna region (Adriatic coast). I met the owner, host, headwaiter, etc. who is named Christian and comes from that region bringing his family recipes with him. I've only been once so far, but the standouts are clearly the pastas which are all made in-house. The gnocchi slayed me. They were sold as gnocchi in a sage and butter sauce. What I wasn’t expecting was the lightness and melt-in-your-mouth quality of the gnocchi. I asked how they did it and was told that there was no potato flour in them, they were made solely out of ricotta and spinach. They were so good we ordered a second plate. We also ate the Tagliolini with smoked salmon and cream sauce which was superb, rich and smoky with large chunks of smoked salmon, and the Pappardelle with lamb ragu. One of the regional specialties is the Piadina, a soft hot charcoal grilled flatbread with fillings. We ordered the piadina formaggio e rucola. The flatbread is simple and plain and exceedingly thin, with two sheets stuffed with fresh arugula and spread with a soft white cheese. Drizzled with olive oil and balsamic these made for a nice appetizer. On the salad front we had the beets, orange and baby spinach salad and the arugula, pears and parmesan cheese salad. Both were first rate. Large wide shavings of parmesan mixed with the thick sliced pears and sharp arugula was my favorite. My entrée was the very tasty and tender Veal Cutlet Milanese which was pounded flat and breaded, served with salted roasted potato wedges. We shared desserts, a hot flourless chocolate cake, a tiramisu and a panna cotta. All three were excellent, the chocolate cake was notably good. The restaurant has no wine, beer or liquor license so we brought our own wine. They told me the licenses are in the works, and there is a small bar in the front of the room so I assume byob will no longer be an option after a while. The atmosphere was charming. Dark hardwood floors, old exposed brick walls with niches, simple metal hanging light fixtures and a deep rust colored red paint on the walls. The tables were all full, which shocked me for a place that had only been open for a week. Prices were very reasonable, with the piadina and salads at $6, the pastas at $8 and the entrée at $14. I took the L train from Union Square to Graham Ave and walked 2 blocks. The meal was definitely worth the trek to Brooklyn. I'll be back.

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