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      This Is Food Porn: Antica Pesa

      October 19, 2012

      By Angelina Fanous

      Senior Associate Editor

      I always get really embarrassed when I talk about my trip to Italy. I’ll get questions like, “Did you go to the glass factory when you were in Venice? It’s amazing,” and I’ll always shyly answer, “No, but I ate at this one restaurant by the Jewish Ghetto, and THAT was amazing.” I only ate in Italy, because the food is the only attraction I cared about. More people should go to Italy just to eat, and Antica Pesa is a testament to this. Now, you don’t even have to go all the way to Italy to try the amazing food. Antica Pesa, the famous Rome restaurant that was established in 1922, just opened up a sister location a few blocks from the VICE's Brooklyn office. When I heard about it, I couldn’t wait to relive the amazing food from Italy.

      I would talk about the space. Yeah, it was dimly lit and intimate with cool jazz playing in the background. You could see the chef making your meal—an added plus if you’re curious about your food like I am. But that wasn’t what initially got our attention. Instead of the décor, we freaked out over the silverware. The forks and knives were heavy and made the meal feel that much more important. When we asked our waiter about the cutlery, he told us it was the same stuff from Italy.

      Like any meal should start, our meal began with red wine—a lot of the house sangiovese wine. The wine was jammy and bold all at once. It lingered on your tongue the same way a first kiss does.

      The first course, which I was too excited about to take pictures, was a bitter radicchio salad served with pears and walnuts and prosciutto served with warm mozzarella in phyllo dough. I have a lot of opinions on a lot of things, but I have especially strong opinions on what phyllo dough should be. You can tell how fresh the phyllo is by the way it bakes. This must’ve been handmade phyllo, perfectly fluffy and crispy at the same time. The cheese just gooed out of it. One of my dining partners said, “This tastes like a fluffy cloud.” I’ve never tasted a cloud, so I can’t verify.

      Schiaffoni in a tomato sauce and a zuppa di broccoli were the second course. My dining partners went on and on about the pasta, but I was impressed with the soup. I like broccoli and I like soup, but not together. Broccoli usually overpowers anything around it, but this was more of a broccoli cream—not a broccoli liquid—balanced with fried, creamy polenta goodness. And everyone knows that “fried” is really a synonym for “love.”

      We shared the three entrees for our third course: grilled lamb chops, pork loin, and snapper. Hands down, the lamb chops won as the best dish, and I’m not just saying that because everything I eat, like to eat, or grew up eating has lamb in it. If anything, that makes my opinion on lamb more credible. Lamb pulls a lot of tricks: It’s either fatty and soggy or crispy and tough. This was the happy and perfect medium between those. It was glorious and magnificent and other three-syllable adjectives.

      Desert is never my favorite part of any meal. It just isn’t, but the blueberry panna cotta was definitely the highlight. Even as I was flailing my hands in the air in protest of blueberries in the middle of October (they’re out of season and, really, pomegranate panna cotta seemed like the more appropriate option), I couldn’t help but savor every bite of the creamy gelatin.

      Antica Pesa is open to the public today. You do what you want with that information. 

       

      Antica Pesa
      115 Berry Street  

      Brooklyn, New York 11211
      (347) 763-2635

       

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      Topics: antica pesa, williamsburg, food, italian meals, grown-up meals

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