Magazine article The New Yorker

Tempo

Magazine article The New Yorker

Tempo

Article excerpt

256 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn (718-636-2020)--The new Brooklyn dining scene can get old pretty fast, with all those crowded communal tables and artfully dishevelled former bodegas. Cucina--the progenitor of Park Slope's restaurant row--has reopened with a new name and new Manhattan partners (ex-Babbo front-of-the-house types). It might be the twenty-foot-tall curving walls, the canvases brushed with metallic paint, or the eerie absence of kids, but it hardly feels like the Slope.

The food is also new, and it's not just Italian anymore. Chef and part owner Michael Fiore, a holdover from Cucina, has managed to wind together flavors and styles from all over the Mediterranean without creating a disconnected smorgasbord. The appetizers are full of grace notes: fennel-andpistachio stuffing in the house-made porchetta, toasted almonds in the flaky phyllo duck rolls. …

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