Broccolino in Brooklyn

My friend K, who is a regular at Barclays Center, has been telling me about all the great food that could be found around the arena. So when cousin E and I got tickets to see Green Day last week, I knew exactly who to call for restaurant recommendations. K did not disappoint with her extensive list.

E and I both had a hankering for Italian and K had two reccs: Patsy’s Pizzeria and Broccolino, both on Dean Street in Brooklyn. Patsy’s was packed with a long line when we got there around 6 so we headed to Broccolino.

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Bread with oil and vinegar. Also ordered glasses of rosé to go with our dinner

Glad we did, as the place filled up less than 10 minutes after we were seated. Broccolino’s is rather small. Cozy would be the real estate term. It has a metal door that slides up for al fresco dining during warmer weather. Inside are three long tables for communal dining and a short bar facing the kitchen.

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Service was quick. Soon after we got some artisanal bread to dip in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, we placed our orders. We got calamari with a side of spicy tomato sauce for our appetizer. I have to say, Broccolino’s Frittura di Calamari is probably the best I’ve ever had: crunchy on the outside and very tender inside, with the batter perfectly seasoned. The spicy marinara was the perfect dip.

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I had homemade pasta with beef ragu and green peas, while E had homemade pasta with wild boar sausage, porcini mushrooms in light cream sauce. My ragu was fantastic, with the pasta perfectly al dente. The chef didn’t skimp on the sauce either and it was rich and hearty. E’s entree was very tasty as well, but it must have been cooked just slightly too long because the cream started curdling while she was eating and she ended up having about an inch of oil in her plate.

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No room for dessert after the pasta, but we did have coffee and tea. And the bill was handed to us between the pages of what looks like pulpy comics. Oily pasta aside, I’d love to come back and check out the rest of the menu. And maybe get another taste of the awesome calamari.

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