Sunday, November 25, 2012

Krescendo

I love the feeling I get when I read about an anticipated new restaurant opening in Brooklyn. Saturday evening we had the pleasure of trying the brand new Southern Italian focused restaurant, Krescendo. This place was originally slated to open in October, but with Sandy and the Nor'easter slowing things up a bit, it officially made its Brooklyn debut at the beginning of November. Krescendo is headed by famous chef/author/tv personality Elizabeth Falkner, who  recently relocated to Brooklyn to open up this new Italian eatery not far from the Barclay Center in the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn. 

Rosa Nero
Krescendo looks like what a lot of these new Brooklyn spots look like, and not in a bad way. Exposed brick, nice long bar with ample seating, and a sexy mosaic wood burning pizza oven on the back wall. The place was full but not packed, and the hostess led us to the bar saying the wait would be no more than 20 mins (not terrible for a saturday night in a borough that rarely takes reservations). The bartender Rob who incidentally interns at Serious Eats, was friendly and helpful. I got the Rosa Nera with rosemary infused vodka, lemon, honey and black pepper. Good, but kind of weak (I like a strong drink). My friend got the Sweet Action beer, which was almost as good and the name implies.



We ordered the Olive Misto and Black Garlic Knots while we were waiting for our table. Olives were flavorful and warm, and the garlic knots were crispy but soft in the center, and delicious. Rob recommended we also try the Arancino Balls which were really good, gooey crispy and not too heavy, with a nice pesto sauce around it. The Burrata with Caponata was also one of the highlights of the night. I LOVE burrata. Really how can you go wrong with a  creamy oozier version of a mozzarella cheese? This one was wonderful, as was the eggplant caponata.


    The pizza I'm sorry to say was probably the least exciting part of the meal, surprising as Chef Falkner actually won an "acunto forni"(think gold medal for pizza olympics) at the world pizza championship. The Margarita Extra pizza was just ok, I found the sauce on the sweet side and it did not have enough cheese to my liking. I was also not crazy about the Patata e Uova pie with potatoes, scallions, and egg, and although it sounded interesting, the potatoes were slightly undercooked, and both pizzas needed salt. The pizza was not terrible, but after the wonderful drinks and apps, I was expecting amazingness. Maybe we should have tried the Californication or Flower Power pizzas I had read about. To be fair, the restaurant is barely 3 weeks old, so I would definitely not count this place out because of it.


The pasta course was better than the pizza, and my table enjoyed. The sarde pasta was couscous like pasta loaded with capers anchovies, sardines, olives, and breadcrumbs. Pretty tasty. The other was more basic, but a good restaurant is often judged on how well they can make a basic marinara spaghetti. This one got a B+. Not Scarpetta level, the sauce a little on the sweet side, but still a pretty tasty bowl of spaghetti. We were satisfied, but not bulging. 




Dessert. As I'm sure you can figure out by now I'm not a huge dessert person (more FOOD please), but the Tartufo was pretty delicious. The Cannoli I found to be just okay, would skip this one next time.


Overall I enjoyed my experience at Krescendo and will probably be back. The food for the most part was clean, inventive and tasty. The drinks and appetizers were better than the pizza. But again they are only 3 weeks old. The wait staff was friendly, and the atmosphere works well as a good local place to add to the rotation. There was parking right outside, comfy booth seating, and a nice bar area. Try it and judge for yourself. We found it to be a solid Brooklyn spot.
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Park Slope

 Good For: local easy spot, apps & drinks, date night, girls night 

Bite Mark: *** (2.5 for the food, half star for the friendly service and nice vibe)

Krescendo; 364 Atlantic Avenue bet. Hoyt & Bond 718-330-0888 www.krescendobklyn.com