Where To Eat Italian In Bay Ridge?

Cheapeats is spanning the globe, looking for the next great spot to eat. Our travels took us to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and Vicolo Ristorante.

Vicolo Ristorante is an “Old School” Italian Restaurant, with a modern twist. Located at 8530 3rd Avenue, in the heart of Bay Ridge. Having grown up in Brooklyn, Bay Ridge was my old stomping ground. Filled with bars, restaurants, bars, shops, bars, cafes and oh did I mention…BARS! You can leave your wheels home and venture into 1 spot after another, on foot.

But today, Italian food was on the menu, so I grabbed my childhood bestie and off we went.

We were greeted by owner Domenick Abitino, who had graciously invited us to sample his restaurant. Whenever I get the opportunity to visit the “old neighborhood,” I’m on it. We were given a seat in the corner, with a panoramic view of the restaurant and open kitchen.  There were a couple performing old tunes in the background and graciously sang the songs we requested, during our meal.

The kitchen is led by Chef  Bruno, a transplant from Puglia. Vicolo specializes in “Daily Fresh Homemade Pasta” and “Wood Fired Pizza.” Tough choice. As we glanced over the menu, our charming server, “Mr Charm,”  recited the “Specials Of  The Day.” We noticed he fumbled a little with his words. To make him feel at ease, I joked and said; “First day with the new teeth?” He quickly giggled and said; “No, I have a bit of stutter.” My friend said; “It’s OK, admit it…we’re so gorgeous, we make you nervous….wink! wink!” He blushed.

After reviewing the menu and listening to the specials, we decided to start with one of their appetizer specials, Baked mozzarella.

Baked Mozzarella

When the plate was set down in front of us, we just marveled in it’s presence. It was Burrata wrapped in Prosciuto and baked until the meat had a little char and the cheese was warm. It was topped with fresh grilled zucchini, eggplant and onions. OUTSTANDING!!!

Being they’re known for the Homemade Pasta, we both decided to sample 2 of their specials. My friend chose Spinach Ravioli, stuffed with Pears and Gorgonzola and topped with a Walnut & Gorgonzola Sauce. That’s a mouthful. Did she love it? Is the Pope Catholic?

 

Spinach Ravioli

I decided to go with the Chickpea Spaghetti with Shrimp, which was so interesting. The Chef used Chickpea flour to make this Spaghetti. It was cooked perfectly and tossed with Shrimp, Asparagus and dressed it in a light tomato cream sauce. So unusual, but so DELICIOUS!!!

 

Chickpea Spaghetti

 

 

Domenick &  Chef Bruno, then sent over 2 slices of  pizza they were testing, to see if it should be added to menu – Sopressata. Sopressata is a dried salami that is a favorite among Italians. He combined homemade sausage, sopressata, tomato sauce, basil and fresh mozzarella, on a thin crust with the perfect amount of char from the wood over. “What do you think?” “Add it to the menu IMMEDIATELY.”

I have to say, I was stuffed, but knew that dessert was going to offered. Chef Bruno created a special dessert for us. Hazelnut Gelato with a hint of Frangelico.  I’ll do some extra sit-ups at the gym tomorrow. 

 

 

Gelato

 

 

Thank you Domenick, Chef  Bruno and Mr Charm  for a wonderful evening.

Oh and Mr Charm, don’t ever be embarrassed by your stutter. It’s part of your charm and what makes you special. Wink

Happiness $25 and under.

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About The Author

A fierce love of food and twin careers in real estate and fashion taught Rose to look for the hottest item and the hottest deal. Perfect attributes for creating Cheapeatsinc.com. When friends and clients needed a great meal at a great price, she could rattle off restaurant names the way a sports nut ticks off batting averages—but with a lot more home runs. Now it’s all at Cheapeats, where you’ll find “Happiness, $25 and under.”

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