Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Where The Hell Is Bushwick, Anyway?

I had to take a cab out there, since it was late.  I was supposed to be in and out of work in three hours.  Obviously that didn't happen.  A group of people were meeting at Roberta's for dinner.  They do this most Monday nights. 

By the time I arrived, a thousand things had been ordered, passed, re-ordered, etc.  I sat down and was passed a plate of bone marrow, sea salt, and jam.  Along came agrodolce radicchio with Marcona almonds, polenta with guanciale and a poached egg, roasted hen of the woods mushrooms, curly spaghetti with thick rounds of pepperoni, spaghetti with meatballs (each ball a different type of meat, no less). 

And then... pizzas.  White pizza with Napa cabbage and anchovies, pizza with speck and a fried egg on top, pizza with burnt broccoli and cabbage, pizza with pepperoni and sausage, too many pizzas to count.  A calzone, longer than my forearm and three times as wide, steamed when cut and revealed slices of pink proscuitto, a creamy white cheese, and more runny eggs.  

We drank red wine (bring your own) out of tiny mason jars.  Almond cakes drenched in honey and topped with homemade whipped cream did not outshine Stumptown coffee (order at your own risk: even the drip takes forever).  

I didn't go crazy because most of these things are on my "do not eat" list.  Everything in moderation.  I will say that Roberta's may be my new favorite place to hang out.  Long and rustic tables with mismatched chairs fill the dining room, which also boasts a pizza oven that churns out Naples-style pies, small and black-ish on the edges.  Christmas lights, books, old wooden waterskis, hanging skeletons, and other found items provide a junkyard decor, not unlike some barbecue places you might see down south.  Best of all, the outdoor space, open for dining in spring and summer, also plays host to a rusting Volkswagen bug. 

If you can figure out how to get to Bushwick, this might be one of New York's best-kept secrets.  Cash only.  

261 Moore Street
Brooklyn, NY 11206

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