Restaurant: Antica Pesa
Cuisine: authentic Italian
Executive Chef/Pastry Chef: Patrizia Volanti
Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Williamsburg, Brooklyn! That already sounds like a cool destination for an avant-garde restaurant. Depending on the traffic you can get there pretty quickly. The vibe in that neighborhood is electrifying – graffiti, cool looking store fronts intermixed with quaint brownstones; restaurants, cafés and a brewery – the excitement is palpable as you make your way to Antica in the early evening.
This was a perfect place for Antica Pesa, Rome’s original celebrity studded restaurant in Italy’s Rome to launch its first trendy outpost in the U.S. Authentic, rustic yet refined this restaurant boasts a great menu of popular Roman dishes. And you know that there, even in the most casual places, the food is just outstanding!
I wish you would meet the owner Francesco through my images while reading this post but unfortunately he wasn’t available for the shoot. He is the consummate host, the front man, the leading man, and THE Man to know, he is pretty much the reason why we love Antica Pesa so much! We were introduced to Francesco and Antica Pesa by a good friend and knew right away that he’s a real character whom we would enjoy seeing time after time. Francesco and his team create that special atmosphere as if you are visiting their home while there is a chic party going on filled with 100 or so hip, cool people.
The bar area with its fire place and comfortable leather sofas is great to hang out while waiting for a table or if you just feel like hanging out before dinner and soaking in the atmosphere.
This place is open only for dinner and wait until you see it! Packed with fashionable Brooklyn crowd of hipsters, actors, artists, musicians and more alike. I just love that feeling when we come in and Francesco, who’s always there gives us a hug and escorts us cordially to the bar or our table.
The best thing is to bring friends, the more the merrier. That’s exactly what we always do, Italian food is even more enjoyable with good company. This time, my friend Fatimah from Fashion Filez joined me to talk food and fashion and of course, to eat. Our lovely conversation began by the fireplace with dirty martinis in hands.
As we sat down, virtual cornucopia of Antica’s signature dishes followed.
Slowly tenderized octopus in an aromatic broth, finished in a rich tomato sauce and accompanied by a lentil pate with tomato confit, scallion and orange skin, carrot puree and broccoli sauce.
Prosciutto di Parma cured 20 months served with fresh Bufala mozzarella in a filo crust is our old time favorite there. We can’t dine at Antica and not order this appetizer.
Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe is the simplest Italian pasta you can possibly get. At Antica it’s always perfect!
Pecorino Romano and cracked black pepper are married into this delicious dish.
Grilled organic pork tenderloin, slow cooked pork belly and sautéed endive with a concord grape and pork belly demi glaze are ideal to share.
I was savoring every single bite of this rich, flavorful dish. An addition of sautéed endive was ingenious, it’s delicate bitterness nicely offsetting the mild sweetness of the pork.
Classic, home made tiramisu, made out of Savoiardi cookies soaked in espresso and amaretto liquor and layered with delicate cream is mouth-waterind divide!
Meeting Chef Patrizia Volanti. We discussed not only the food she cooked for us but amongst other things, a recent movie called Foodie which we liked. We also both speak with an accent but it seemed like it’s from the same language-the food language. Don’t you just love how Italians put their three fingers into a bouquet and exclaim something like- MANGE!!!! Viva Italia!
LOOK: I am catching the Gucci wave this season, totally obsessed with the work of a new designer Alessandro Michele and his whimsical style. Since I was a little kid I loved everything embroidered and at times when I look back, it looked gaudy. Now, however, all the major fashion houses have it and everyone is doing something FUN! From Alexander McQueen to Valentino to Gucci and more.
Photographed by Gary Flom.