Friday, September 9, 2011

River Deli 09-04-2011

Location: 32 Joralemon St. BK
Time: 3:30pm
People: RB's LI family, RB, CK and myself

Feelings: A taste of Sardinia can be found in this hidden gem of residential Brooklyn Heights. This quaint restaurant, formerly occupied by a corner deli, has a charmingly rustic and comfortable atmosphere. River Deli is nothing like other Brooklyn Italian restaurants-not the New York Italian American family style or the hipster-run modern Italian eateries. This is real deal unpretentious authentic Italian, in fact run by a couple from Sardinia, and it resembles a neighborhood hangout in Italy.

It is a perfect spot for a dinner date or brunch with friends and family from out of the town. This is the type of a place only the locals would know, yet it is not overly posh or hip that your parents wouldn't feel comfortable. The space is cramped, but there is one large table in the back, at which we were promptly seated. If you have a large party or have babies, I recommend stopping here at 3:40pm, right before the brunch ends. The restaurant is nearly empty and you get to relax without worrying about other customers.

Our party ordered lasagna ($12), zucchine ripiene ($13, baked zucchini filled with eggplant, bread crumbs, garlic and tomatoes), Malloredus Sardi Alla Campidanese ($10, traditional short Sardinian pasta with tiny sausage meatballs), and I had scrambled eggs with salmon and home fries ($9). I am not sure why I ordered such a new American dish at an authentic Italian spot, but eggs were overcooked. I highly recommend avoiding the egg dishes here and go straight to the pasta. RB's family could not have enough of their perfectly cooked pasta and a subtle rosemary flavor from their lasagna. Even a vegetable hater, CK enjoyed the zucchine ripiene, and we were delighted to see everyone at the table happy and full.

River Deli is a solid neighborhood restaurant with simple recipes and ingredients. It doesn't offer many frills but boasts a polite staff, cozy atmosphere and delicious food. If you are looking for more artistry or modern twists, this is not the place for you. But if you are tired of hip Italian and want a taste of the basic heartfelt flavors, this is what you are looking for. In a way, River Deli is painfully Brooklyn Heights: simple, classic, and authentic. It is welcoming to see a homely and dependable neighborhood hangout that serves one of the best pasta in the area.

1 comment:

Mina said...

oh my gawd this looks ridiculously delicious.