Loaded pizzas and fun cocktails star at Clinton Hill’s new Rosticceria Evelina

Evelina, the Mediterranean-ish restaurant from Ricardo Buitoni, Giuseppe de Francisci, and chef Lanfranco Paliotti, has been holding it down on DeKalb Avenue in Fort Greene since 2017, serving, among many other things, a well-regarded charred octopus and a popular (and quite boozy) brunch.

But if Evelina often strays into fine dining territory — Paliotti spent years working in the multiple-Michelin-starred kitchens of Daniel Boulud — when the team wanted to spin off the concept, they decided to go more casual, with a menu centered on a gloriously saucy rotisserie chicken and a whole bunch of very good pizzas.

The roasted bird that gives Rosticceria Evelina its name is a rustic affair, a heritage chicken trucked down from upstate New York’s Snowdance Farm, seasoned with abandon, blasted in the rotisserie oven and delivered to your table swimming in a pool of gizzard jus, a pile of sweet charred carrots and duck-fat-fried potatoes on the side. This is a large, wholly satisfying plate of food.

Rotisserie chicken in gizzard jus, $28 (Scott Lynch)

The best thing I ate here the other night was the pizza, which, as Palioti told us, is made from a whole wheat, rice, and corn flour dough, fermented for 72 hours for extra tang and hand-pressed out into an oval, like a Roman pinza. These beauties are fluffy and chewy and absolutely loaded with toppings.

Pizza salsiccia: spicy sausage, broccoli rabe, mozzarella di Bufala, $20 (Scott Lynch)

There are eight different varieties of pies from which to choose, including a carbonara pizza with guanciale, pecorino, and egg yolk; a funghi pizza with maitake, smoked provolone, and ‘nduja; and a stellar “pizza salsiccia” with spicy sausage, broccoli rabe, and mozzarella. It’s a six-slice meal-sized pie for sure, and an excellent one at that.

Fiori di zucca stuffed with mozzarella, $18 (Scott Lynch)

Paliotti also serves up a menu of shareable starters, all of which could function equally well as drink snacks if you just want to post up at the bar. The creamy, cheesy, crackling croquettes are finished with a pile of jamon iberico, and the fried zucchini florets are stuffed with mozzarella and draped with anchovies. Both of these were delicious, though rich and heavy, like everything else I ate here.

Jamon Iberico croquettes, $15 (Scott Lynch)

There’s a smashburger, a pork chop Milanese, a mushroom lasagna and, for dessert, a luxurious Basque cheesecake towering over a pile of candied kumquats. Wine is served by the bottle (many in the $50 to $70 range) or glass ($15 to $20), there are three beers ($10 each) and a full cocktail program, $15 each, courtesy of Daniel Houts, formerly of Maison Premier and Eleven Madison Park and the bar manager here.

“I believe in big flavors, big profiles — loud, bright, but very approachable,” says Houts. “Anyone can drink these, whether you’re 22, 35, or 82. Cocktails should be an easy, enjoyable experience, not something you have to fight through.”

Assorted cocktails, $15 each (Scott Lynch)

And the place looks great, a complete renovation from when Bar Bolinas was here. There’s seating for about 50, much of that in the lovely back patio, which, obviously, is fully enclosed and heated right now. “Rosticceria Evelina is going to be fast and fun,” says Paliotti, “with loud music and simple, straight up food.” (Although, when we were there, the music, mostly ’80s hits and not that loud.)

Basque cheesecake with kumquats, $12 (Scott Lynch)

Rosticceria Evelina is located at 455 Myrtle Avenue, between Waverly and Washington Avenues, and is currently open from Monday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m., with extended hours, and brunch service, coming soon.  

The post Loaded pizzas and fun cocktails star at Clinton Hill’s new Rosticceria Evelina appeared first on Brooklyn Magazine.

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