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It’s difficult to find a place that serves solid spaghetti or lasagna, and creamy pastas are too rich for me. So when a friend wanted to go grab Italian for lunch, I was skeptical. I am happy to report that the skepticism did not last long. I am a softy for great interior design, and Broccolino is charming at first glance with a “scrawl wall”: handwriting on the marble walls. One of the best parts is that they have wine on tap! Isn’t that awesome?

But first, the bread…The breaddddddd. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. So good that I’m unleashing the Shakespeare! There were two types of bread. The Italian was salty, warm and good. And man, I love, love, love, the crust. Sometimes Italian bread and baguettes are too hard, and makes me wonder if the bread was made to be eaten or to build walls. But this bread was awesome! The crust was thin and crunchy like croutons, but better! The crust was just as crust should always be but I never knew was possible.

That awesome bread! Gnocchi al Pesto; torta; strawberry panna cotta.

The salad was decent – definitely fresh, and the dressing was light to offset a meal of gnocchi al pesto — which was fantastic. The pesto was on point, and the gnocchi was everything you’d need in a plate of comfort food — hot, soft, fluffy, and wonderful.

I was pretty full from the gnocchi, and I usually don’t order dessert at the same restaurant (after all, NYC has many delightful dessert options), but my friend is an enabling enabler, and desserts happened. We ordered the torta and strawberry panna cotta. I was disappointed by the torta. It tasted sweet, but there was nothing special there. The panna cotta however, was delicious and a great way to wrap up a satisfying meal. But wait! Just as we were wrapping up, the owner came out and gave us free pizza!

Photo courtesy of Pizza Superstar.

After that gnocchi and panna cotta, my belly felt like it was nursing a food baby, so I know my taste buds were not exaggerating. The pizza was wonderful. Thin-crusted, with the perfect amount of cheese and sauce, it wasn’t soggy or too crispy. Delicious dough — it looks like they learned a thing or two from bread at Broccolino!  — and the crusts became tasty breadsticks, not quite crunchy like Italian breadsticks, but still enough to remind me of them. The cheese was deliciously mild, and I could actually taste the fresh tomatoes.

The pizza is a preview of the restaurant that Broccolino has in the works opening next door: Pizza Superstar. The only downside is that these two places are steps away from work and they deliver!

Broccolino
446A Dean St
Brooklyn, NY 1121
718-678-4200

Pizza Superstar
446B Dean Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
347-763-0436

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