Babbalucci Opens in Harlem
The good folks at babbalucci must embrace the Slow Food way of life; babbalucci means snails in Italian.
The bread and pizza dough are baked in-house, supplementing a menu that focuses on Italian-American classics.
The menu includes such comfort fare as Polpettine (beef, veal, and spinach meatballs), served with polenta and pecorino and pizzas churned out of the wood-burning oven like the Truffle Pâté (mozzarella, gorgonzola, Parmigiana, ricotta, mushroom, and prosciutto), and for brunch (starting in late July) the Nutella pizza or Ricotta and Berries pizza.
True to its namesake, snails also figure on the menu. You’ll find Sicilian-style snails and pizza with snails (along with tomato, garlic, parsley, and gorgonzola).
The restaurant is a project of Andrew LoPresto, Bobby Fried, Christy Phansond, and Charles LoPresto.
Babbalucci Italian Kitchen & Wood Burning Oven
331 Lenox Ave. (between W. 126th & W. 127th streets)
Named after one of the owners’ grandfather, a banker and sportsman with a reputation for being forthright, Bill Baker is a new restaurant and bar in Williamsburg that takes a page right out of his occupation and time. An antique banker’s clock and glass teller’s counter complement the marble bar top and brick walls, which date back to 1887.
The seasonal American menu takes well to drinks—to the tune of 40-plus small-batch American whiskeys, or to the beer list comprising about 20 (and growing) micro taps and hard-to-find bottles. The menu features dishes such as Cracklin’ Duck Pierogi, Artichoke Agnolotti, and Baker’s Brew Chili Dog.
Bill Baker’s team is led by Brooklyn residents Adam Randisi (the namesake’s grandson) and chef Nels Benton.
364 Grand St. (at Marcy Street)
Kings County Imperial Offers Market-Driven Chinese
At the 65-seat Kings County Imperial in Williamsburg, owners Josh Grinker and Tracy Jane Young are channeling their extensive experience traveling throughout China, reinterpreting central Chinese classics.
On-site is a garden where tatsoi, Chinese red mustard, goji berry bushes, and fresh Sichuan peppercorns grow. On tap at the bar is handcrafted soy sauce, aged and fermented halfway around the world in southern China.
True to tradition, the menu is served family-style. In the Dumplings, Buns & Dim Sum section, you’ll find Wok-Seared Long Dumplings (filled with pork, garlic stems, and red vinegar) and Crispy White Radish Cake (made with rice, daikon radish, lap chuang sausage, and shrimp, served with oyster sauce). Noodles include dishes with names like Ants Climbing a Tree (stir-fried bean thread noodles with tree ear mushrooms and ground pork) or Clay Pot Silver Noodles (pom pom mushrooms, choi sum, and sliced beef). The Big Wok section features Sichuan Marinated Duck, Market Salt & Pepper Dry Fry, and Cantonese Crispy Garlic Chicken.
Kings County Imperial
20 Skillman Ave. (between Meeker & Lorimer)