106 North 6th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
During Jim’s first summer Friday, the usual disorganized long line met us at Egg, so we ventured nearby to the relatively new Italian spot, Osteria Il Paiolo. It drew us in with an airy space, a baby friendly environment, and one incredible lunch deal.
For 12.50 you get a salad, a soda, and a plate of pasta. Large portions and fresh ingredients elevated this from a mere “good deal” though to something worth telling friends about.
I opted for a peppery arugula salad topped with thick shavings of sharp Parmesan and a flavorful penne dish with sun-dried tomatoes and peas. The pasta was perfectly cooked and the cream sauce clung to it with enough substance to coat every bite but still remain light. (While this may not seem like a big deal, if you’ve ever tried to whip up a cream based sauce at home, you know it’s not so easy.)
The menu feels refreshingly out of step with the neighborhood. You’ll find no home cured pork cheeks from near by farms here. It’s simple food done really, really well.
With it’s open space, white table cloths, exposed brick, European vibe, and uncomplicated menu, it almost feels like a long standing neighborhood favorite from Manhattan that hopped over to the other side.
Fully sated, we left without dessert, but almost immediately regretted not trying one when we eyed the creamy white panna cotta at another table. Must try it during our next visit.