Friday, October 22, 2010

Saraghina: Amazing Pizza in Bed Stuy

Saraghina is not exactly what you might expect to find in Bed Stuy, a Brooklyn neighborhood that not so long ago was considered "dangerous" and best avoided.  

My friend David had invited me out to dispel this notion and to walk about a bit and explore the 'hood before sitting down to eat at Saraghina 

What struck me more then anything about visiting Bed Stuy last night was how beautiful it is.  During our walk I was constantly amazed by the quality of the architecture and lack of development.  Street after street I was dumb struck by yet another row of stunning homes, with stained glass windows, amazing stone work and facades,  some even fully detached!  Homes with gardens and big front lawns.  I felt like I wasn't in New York.  I just have my fingers crossed that with change and the gradual gentrification of Bed Stuy it is able to retain it's neighborhood feel and it's architectural integrity.

Word has been out for a while now that this neighborhood was changing and developing a small, but serious, restaurant scene.  The star of that scene, it would appear, is Saraghina.     

A large, long rambling room, you enter into a small building filled with firewood; inside everything is black, white and rustic. The ceilings are all exposed beams with chairs hanging from them. The service is spot on (our waiter was very Italian, charming and very efficient).  The list of specials was endless and provided with the menu when we sat down.  I really appreciate places that write down their specials instead of relying on the memory of a waiter to give them, only to then sit at the table after the server has left to try and remember what he or she had said.

The star here is the pizza and it comes in one size - large!  One pizza is enough for two people - which didn't stop us from ordering two and an appetizer of mashed Fava beans and sauteed dandelion greens which was a yummy combo of bitter/crunchy and smooth/buttery.  The pizzas, which were delivered to the table with incredible speed, are pure Neapolitan perfection.  We had the wonderfully spicy Capocollo and the sausage and olive laden Salsiccia (which David tells me is also great cold for breakfast the next day).  We had a carafe of house wine and the bill with tip was $75.  Cash only, but not to worry if you run short as there is an ATM across the street.

As you can tell from these pictures by the time the food came I was so distracted I forgot to take pictures of the food.  I'll just have to go back and take Neil next time.  This has to be the best pizza I have ever eaten in New York and they get extra credit from me for not doing delivery.  If you want to order a pizza and pick it up you can, but they don't deliver.

It took me 15 minutes from the East Broadway stop in Manhattan to get to the Utica station then another 8 minutes or so to walk to the restaurant.  That's easier then getting to Bushwick and, I have to say, after my last not at all successful meal at Roberta's ($12 for a side of corn?) I think my heart has been stolen by another wood burning oven in Brooklyn and her name is Saraghina.

435 Halsey Street, Corner of Lewis, BKLYN NY 11233 
closest subway is the A @ Utica. 

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