03/06/17 2:18pm
Photo: Georgia Kral

Marie Tribouilloy and Mike Fadem | Photo: Georgia Kral

Good. Simple. Made by thoughtful people. These are the criteria that come into play in nearly every facet of the operation at Ops, from the local, farm-fresh ingredients, to the rotating natural wine list, to the ethos of the place.

Marie Tribouilloy and Mike Fadem opened this petite and homey spot next to Variety Coffee in Bushwick, in October of 2016. It’s quickly become a neighborhood restaurant where locals converge for pizza, salads and meat and cheese plates. The centerpiece is the wood-burning oven, sparkling with colorful blue tiles behind the rustic bar.

The pizza is different at Ops, too. Fadem makes it with sourdough, which he lovingly tends to and feeds twice a day.

“We wanted it to be like a classic pizzeria,” Fadem said. “People can’t get enough of pizza.”

The pair wanted a restaurant that was both welcoming and inviting.

“That’s why we do everything ourselves,” Tribouilloy said. “We have a relationship with the customers. We’re both here and on the floor.” (more…)

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07/20/15 7:00am
Di Fara's $5 slice (Photos: Brendan Spiegel)

Di Fara’s $5 slice (Photos: Brendan Spiegel)

In the very first edition of Revisiting the Classics, we investigated whether the epic, tourist-clogged line at DUMBO’s world-famous Grimaldi’s Pizzeria could possibly live up to all the hype (and the wait). But time spent in line at Grimaldi’s is small potatoes compared to the epic patience needed to sample a slice at what is certainly New York’s most overhyped pizzeria: Midwood’s Di Fara Pizza.

Every Wednesday through Sunday, serious pizza-seekers from around the city (and often, the world), descend from the elevated Q-train tracks at Avenue J and into a neighborhood most of them have probably never visited before. They venture up to the street-side window at this humble-looking corner pizza shop, plop down $5 a slice(!) then wait…and wait…and wait, as a septuagenarian Italian immigrant (and longtime Brooklynite) punches out his dough, grates on slivers of cheese, and layers the tomato sauce and olive oil, ever so slowly and ever so carefully. Waits of up to two hours are not uncommon. The reason? Everywhere from The New York Times to the Village Voice to Zagat and Anthony Bourdain have praised Domenico DeMarco’s 51-year-old pizza shop as the best of the best of the best. (more…)

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01/27/14 8:00am

Photo by Brendan Spiegel

The Colony pizza is a sweet and spicy combination of pepperoni, honey, pickled peppers and mozzarella. Photo: Brendan Spiegel

Has red-sauce-saturated Brooklyn had its fill of Neapolitan-style pizza places yet? Apparently not, as the thin-crust slingers just keep on coming. One new spot that’s worth a trip from anywhere in the borough is Emily, which opened in Clinton Hill last week. The narrow sliver of an eatery on Fulton Street is helmed by Matthew and Emily Hyland, a husband-and-wife team who were formerly co-owners at Brooklyn Central in Park Slope–one of the best Italian-style pizza places to open here in recent years, in my opinion.

More exciting to those of us addicted to topping our pizzas with crazy, there’s the Camp Randall pie. Those who recognize the name of the University of Wisconsin’s football stadium won’t be surprised to find cheese curds as the base for a sausage, pepperoni, and mushroom pie.

The Hylands have moved on to a place of their own, and have done a beautiful job rehabbing the former Wallace space, outfitting it with a new bar, stylish hardwood floors and and a subway-tile-lined open kitchen. Most importantly, they’ve put in a wood-burning oven and Matt has brought along several of his signature creations from Brooklyn Central, where he was in charge of pie-making. That includes the Colony, a sweet-and-spicy blend of pepperoni, honey, and pickled cherry peppers from Clinton Hill Pickles, all layered on a mozzarella and red sauce pie, and the Emily, a white pizza named for his wife and topped with a delicate combo of Taleggio cheese, truffle spread, honey and pistachios.

(more…)

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10/07/13 7:00am

Bring your own booze to Grilled artichokes with saffron aioli at Bistro Petit (Photo courtesy Bistro Petit / Todd Barndollar)

Adding on an appetizer like the grilled artichokes with saffron aioli at Bistro Petit feels like less of an indulgence when you bypass the drink bill by bringing your own booze. Photo: Bistro Petit/Todd Barndollar

If you’re a regular reader, you know I like to complain about the Manhattanization of our menu pricing here in Brooklyn. As the local restaurant scene continues to boom, it seems to become harder and harder to find an affordable meal. Plenty of great meals, yes, but with the new normal being checks that come out to $50 per person, we’re always looking for ways to cut corners, one of them being the borough’s few great BYOB restaurants. Especially at an upscale eatery, the ability to bring your own bottle can make the difference between a reasonable check and an outrageous one, which is the reason why these four spots will always be among my favorite standbys since they allow outside alcohol and don’t charge corkage fees for wine. Thanks to reader Cliff Fisch for requesting this story–ask and ye shall receive!

1. Kaz An Nou

The area around Barclays Center is adding generic, mediocre restaurants at a frenetic pace, but this is one that still feels like a secret neighborhood gem. The dark, French bistro atmosphere is paired with an inventive menu influenced by the Caribbean isle of Guadeloupe, where the chef and owner Sebastian Aubert hails from. Dishes like duck confit with mango jerk sauce and lime-poached tilapia over coconut rice are all $20 or less, so paired with your own bottle of wine, that’s about as cheap as you’re gonna get for cuisine this refined. Bonus: The airy back patio has just one long picnic table: a perfect private spot for a birthday dinner, especially since you can bring your own booze and avoid the whole “who had drinks, who didn’t” check-splitting fiasco. (more…)

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