It all started in Barano D’Ischia, the township in southern Italy where Chef Al Di Meglio’s grandmother, Giuseppina, was born. Growing up, Giuseppina was properly influenced in Italian cooking, which thankfully she passed on to her grandson. From a young age Al had a passion for cuisine, and learned from the best – in a truly genuine way. After working in the food and restaurant industry for years, Al moved on to open Barano and we’re so glad he did.
Set in Williamsburg just steps from the East River, Barano lives at 26 Broadway between Wythe and Kent Avenues. Approaching the restaurant you’ll likely catch a glimpse of the Williamsburg Bridge, reflecting the neighborhood-like charm that makes it’s way into the restaurant ambiance. Decorated with a classically rustic vibe, the space is warm, inviting, and comfortable. There’s an abundance of authenticity and character within the restaurant, and we haven’t even gotten to the best part.
Italian cuisine seems to be a universal comfort food – with fresh ingredients and warm dishes that always satisfy. Yet, it’s not every day that you find great Italian cuisine, unless of course, you’ve visited Barano. The seasonal menu boasts a perfect variety of bites – from classic Italian starters and pizzas, to complex pasta dishes, vegetables, and platters.
For a proper dinner tasting, we recommend starting off with the Antipasto dish, highlighted by the house-made smoked mozzarella and 24 month prosciutto di parma. An Antipasti favorite is the exotic Mushroom Arancini; they’re perfectly crispy on the outside with a creamy and flavorful inside. To top it off, the Arancini is paired with a spicy homemade red sauce which couldn’t be a better fit. If you’re a pasta lover, opting for the tasting featuring Chef’s ‘selection of three’ is a no brainer. Let’s face it, there’s no way we could pick just one. Between the Duo Ravioli, Saffron Gigli, and Gnocchi Al Forno, you’ll pretty much be in pasta heaven. Each is uniquely prepared to combine traditional Italian-style with a modern twist. Winter black truffle shavings top off the Gnocchi for a truly delectable dish.
Trust us, Brunch is just as hyped at Barano, too. Picturesque Semolina Pancakes dripping in lemon curd, accented with fresh berries and maple syrup are simply out-of-this-world. For a brunch hybrid: the Avo & Lox Pizza is another level of delicious. Classic pizzas and egg dishes can also be ordered for brunch in addition to a selection of pastas for those who can’t resist. Brunch (or dinner for that matter) might not be complete without a proper drink to pair it with. Choose from a selection of wines and distinctive cocktails, like the Carrot, Turmeric, and Tequila drink appropriately named “Giddy Up.”
Aside from quality ingredients, the passion, and thought that goes into preparing each menu item sets this establishment apart from the rest. It’s safe to say Barano is a must-try, more than once. (And with NYC Restaurant Week in full swing, it couldn’t be better timing).
Check out the full Menu lists here.
Brooklyn, New York 11249