While the distinct areas of Italian peninsula merged together 150 years ago, their cuisines still retain their nuanced individuality. That's why the chefs at Dieci Pizzeria & Osteria don't claim to cook Italian food, and instead focus their cooking on the area of Vallo di Diano in the Campania region of Italy. Using recipes heavily influenced by the region's nearby neighbor of Naples, they create Neapolitan-style pizzas sauced with San Marzano Italian tomatoes or a simple brushing of olive oil and mozzarella. They top their pizzas with traditional ingredients, such as truffle oil, prosciutto di parma, porcini mushrooms, and anchovies. Once pies are sprinkled with toppings, they sizzle in a wood-burning oven until the cheese melts and binds all the ingredients to the crust. The flavors of these pizzas are mirrored in their other Campanian dishes, such as linguini tossed with seafood and marinara sauce or veal cutlets doused in mushrooms and brown sauce. Dishes pair well with a reading of The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, as well as bottles from the restaurant's wine list.
Mazelle's chefs spread a muted Russian influence over multiple meals each day, including lunch, dinner, and weekend brunches. They often kick off meals with plates full of raw oysters, accompanied by mignonette and lemon on ice. Afterwards, they present modern gastropub plates alongside classic Russian recipes, filling bellies with lamb burgers with lime aioli or beef stroganoff. Their brunch menu not only blends breakfast and lunch, but savory and sweet as well, with rosemary and mint pancakes and eggs benedict over glazed beets and orange hollandaise. They wash down their meals with microbrewed beers or craft cocktails featuring house-infused vodkas or Cognac mingled with peach purée and clove dust.
The restaurant's decor showcases the same penchant for reinvention as the menu, combining exposed brick with vintage wood details and the industrial textures of brushed metal. The chandeliers combine the illumination of reflective domes with the diffused glow of raw bulbs, best left uncooked to avoid explosions.
Inspired by the Würstelstands of Austria—hot dog carts around which locals eat, linger, and socialize—the owners of Der Kommissar decided to open up their own version in Brooklyn. More than 10 artisanal, Austrian–style sausages compose their menu's core, with styles ranging from a chicken-apple sausage from Brooklyn Cured to a meatloaf of pork, beef, and veal. In addition to its meats, Der Kommissar's traditional sides of sauerkraut and Austrian bread dumplings are made with locally sourced ingredients. Some of the bar's eight draft beers are also procured locally, though the majority of the selection hails from Europe. Like many of these beers, Der Kommissar’s four-person interior design team is native to Austria. The crew drew on alpine inspirations to outfit the 20-seat restaurant with rustic wooden tables, a stunning wall mural in the dining area, and toilets that yodel every time you flush.
Venturing inside Black Rabbit, you may feel like you’ve been transported to a 19th-century British pub: weathered floorboards lead past a sleek, dark bar, over which a set of chandeliers casts a dim glow. If the fireplace and framed photos of your disapproving great-great-uncle aren’t cozy enough, then it’s a great time to slip past the swinging doors into one of the bar’s private snugs, which New York Magazine describes as “… so private that you’ll need to button-activate a lightbulb to get your waiter’s attention.” While the décor takes one back in time, the pub food stays decidedly modern. The menu includes mini burgers served with a side of Ruffles chips, along with seasonal pickle plates, bratwurst, and Frito pie. And if the bar’s selection of board games or the comedian-hosted bingo night gets to be too much fun, guests can always slip out back to the garden, a shaded-area decked with picnic tables.
Nobody comes to Schnitzel Haus to order a plain hot dog—not when they can instead try a würst sampler that includes wild boar, spicy lamb, rabbit and ginger, venison and cherry, and duck and Armagnac. The restaurant celebrates traditional German cuisine in all of its incarnations, from smoked sausages and sauerkraut to the famous schnitzel that chefs drizzle with creamy mushroom gravy. No German meal would be complete without a frosty stein of beer, and Schnitzel Haus certainly delivers in this regard. There’s also an extensive wine list that features two Rieslings imported from Germany. Meals unfold in a cozy dining room dominated by dark polished woods, which often fills with the sounds of live musicians playing traditional German tunes and guests trying in vain to clink together their leather boots.
Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo share more than a first name. Best friends since their childhood in Queens, the two Franks founded Prime Meats as a way to capitalize on their mutual love for homemade sausages and prime cuts of beef. Their specialties tend to be heavily influenced by German traditions—a product of Castronovo’s years abroad, during which he learned how to craft Alpine delicacies such as veal meatballs and slow-braised beef brisket with pretzel dumplings. Despite these foreign inspirations, Prime Meat emphasizes a farm-to-table philosophy that prizes local ingredients and has earned praise from the likes of the New York Times and GQ. Handcrafted cocktails and craft beers complement the locally sourced cuisine. The restaurant has even teamed up with Sixpoint Brewery to create its own Prime Meats pilsner, a crisp lager that they garnish with a 20-ounce porterhouse steak.