Williamsburg has a new haven for Italian eating at its finest. Osteria il Paiolo is churning out some beautifully cooked plates of Italy-inspired modern cuisine. I joined some friends there, Wednesday night, for a jovial but elevated eight-course meal. The exposed-brick loft space is cozy and welcoming; it feels rustic, which falls right in line with the restaurant’s name. “Il paiolo” means “copper pot,” which is the traditional cooking instrument used to create polenta.
Owner Alex Palumbo met us at the door and sat us down, telling us to be ready to eat. The restaurant was recently listed in the new Michelin Guide. The chef serves up creative cuisine made from seasonal ingredients. I enjoyed their grilled octopus, perfectly cooked and tender. Their housemade pasta with uni and zucchini was a pleasant surprise of flavors. Chicken liver in butter and sage with radicchio was luxurious and rich, finishing with a nice bite from the vegetable. And the housemade sausage with savoy cabbage reminded me of a similar Korean combination of pork and spicy Napa cabbage kimchi. It was an Italian journey reminiscent of many other parts of the world.
For those who want to drop in an grab a nice glass of Italian wine, or a beer, they can stop-in and experience the Italian tradition of aperitivo. From Monday through Thursday, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., guests can grab a beverage, join the crowd and snack on complimentary treats like mini housemade arancini and mini polenta fritters at the bar.
Osteria il Paiolo is located at 106 N. Sixth St., Brooklyn, 718.218.7080, www.ilpaiolonyc.com.