Salvatore Fraterrigo, the chef/owner at both locations of Norma Gastronomia Siciliana in Manhattan (one of my favorite restaurants), and Maurizio De Rosa, a chef, pizzaiolo, restaurateur and Italian wine expert, told me that they were planning to open a new restaurant together in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Salvatore is from Trapani, Sicily and Maurizio is from Napoli.
In an homage to their culinary roots, the restaurant would feature the food of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, as the Italian region south of the Papal States from Naples through Sicily was once known. The restaurant is named Locanda Borboni, a reference to the Bourbons who once ruled there. Michele and I looked forward to trying it.
Located on Grand Street, Brooklyn, the restaurant has a cozy front room, a long bar and large backyard garden. Maurizio greeted us and soon we were contemplating the menu and wine list and nibbling on olives and bread.
Extra virgin olive oil with homemade bread in the Neapolitan style, both white and whole grain wheat, made from organic flour. Both breads were full of flavor with a firm, chewy crust.
Olives — Assorted black and green marinated with celery, carrots and herbs
Two different types of croquettes, one the classic Neapolitan style made with a filling of mashed potatoes, salame and mozzarella and the other crocche’ di baccala’, made with mashed potatoes, and salt cod crusted with sesame seeds. The crunchy coatings formed a good contrast with the tasty fillings.
Eggplant Parmesan – Called Parmigiana di Melanzane del Monzu’, eggplant, mozzarella, prosciutto and tomato sauce baked with an egg and Parmesan topping in the style of the Monzu’ chefs.
Peperone di Piedigrotta — roasted peppers molded around a savory filling of bread, anchovies, olives, pine nuts, raisins and anchovies.
Cacc’ e Mmitte di Lucera DOC (Northern Puglia}, Agricole Alberto Longo, made from 55% Nero di Troia, 30% Montepulciano D’Abruzzo and 15% Bambino Bianco from a 6.5 hectare vineyard planted in 2002. The soil is calcareous with a sandy loam texture. Fermentation is with selected yeasts in temperature controlled stainless steel vats with prolonged contact of the must with the skins. Malolactic fermentation takes place in September. There is a light filtering and fining of the wine. The alcohol is 14%. The wine has hints of black cherry, plum, a touch of blueberries and a note of chocolate.
I have enjoyed the wines from Alberto Longo for a long time and was glad to see this one on Locanda Borboni’s carefully selected and well-priced wine list.
Paccheri Pasta al Ragu Napoletano — Traditional slow cooked beef and meat ragu’.
La Pastiera — the classic Neapolitan wheat berry and ricotta cake flavored with orange flour water. Though originally an Easter cake, in Naples it is now enjoyed year-round.
Profiteroles — cream puffs filled with pastry cream and coated in a rich chocolate sauce. Irresistible.
Passito IGT (Calabria) “Milirosu” Masseria Falvo 1727 (Calabria) made from 100% Moscatello. The soil is sandy clay and the vineyard is at 250 /300 meters. The training system is spurred cordon. Manual harvest takes place in September. Fermentation is in stainless steel. Aging is in stainless steel for 6 months and in bottle for 6 months before release. The winery is organic. The wine has hints of dried and candied fruits including figs, raisins and dates with a seductively sweet almost honey like but not cloying flavor because of the good acidity.
Our first meal at Locanda Borboni was great and we look forward to returning soon to try the pizza, seafood, meats and other pastas from Southern Italy.
Locanda Borboni 284 Grand Street, Brooklyn (Williamsburg) http://www.locandaborboni.com