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LaRina Pastaficio & Vino

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LaRina is nice little pasta-and-wine spot that opened on Myrtle Avenue in Fort Greene. It's a neighborhood place -- but a quite good one.


What I like about it is that the cooking is fresh, imaginative, and light. You don't see the same too-heavy rustic Italian dishes they serve at every trattoria in every neighborhood in the City. These are all freshly conceived -- and very deftly so. The cooking is deft, too. (Surprisingly so for a place like this.)


I started with a pea and farro salad, which was nice. Then the rye fazzoletti with ramp pesto and burrata, which was more than nice, the sheets of pasta bathed in a flavorful pesto that nevertheless wasn't overly rich. Then, perhaps the biggest surprise: the octopus in basil pesto (I guess it was pesto night for me), a dish I was sure would be boring but was beautifully composed (nice complementary flavors and textures) and beautifully cooked.


The place this seems most like to me is Lilia -- but I like this place better; I think Missy Robbins's cooking at Lilia is too heavy-handed.


On the other, there's nothing that this place does that Faro doesn't do better. But (remember: "neighborhood" spot) I can't walk to and from Farro (I mean, I can -- but it's a schlep).


If you happen to live or otherwise find yourself in the neighborhood, though, this is a solid recommendation.



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