Italian Haven at the Williamsburg Waterfront
The ever-changing Williamsburg waterfront gets its own Italian haven. Blending into the cultivated rustic, industrial neighborhood is Alberto Baudo’s new Restaurant and Bar Fabbrica, which with its ironclad exterior, seventeen foot ceilings and rugged interior design could easily be mistaken for a remainder from the bygone manufacture days of Brooklyn.
The visceral wood flooring greets the customers, lured inside by the sumptuous aroma of fresh brewed coffee and in-house baked pastries as it dances in the air and enchants the olfactory senses of passer-byes leading them straight to the Lavazza coffee counter, craftily built into the sinewy division structure serving as wine storage as well as division between the café and dining area of the establishment. Same edifice incorporates the u-shaped bar, which wraps around it finishing on the dining side of the restaurant.
An award-winning firm Ogawa-Depardon is behind the aesthetics of the locale, and has chosen to fill the dining area with refectory style tables and stools. Some low-key seating runs along the wall, which proudly exhibits a mural by a local artist Olalekan Jeyifous, aka LEk, who cleverly combined visual elements of the industrial area’s past with the Italian Futurist style of its execution. Low hanging, naked, wired lighting, designed by Victor Garbarino, add subtle glow to the magical ambience of this new neighborhood gem.
Still, the main focus remains on the large communal table set in the center of the locale inviting patrons to strike up a conversation while observing the stage like, open kitchen area set to exhibit the artful skills of the young Executive Chef Simone Bonelli formerly of Modena’s Three-Michelin-Star Osteria Francescana, where he has perfected the art of molecular cooking and mastered the slow-food concept, which identifies a strong bond between plate, planet, people and culture.
Fabbrica is a member of Slow Food ©, an international organization with a mission to promote “good, clean and fair food for all.” Slow Food © further defines these three interconnected principals as follows: “GOOD a fresh and flavorsome seasonal diet that satisfies the senses and is part of our local culture; CLEAN food production and consumption that does not harm the environment, animal welfare or our health; FAIR accessible prices for consumers and fair conditions and pay for small-scale producers.”
Chef Bonelli’s menu revolves around fresh local ingredients combined in an inventive way with the finest of imported Italian delicacies producing dishes such as Coniglio alle Olive ~ Ligurian style braised rabbit, served with soft polenta, taggiasca olives, puntarelle, pine nuts, and raisins, or Crème Brulee di Parmigiano, which has already been awarded 2 stars by the renown chief restaurant critic, Frank Bruni.
We can only stay tuned to the surprises Chef Bonelli’s talented hands have prepared for us. The menu has numerous salads and appetizers inviting consumers to stop by not only dinner but also a light lunch. Chef Michele Marconi, formerly of Bice and La Grenouille will be delighting the neighborhood with his selection of in-house prepared daily pastries, and the café section will soon be offering bread and artisan gelato. Stop in at anytime of day and tickle your taste buds with some of the best flavors of Italy.