by Jessica Allen, 09/05/2012 [Updated 10/20/2015]
Roberta's. Photo: Anthony Falco
- more in itineraries/
- more neighborhood guides/
261 Moore St., 718-417-1118
261 Moore St., 646-703-2715
From the outside, Roberta's resembles a bunker, as if the neighborhood's epicenter of cool required protection and fortification. Since its arrival on the scene in 2008, other destination restaurants have opened, but Roberta's remains the most popular—and perhaps the most ambitious. It began as a pizzeria, serving cleverly named pies like Charles in Chard and Fennel Frontier. The empire that pizza built now includes a multilevel garden and an Internet-based radio station, broadcasting such shows as Cutting the Curd (about cheese production) and Hot Grease (about sustainability and food issues) from a repurposed shipping container in the backyard. Roberta's also has pasta, salumi and entrées such as wagyu flank steak and smoked ribs. The restaurant's popularity allowed its owners—Chris Parachini, Brandon Hoy and Carlo Mirarchi, who runs the kitchen—to create Blanca, a minimalist, 12-seat restaurant, named one of Bon Appétit's Best New Restaurants of 2012. Customers can choose the music from the owners' record collection, but not the food, which consists of an elaborate, expensive tasting menu. Not surprisingly, it's one of the toughest reservations in New York.