Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 12/05/2012
Courtesy, Arthur on Smith
Arthur on Smith
276 Smith St., 718-360-2340, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
The wow factor at this convivial restaurant comes early, when warm peasant bread is deposited with a plate of butter plunged in honey. Chef Joe Isidori keeps delivering with terrific organic chicken liver mousse dressed up with dried cherries and Marcona almonds and a dish of creamy, handmade burrata with black fig and smoked chili. (Ordering seconds may be unavoidable.) Isidori is a third-generation chef of Italian descent. His Carroll Gardens restaurant is named for his recently deceased father, who had urged him to cook heartfelt, rather than fussy, food. Isidori seems to have taken that advice, if with a grain of salt. His Caesar salad is made with escarole, house-cured sardines and a runny farm egg to coat the greens. Rich spaghetti carbonara is brightened with lemon and is also served with a runny egg to swirl around. The wine list is a pleasurable mix of bottles and carafes of Italian and Long Island grapes, many of them available on tap. The small, rough-hewn space is decorated with wood, and there's a brief "bambino" menu for children.