Recently Opened Restaurants

by Julie Besonen, 05/22/2013

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  • The Pines 
    284 Third Ave., 718-596-6560, Gowanus, Brooklyn
    The menu might read, "firefly squid, caviar, flax, black garlic" or "uni, mustard greens, amaranth, sea buckthorn." What kind of wild-eyed alchemist came up with these combinations? Angelo Romano, that's who—late of the similarly experimental Roberta's and Masten Lake (now closed). Furthermore, it's pretty daring that this ambitious little spot is in the industrial Gowanus area and refuses credit cards (an ATM is on the premises). The decor feels like a cross between a boho coffeehouse (there's a white pressed-tin ceiling) and an old hotel lobby (one section of a wall is filled with vintage keys on hooks). You half-expect Steve Buscemi to appear as your waiter. The chef is of Italian descent and spent time at Lupa, so pastas are a strong suit. But look for pici with trotter ragù, not spaghetti Bolognese. Romano has nerve and he's certainly not stupid. His surprising, oft-changing dishes come together in delicious ways.

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