Tue-Wed, 11:45am-10pm; Thu, 11:45am-11pm; Fri, 11:45am-11:30pm; Sat, 11:45am-11:45pm; Sun, 11:45am-midnight; Mon, closed
R at 86th St.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
The loud, uncensored conversations of a cast of regulars—families with grown children as well as neighborhood fellas out for a bite—fill the two dining rooms of Areo, a spirited Bay Ridge spot with an upscale Italian menu. Though the band of red light wrapping around the ceiling’s perimeter has an eighties air, this is the kind of place where the seasoned waiter might put his hand on your back as he leans in to hear your dinner choice. The dishes come from all over Italy, and the best bets are the simplest ones. Sautéed mushrooms and smoky scamorza cheese are balanced by crisp toasted basil and roasted garlic; lentils with fried chunks of pancetta accompany a thick, buttery salmon. Demanding sauces are not the restaurant’s strong point but despite its faults, guests are having fun here, and the belly laughs can be contagious.Note
Reservations accepted only for groups of four or more.Recommended Dishes
Salmone onde e terra, $24.50; scamorza ai funghi trifolati, $10