R at Union St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
15th St. to Flatbush Ave., Prospect Park West to Third Ave.
This venue is closed.
Park Slope's Cucina, which opened in the late 1980s, was the first hot boîte on Brooklyn's Fifth Avenue. Cucina's 2004 demise seemed like the end of an era, sending local foodies into deep and hungry mourning. The grieving didn't last long, though, once Tempo opened in its place. With a menu of beautifully presented Mediterranean-influenced dishes and a golden-hued, candle-lit interior, Tempo boasts some Cucina veterans, and some of the more experienced names in the restaurant business. Former chef-partner Michael Fiore trained with Italian grand dame Lidia Bastianich before helming Cucina, and general manager-partners Robert Amato and Michael Elliott cut their teeth with Buzzy O'Keeffe at the River Café and with Joe Bastianich and Mario Battali at Babbo. Their experience shines through in the polish of the service and the menu's rich subtlety. The cuisine's strong pan-Italian backbone borrows heavily from Spain, France, Greece, and Morocco. Offerings change seasonally, in accord with the whim of the chef—and what's available at the Union Square Greenmarket. Many dishes remain constant; others come and go. Still others, like the Tuscan farro salad or the polenta, persist as themes and variations, core ingredients constant, and embellishments determined by the market, the season, and the moment's inspiration.Prix-Fixe
Next door to Tempo stands Tempo Presto, the restaurant's lighter fare to-go joint. There's a variety of very fine, crusty hot and cold, freshly-prepared sandwiches, plus good side salads, and cookies and other desserts, including the homemade gelato and sorbetti served next door.
Duck pastilla rolls; polenta; bucatini with Sicilian pistachio nut pesto; sticky date and toffee pudding