In no time at all we zoom over the Williamsburg Bridge to the charmingly rustic Fiore, with its spiffy service, flea-market treasures, and enticing Italian home cooking. Warming up over a bottle of Mount Veeder Cabernet, the six of us share the excellent grilled pizzas, all of them: bianca with cheese and prosciutto, a peppery two-cheese pie, and the house’s namesake, paved with zucchini and perfumed with truffled Robiola cheese. Then it’s on to a runny Burrata, a mound of fried calamaretti and zucchini, and a salad that mixes roasted butternut squash, radicchio, Pecorino, and walnuts—enough to share. When Teodora’s chef-owner Giancarlo Quadalti finished restoring this crumbling little building, he realized he didn’t want to run a trattoria beneath his own duplex, so he persuaded chef Roberto Aita of Roc to cross the bridge. Now Quadalti stops by for dinner often, joining us tonight for cavatelli with broccoli rabe and sausage, and monkfish with roasted garlic, preserved lemon, and caper sauce. I’ve tasted three versions of bucatini all’amatriciana in the past week, and this one, just $9, is the best. Twelve dollars for half a giant-size chicken on roasted potatoes gives new strength to the dollar. Next time I’ll ask for the herbed fries or roasted potatoes “extra crispy.” Of the $4 desserts, I like the polenta cake and a primitive apple torta, but the tiramisu has uptown class. Our penny-pinching pals with a car are already planning an encore, and I’ll be joining them.
284 Grand St., nr. Roebling St., Williamsburg; 718-782-8222