While watching "Best Thing I Ever Ate" on Food Network, Josh and I saw a segment with Donatella Arpaia raving about the gelato at Piattini. Since most restaurants we see on the show are located elsewhere all over the country, we figured we had to try this place because it's in our neighborhood in Brooklyn. Reviews on Yelp were very favorable, touting the service, great food, and perfect gelato.
We walked the twenty-some blocks to get there, and I was taken aback when I saw the front of the restaurant was completely empty. Bad sign. But the small dining area close to the swinging doors of the kitchen was nearly full. When we asked to be seated, it seemed like they had no idea what to do with us, and it took three different people coming by to tell us it would be a minute, that there's one table left. Half the restaurant was empty, but we got the ONE table left right next to the swinging doors to the kitchen. I was going into this with very high expectations based on the reviews and what I saw on Food Network, so I started worrying even more.
We had our menus, and finally placed our order. The bread was excellent, warmed on a grill with toasty grill marks to add texture. We had some issues with having water in our glasses. It appears that they were woefully understaffed due to the holiday weekend, or just didn't want to have more staff. We had to ask a couple times to have our water refilled. We got our appetizers quickly, Josh with his special of black figs with prosciutto. I got the baccala and potato pancake. While my pancake tasted good, I don't think it was worth $8 for one small patty half the size of my palm. Josh's saucer of freshly sliced prosciutto and two cut up figs was priced at $10. Our main courses arrived quickly as well. I had a spaghetti with spicy squid ink sauce and cuttlefish. It was great, just enough heat. Josh had the bucatini with pork jaw bacon and tomato sauce. Like mine, the pasta was perfectly cooked, having absorbed some of the flavor of the sauce, and the bacon wasn't too salty, and thinner than I expected (not in a bad way). I actually liked his dish more than mine!
For dessert, we shared pistachio gelato con brioche, basically, two scoops of gelato in a brioche bun. Very simple, but very delicious. The gelato was very good, some of the best I've ever had, but not by far, and the price tag of $8 was surprising. I was expecting $6 at most because we weren't eating in Manhattan. I've had gelato nearly as good from restaurants like Scuderia and Giorgione's.
So I think I need to go back to Piattini on a non-holiday weekend and see if the service is any better before I write it off entirely. The food was excellent, but pricey.