Evelina, a modern trattoria from Aurora Restaurant Group, has a kitchen full of happy cooks in Fort Green, Brooklyn. The team behind New York spots Emporio, Aurora SoHo and Aurora Brooklyn has launched another hit.
No really, they are — the kitchen staff didn’t see me stick my head in, so it wasn’t for show that everyone looked pretty happy to be there. Perhaps they’re elated to be working under executive chef Lanfranco Paliotti, formerly of Daniel Boulud’s two Michelin-starred Daniel. Plus, the kitchen was spotless.
Mediterranean with strong Italian overtones, the menus focus on sharing, passing and grazing, and Paliotti changes dishes daily based on what’s fresh at the market.
Brunch was gorgeous, with foods that had no business looking so good perfectly presented in photo-ready condition. Prosciutto di Parma eggs Benedict – with burrata, tomato, Hollandaise, and truffle in brioche – are pretty as can be, as is the crushed avocado, blue crab salad, multigrain toast. Even the dry-aged cheeseburger was Insta-worthy – and, of course, it was all delicious, or none of the above would matter.
Sweet finishes include the bitter chocolate tart with crème fraiche and maldon sea salt, the salted caramel budino with polenta biscuits and Greek yogurt and vanilla panna cotta with vincotto, pine nuts, and ricotta fritters.
Another standout: the pinsa romana e ceci, an ancient Roman-style flatbread thought to be the predecessor to pizza, cut and served with chickpea puree and olive tapenade. The dough for the pinsa rests for 72 hours before being cooked, making it extremely crisp and flavorful.
Within the 34-seat dining room, the distressed wood floors, royal blue banquets, wood paneling, and mosaic tiling by the bar create a European feel. Lush green plants and circular glass and iron lighting fixtures accent the space. From back of the house to the front, the seemingly happy staff cooks and deliver delicious food.