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Modern Heights chef takes on traditional Italian fare • Brooklyn Paper

Modern Heights chef takes on traditional Italian fare

Beet these potatoes: Chef Antonio Morichini holds a branzino skewer with beet mashed potatoes, sauteed spinach, asparagus and green pea sauce at Bevacco in Brooklyn Heights.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Transforming traditional dishes into haute cuisine can be a tightrope act.

Michelin-starred chef Antonio Morichini — formerly of Bottega de Vino in Manhattan and Acquolina and Glass Hosteria in Rome — is currently walking the line at Bevacco in Brooklyn Heights, finding a happy medium between highfalutin Italianate experiments (deconstructed lasagna with basil gelee and ricotta foam perhaps?) and tried-and-true war horses like chicken parmagiana.

“My food is a step ahead of conservative and a step behind innovation,” Morichini said. “It reflects the Italian tradition because it’s simple and fresh, but is open to new technology and techniques.”

At one-year-old eatery Bevacco, that might mean smoky, grilled octopus over warm potato salad and panzanella-stuffed cherry tomatoes, homemade gluten-free tomato gnocchi with asparagus flan, eggplant croquettes, and parmagiano fondue, or the house-special branzino skewers, threaded on fresh spears of asparagus and sided with vibrant, beet-infused mashed potatoes.

“We make everything in house, from foccacia to pasta to dessert, and our food is very light,” Morichini said. “I always say my job as a chef finishes the day after your dinner — if you feel great, you come back to my restaurant. If you have heartburn for two days after, you say forget it.”

One taste of Morichini’s branzino skewers and you’ll have to agree — Bevacco definitely warrants a return trip.

Bevacco [60 Henry St. between Orange and Cranberry Streets in Brooklyn Heights, (718) 624-1444].

A branzino skewer with beet mashed potatoes, sauteed spinach, asparagus and green pea sauce at Bevacco in Brooklyn Heights.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

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