Old school meets new at Brucie’s

Old school meets new at Brucie’s
Photo by Bess Adler

The name may be redolent of an old-school Italian eatery, but Cobble Hill’s recently opened Italian market and restaurant, Brucie, is anything but.

Chef-owner Zahra Tangorra’s first restaurant serves up the same sort of Italian-American fare that her restaurant-owning family cooked growing up on Long Island, but pairs it with fresher, regionally focused dishes inspired by a stomach-led sojourn through Italy.

“I’m really a home-taught chef, and that translates to food that I think is just honest, good and simple,” said Tangorra, who previously worked as a display artist for Urban Outfitters and Brooklyn Industries.

The menu changes frequently, featuring items such as a panelle sandwich with ricotta, vinegar peppers and honey ($9) or sweet potato ravioli with brown butter and fried sage ($12).

Once the spot receives its beer and wine license, the eatery will host weekly $50 tasting menus in the back room, focusing, perhaps, on more regional cuisines.

The food may be enticing, but the atmosphere is even more so. Tangorra gut-renovated the entire space, formerly home to sushi spot Cube 63, to create a homey space, reminiscent of an eat-in kitchen in some other, magical place where eat-in kitchens and massive square footage aren’t quite so sparse. Fixtures are old meets new, shelves lined with authentic-looking pastas, canned tomatoes and fresh herbs.

Dining at Brucie is just like gathering around the kitchen table for a big family meal — only here, no dishwashing required.

Brucie [234 Court St. at Baltic Street in Cobble Hill, (347) 987-4961]. Dinner only for now. For info, visit www.brucienyc.com.