Last summer, Greenpointers could be seen peering into the windows of Naked Dog, trying to guess when it would open. The restaurant been serving up delicious pastas to the neighborhood for several months now, but they’ve just started serving brunch, and it’s definitely crave-worthy and a little different from your usual brunch.
Owner Cecilia Di Paola is a wonderful, welcoming host and the kind of person you want to sit at the bar and chat with. Pop in to say hello to our new(ish) neighbor and dine in the beautifully-decorated, light-filled space this weekend.
Photos of the new brunch selections after the jump.
Ah pasta, glorious pasta! There is no ya basta when it comes to pasta, because it’s so inherently lovable and comforting. It’s not the prototypical brunch food, but why not? If you’re planning on a marathon Saturday evening or even an afternoon of errands, what else gives you the quick firepower besides pasta? Beautifully-shaped carbs such as these orecchiette are generously covered in basil pesto and topped with applewood-smoked bacon and parmesan.
Okay, okay. You’re trying to be “healthy,” you’re on a weird low-carb diet, or you need more greens. Try this black kale (cavolo nero in Italian), topped with parmesan, croutons and tossed with Caesar dressing. Tuscan kale is not your average bear, and the mouthfeel and taste are a lot more pleasurable, in my opinion. The parmesan on this dish is rich, salty and satisfying, and the croutons are large and crunchy.
For those who want something a little different from the usual French toast or waffles, Naked Dog has got uovo in purgatorio, a tomato sauce and egg dish that is smoky with applewood bacon, tangy with tomato and runny with eggs, and topped with grill mark-charred crostini.
If you’re not a kale person, try the barbabietole, a mizuna salad with red and yellow beets, burrata cheese, and an inventive, tangy vinaigrette with Lambrusco, only the most fun wine ever because it’s red and sparkling.
There are also two smashingly delicious sandwiches on the menu on some ridiculously-fluffy housemade focaccia. The short rib sandwich is like a pizza that crashed into a sandwich, with mozzarella, tomato aioli, roasted red pepper and tender, fatty short ribs. The porchetta sandwich is a roast pork delight that is contrasted by lovingly-caramelized fennel root on the same fluffy focaccia.
Add a blood orange mimosa or a bloody mary and a cappuccino or a cup of Bellocq tea, and you’ll be reading the paper or gabbing with friends for a couple of hours. At Naked Dog, brunch is relaxed and an event to be savored. The space, with its impressive lightbulb sculptures, printed wallpaper and warm wood interior, is as artfully aesthetic as the food, and you’ll want to linger.
Naked Dog is at 47 Java Street at the corner of West Street, a perfect stop after getting off the East River Ferry. Happy Italian brunching!