One of Williamsburg’s most celebrated Italian restaurants, Antica Pesa (115 Berry St.), is offering a special way to commemorate Earth Day.
Last year on Earth Day, Antica Pesa launched a curated menu experience called The Forest Menu, a $75 set menu featuring some of the most loved dishes from the restaurant’s locations in Rome and Brooklyn.
What makes the Forest Menu truly unique is an additional component that Antica Pesa jovially describes as “Buy One, Get One Tree.” Guests who order the Forest Menu can adopt a tree in the Antica Pesa Forest, a collection of 1,000 trees in six countries.
“Everyone in the restaurant is very passionate about food and climate,” said Amanda Firine, Head of Marketing for Antica Pesa. Firine explained that during the pandemic, Antica Pesa leaned into a focus on sustainability and seasonality, and debuted this distinctive menu experience.
The new spring version of the Forest Menu was just finalized this week in Brooklyn. The seasonal menu changes every three months to highlight vegetables and other food that is in season at the time. The Forest Menu currently features crudo e buffalo croccante, spaghetti cacio e pepe (the restaurant’s most famous dish), melanzana, and tiramisu for dessert.
As guests enjoy these flavorful courses, they can also browse trees in the Antica Pesa Forest via a pop up card with a QR code that allows them to virtually choose a tree species and a personalized name for their tree.
The tree adoption works well because of a partnership with Treedom, a website that allows trees to be planted remotely, geolocated and photographed. The site then provides updates about the trees in the Antica Pesa Forest, which currently contains 300 cocoa trees in Cameroon, 250 coffee trees in Colombia, 150 guava trees in Tanzania, 100 orange trees in Haiti, 100 lime trees in Nepal, and 100 avocado trees in Kenya.
This initiative helps the restaurant with sustainability efforts by offsetting CO2 emissions, supporting biodiversity, combating soil erosion and deforestation, and benefiting farmers in developing countries. Antica Pesa has implemented other sustainability efforts as well, like eliminating single use paper and plastic, utilizing food waste, and buying locally to reduce international imports.
Antica Pesa and the fourth generation of the Panella family has been feeding the North Brooklyn community since 2012, marking their ten year anniversary this October.