I had the pleasure of visiting Evelina last week and I don’t think I am exaggerating if I say the restaurant and the feel you get when you are there, made me consider moving to Brooklyn. It is a beautiful neighborhood and the feeling that you have entered a more classy “Cheers” is even better. I was sitting in the corner of the restaurant, one of my favorite spots, as it is easy to people watch, and that is just as important when reviewing a restaurant as the food is. People would come in happy and finding friends or people they know, talking across tables and simply stopping by to have a glass of wine before moving on.
It seems as if the neighborhood has already embraced Evelina and it makes sense. It is a cozy and warm feeling you get when entering the restaurants. The waiters and hostess were warm, welcoming and patient. Listened to the guests and took their time to advice. That is one of my favorite things about the restaurant, how you are greeted, treated and how the atmosphere makes you feel.
That the food was not too shabby either makes this restaurant a keeper. Executive Chef Lanfranco Paliotti worked at Daniel Boulud’s Boulud Sud after all. Goes without saying that I had high expectations, which were all met.
We were presented with an already selected menu, which was a first for us. It was a delicious selection, but contained a lot of cheese, which my husband is not a big fan. We started with the Winter Green Salad with roasted grapes, almonds and aged ricotta. I had never had roasted grapes before and they were wonderful. Definitely a trick I will use for my own salads.
Next was the Wild Mushroom Salad with homemade ricotta, chestnut and Parsley. This was my favorite dish throughout the evening, so if you go and you like mushrooms, this should be your pick for your appetizer.
We shared a porchini & robiola Acquerello Risotto and the abalone mushroom carpaccio. It was heavily seasoned, which was a pro for me, but a but too salty for my husband. I am a sucker for mushrooms so no complaints from me.
For our entrees we were presented with Foie gras mousse, bosc pear, vin cotto. It was a very sweet foie gras but it was smooth and beautifully made. Our second entrée was the braised short rib with parmesan grits and mushrooms. As much as I love mushrooms, three courses with it was a bit much for me so I let my husband have the mushrooms.
We also had the Charred octopus with a dry fava bean puree, heirloom peppers and candied lemon. I loved the fava bean puree, so I will be stealing that idea and make something similar at home.
And since we are both big sweet eaters, we ordered a couple of desserts. The Panna Cotta and the Chocolate Tart were both wonderful. The panna cotta inspired me to make my own for my mother-in-laws birthday.
The seasonal cocktails were created by Simon Sebbah, who has experience from London’s two Michelin-starred Chelsea Brasserie. And my husband picked up on the Shakespearian names immediately. The drinks were the best part of the menu, inventive and marvelous. Go there for drinks as you will not be disappointed. The combinations might seem a little odd but trust me, the man knows what he is doing!
Enjoy the atmosphere and have a drink at Evelina. This will be restaurant that will last.
211 Dekalb Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205
Photos via Evelina and by Socially Superlative