First Look at Barano, the Williamsburg Restaurant From Rubirosa’s Former Chef

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Mozzarella board: The mozzarella is hand-pulled to order, and served with a choice of salumi or verdure like eggplant caponata or pickled vegetables.
Mozzarella board: The mozzarella is hand-pulled to order, and served with a choice of salumi or verdure like eggplant caponata or pickled vegetables. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine

Albert Di Meglio might be an alumnus of Le Cirque and Osteria del Circo, but most recently, at Rubirosa, he mined the culinary memories of his Italian-American childhood on Staten Island. For his new restaurant on Williamsburg’s South Side, slated to open next week, he traces his ancestry back to the homeland — or rather, his grandmother’s birthplace of Barano, on the island of Ischia, off the coast of Naples. His menu explores such sacred Italian territory as hand-pulled mozzarella, fresh pastas like mint tacconi with lamb sausage, and his grandma’s meatballs. As at more than a few New York restaurants these days, the kitchen revolves around a wood-fired oven, rotisserie, and grill, which Di Meglio will employ for pizzas like the L’uovo (Swiss chard, capocollo, Fontina, and duck egg) and spit-roasted meats. Dishware comes from chef favorite Jono Pandolfi, and the design aesthetic (red leather booths, ­reclaimed-oak flooring, marble bar) is courtesy of Brooklyn’s Home Studios. Here’s a look at the space and some of the food.

If you dine out a lot, you might recognize the stylistic touches of Brooklyn’s Home Studios. Concrete tabletops are inlaid with antique tile.
If you dine out a lot, you might recognize the stylistic touches of Brooklyn’s Home Studios. Concrete tabletops are inlaid with antique tile. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
The open kitchen and mozzarella station.
The open kitchen and mozzarella station. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
Baba au rhum.
Baba au rhum. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
The cannoli are filled with sheep’s-milk ricotta, dried fruit, and dark chocolate.
The cannoli are filled with sheep’s-milk ricotta, dried fruit, and dark chocolate. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
Eggplant parmigiana made with wood-roasted eggplant.
Eggplant parmigiana made with wood-roasted eggplant. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
Di Meglio updates his grandmother’s meatball recipe with dry-aged beef and sheep’s-milk ricotta.
Di Meglio updates his grandmother’s meatball recipe with dry-aged beef and sheep’s-milk ricotta. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
For his mint tacconi, Di Meglio encases the fresh herb in thinly rolled pasta and sauces it with lamb sausage, peppers, eggplant, and watercress.
For his mint tacconi, Di Meglio encases the fresh herb in thinly rolled pasta and sauces it with lamb sausage, peppers, eggplant, and watercress. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
Spit-roasted Amish chicken.
Spit-roasted Amish chicken. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine
Diners will be given scissors to cut their own vongole pizza, topped with clams, roasted garlic, mozzarella, and herb breadcrumbs.
Diners will be given scissors to cut their own vongole pizza, topped with clams, roasted garlic, mozzarella, and herb breadcrumbs. Photo: Jody Wissner/New York Magazine

26 Broadway, nr. Kent Ave., Williamsburg; 347-987-4500*

*A version of this article appears in the April 18, 2016 issue of New York Magazine.

*This post has been updated to correct an inaccurate phone number provided by a representative of the restaurant.

First Look at Barano in Williamsburg