I recently had the opportunity to try out this fantastic, Southern Italian family style restaurant located in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, directly across the street from McCarren Park. I went there for dinner with my sister, and my niece and nephew. First of all, I have to mention how lovely the restaurant is. When you first walk in, you are treated to a beautiful granite bar and brick oven. Behind this area is the dining area. Vertuccio’s also has an outdoor patio which is open during warmer weather. There are 30-foot ceilings and hand-painted murals covering the walls, giving Vertuccio’s an old-world charm. The atmosphere is cozy, with dim lighting and tables spaced far enough apart that you don't feel like you're infringing on anyone else’s dining space.

We decided to try several different dishes “family style”. We started with a wooden platter of assorted cured meats and cheeses. (Yummy!). For dinner, we ordered Rigatoni Alle Norma – rigatoni pasta with eggplant, ricotta salada and tomato sauce, Taglolini Alle Vongole and Fettuccini with spinach, mushrooms, parmigiano cheese and truffle oil. We also ordered Quatro Stagioni pizza, made with mozzarella, gorgonzola, gruyere and ricotta cheese. When the food arrived, we started passing around the dishes, each of us tasting each creation. Everything was absolutely delicious. My absolute favorite of the four was the Fettuccini. For dessert, we had coffee and an assortment of Italian ice-creams and pastries. (I had the Crème Brule!)

I spoke with the owner, Michael Vertuccio, who lives in Middle Village. He opened his restaurant in September, 2009. He told me he is fulfilling a lifelong dream of owning his own restaurant. The chef, Gaetano Giuffre, hales from Palermo and has cooked at many notable Italian restaurants in the City. He loves to cook and loves to be creative. You can tell by the way his dishes look when they are set down at the table and once you sample one of his creations, you can taste his love of food and creativity.

The menu consists of 7 different appetizers, 7 different salads, 11 unique pasta dishes, 3 meat dishes, 3 side orders and 20 different brick oven, gluten-free pizzas. It also includes 8 different focaccia sandwiches. Vertuccio’s also offers different specials each night. There is plenty of choice available, and everything sounds delicious. I'm looking forward to visiting again and trying several more dishes.

The restaurant is open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 11:00 to 10:00, Friday and Saturday from 11:00 to midnight and Sunday night from 11:00 to 10:00 p.m. There are no reservations required, but Mr. Vertuccio would recommend a reservation if you have a party of 8 or more.

The price is right, too. Appetizers and salads range from $8 to $10, pasta dishes from $9 to $14 and pizza from $11, so all in all you can dine affordably and deliciously at Vertuccio’s.

I would recommend trying Vertuccio’s. You can visit their website, which includes a copy of their menu, at www.vertuccios.com.

Vertuccio’s on the Park
232 North 12th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 486-3900