What a surprise the little sliver of a restaurant Il Passatore Trattoria (14 Bushwick Avenue at Metropolitan Avenue, 718-963-3100) turned out to be! Some friends who live in the area recently discovered it and were nice enough to share their treasure with us. I immediately liked it as soon as I walked in. The light was low, the hostess/waitress was welcoming & friendly and the exposed brick walls were homey and inviting.
I started with the Spinach Salad which comes with apples, walnuts and Gorgonzola in a balsamic dressing. It was so good, with sweet spinach leaves, tart slices of apples and big chunks of the strong cheese. It was perfect.
Our friends got an order of the Bacon Wrapped Scallops which were amazing. I mean, everything is better with bacon, but these were tender, smoky and salty bites of goodness, cooked just until the outside got a little crispy.
The Tagliatelle with a Bolognese Ragu with Peas was the best dish of the night. All the pasta is homemade daily, so it's fresh, which really makes a difference. The Tagliatelle is long strips of pasta which provided a perfect surface for the hearty, meaty ragu which was delicious.
The Pappardelle, wide strips of pasta, was also good, and it came with a Wild Boar Ragu. The sauce was incredible and also hearty. The meat was plentiful and delicious with it's subtle gamey flavor.
I got the Strozzapretti with Smoked Salmon in a Cream Sauce. This was good too, with tons of pieces of delicious smoked salmon (a little of the salty side), but the cream sauce was fairly heavy and made it nearly impossible to finish the dish in one sitting. Half came home with me for lunch!
Il Passatorre is such a great little place, with dishes made from fresh ingredients, thoughtfully prepared and nicely presented. Definitely will be back!