I can't believe I haven't written about Fragole yet (394 Court St., between Carroll St. & 1st place, 718-522-7133). It's one of my favorite restaurants around (overall, not just for Italian). It's consistent and dependable, offering lots of basic pastas dishes done expertly and deliciously, and a variety of specials to choose from if you're feeling like something different. On this occasion we just wanted a good meal and know that we'll never be disappointed here.
We started with a salad of mixed greens and endive. Simple yet tasty, with a light lemony vinaigrette dressing. The ingredients were fresh and crisp and it was a nice way to start the meal.
My BF got the special Gnocchi with Pork Rib Ragu which was so hearty and flavorful. The gnocchi were tender and soft, and the sauce had sweet notes of tomato and earthy chunks of meat. It was a seriously good dish!
I chose one of my favorite dishes, the Rigatoni Firenze with Eggplant, Mozzarella and Basil. The eggplant is so tender and numerous chunks of melted cheese are interspersed throughout. Slices of fresh basil add a bright flavor to an otherwise homey and simple dish.
All the pastas are homemade daily, there are tons of wines, all listed at $27 (save for premium bottles), and the atmosphere is warm and friendly. The tables are definitely packed in, but at Fragole that seems to add to the jovial nature of the place. One of the best indeed! They also deliver, fyi.