7-9-09 I'm sorry to report that Panino'teca has closed. I'm totally bummed. No more amazing Mac & Cheese, no quirky-ness and I never got to try their Brunch!!!
I've eaten at Panino'teca 275 (275 Smith Street, between Sackett St. and Degraw St., 718-237-2728) before for dinner, and have enjoyed a drink in their lovely backyard when the weather's nice, but I went for a late lunch/Happy Hour for the recently and had another good time. Recently written up on Brownstoner, this little Italian joint is quirky but offers decent food with good, strong flavors and great deals during their daily Happy Hour. We chose their Bucket of Brews which usually is four of one beer, but since it was early and we asked nicely, the bartender mixed it up for us. Two Penn Gold, a light, crisp beer and two Pork Slap, a hoppy lager that was surprisingly delicious. And check out that golden bucket that we think had Braille all over it with a message that said, "Everybody needs water". Hmmm.
My friend got the Mixed Greens Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette, a simple salad, but tasty with fresh greens and a tart dressing. Great to start with or for cleansing your palate.
I ordered three of the Bruschetta, made on long, thin slices of good, crusty bread; one with Fresh Ricotta, one with Roasted Eggplant with Mint, and one with Prosciutto with Fig Jam. Each one was better than the other, in the order listed, but they were all great. What an interesting combo of eggplant and mint, which was subtle, and I just LOVE the sweet fig jam with salty, smoky prosciutto.
My BF ordered the Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe. It was a touch on the oily side, but still, the sausage was good quality, there was plenty of garlic and big slices of sun-dried tomato throughout. Very satisfying.
So, I really like it here. It's a fun little spot with good deals on good food and drink and happy waitstaff who'll engage you in conversation if you're up for it. Definitely worth a try. Next on my list is to try their Brunch.