Il Porto Wood Burning Oven Pizza Italian Restaurant Brooklyn NY – 93 Plates Food Project
Il Porto Italian Pizzeria
37 Washington Avenue
(between Flushing Ave & Park Ave)
Area: Between Dumbo, Ft Greene and Williamsburg across from the Navy Yard
Brooklyn, NY 11205
What’s the best way to get to Brooklyn Navy Yard from the East Village? L to G to 57 bus? Q to Dekalb? I found myself in this predicament yesterday when I was hanging out with Hagan Blount for restaurant #29 of 93 of his 93 plates project. We just finished eating and blogging the Crooked Tree Creperie in the East Village and had to motor down to Il Porto near the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Why? Because there was supposedly a Blogger’s Meetup but when we finally arrived 40 minutes later via the 6 from Astor to Union Square to the L to the G and walking down Washington, there wasn’t a blogger’s soul in sight! I don’t really know who the organizer was but that’s pretty lame to not show up to your own Meetup.
To make the best of a situation that was becoming rapidly ridiculous, we decided to try out a few slices at Il Porto. Besides a) there isn’t much else in the neighborhood b) we were kind of getting hungry and c) the wood burning oven pizza smelled and looked pretty nice.
We chose a platter that included an eggplant calzone, a slice of a white pizza (just mozzarella), and a personal sized garlic mozzarella pizza. As we started taking out our gear to snap photos of the food, the owner took pause and engaged with us in a light conversation about Hagan’s 93 plates project. I guess the potential publicity that a restaurant gets from 93 food bloggers is quite a draw and before we were finished with our slices, we were offered a slice of his ‘Grandma’ pizza (pictured above). Although it’s a simple combination of sweet tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil and a splash of olive oil, it was our immediate favorite. It’s the most popular selling slice at Il Porto and I can easily see why.
Next, we indulged in a 32oz dry aged steak over a bed of asparagus and green beans along with a pear/pancetta/spinach/gorgonzola salad. First it’s a little laughable that the other bloggers who bailed on us completely missed out on this amazing food, and second I had intended on going to Peter Luger’s that night but ended up cancelling the reservation after being so stuffed from all this food. The steak at Il Porto isn’t the same cut as the mighty Peter Luger porterhouse so it’s difficult to compare, but overall the dry aged cut had great flavor and it’s a deal at $26.
As I powered through my meal, I asked the owner what type of customer would venture out to the industrial outskirts of the Brooklyn Navy Yard? Through its young 15 month run, he said the majority of the business occurs during the day, when Il Porto is packed with TV/Film crews and cast (including the likes of Sex and The City, and various modeling agencies) from Steiner Studios located across the street as well as small business employees from the Brooklyn Navy Yard space down the street. Secondly, Il Porto casts a wide net with their delivery service that covers DUMBO, Ft Green and the outskirts of Williamsburg. For me, I was pretty happy with the $5 bud light + slice happy hour special (4-7pm), but even more clever in my opinion is the FREE pickup and delivery candlelight dinner service on Thur, Fri and Sat nights at Il Porto. That’s brilliant!
The pizza here is good folks and although we only sampled a small portion of the overall menu, I would recommend making the trek out here to check it out. (Don’t depend on a Blogger Meetup as an excuse to go).