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Anella started out shaky a couple of years ago, with mediocre pizzas and a mixed-bag quasi-Italian menu. Since then, under new chef Joseph Ogrodnek, the place has completely turned around. Pizzas have been deep-sixed, but many of the original dishes remain, spectacularly reconfigured. There's an asparagus appetizer arranged like a miniature village, with the stalks stacked like Legos, a fiddlehead-radish salad on the side, and a runny egg on top, and one of the city's most perfect plates of fried calamari. One evening, a crudo of mackerel squirted with pesto and decorated with basil flowers blew our minds. The backyard garden is one of the city's most pleasant secluded spaces.
Sometimes it seems as if all the juice has run out of the restaurant industry. Take Anella. It recently sailed into northwestern Greenpoint on a wave of press releases, dropping anchor on Franklin Street, a thoroughfare that—with its trendy... More »
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