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Propelled by its wood burning oven, which flickers merrily at the end of the rustic dining room, Il Brigante ("The Brigand") is one of the city's only Calabrian restaurants (the region at the toe of the boot right before you get to Sicily). It celebrates the wild side of southern Italian life via the occasional use of the tiny chiles popular in the region, and pastas that include fusilli silani (a baked-in-the-oven selection featuring sausage ragu and caciocavallo cheese) and rigatoni alla norma (with eggplant and ricotta salata, named after the heroine in a Verdi opera). And the single-person pizzas are easily the best in the South Street Seaport.
Calabria is the toe of the Italian boot, and one of its poorest regions. To the majority of visitors, it's the barren stretch of coastal highway that separates Sicily from the mainland. Thus it is appropriate that a Calabrian cook has set up... More »
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