435 Halsey Street


Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.


Photo by Dominic Perri

Once-remote Bedford-Stuyvesant, which mixes city grit with its picturesque brownstones, is fast becoming a neighborhood for new families, recent young transplants, and hip city dwellers after more space. And over the past five years, a number of restaurants have moved in to capitalize on the dining habits of these new inhabitants. One of the first was Saraghina, a pizzeria Edoardo Mantelli and Massimiliano Nanni opened in 2009 (Nanni has since exited the venture) that has also sprouted a connected bakery. Mantelli obsessed over pizza before going into the business, and he learned to make pies from Luzzo's Michele Iuliano. He freely admits he's not trying to "reinvent the pizza wheel"; rather, he's turning out solid Neapolitan pies, some swiped with the traditional tomato sauce and coated in bubbling mozzarella, others topped with seasonal ingredients, especially if they appear on the specials list. Much has been made of that specials list over the years, for it offers a number of non-pizza dishes that often are superb. Look for pastas, roasted vegetables, and a whole fish cooked in the same wood-burning oven as the pizzas until its skin crackles. Assuming it's warm outside, the most pleasant place to find yourself at Saraghina is in the back garden, a charming oasis sequestered from the rest of the world. At brunch locals fill the breezy dining room and drink excellent bloody marys, built with house-made mix and garnished with a salad's worth of house-made pickles. Any other time of day, consider sticking to the house wine, a liter of which will run you just $27.