DINING OUT: A pie with a view at Ignazio’s Pizza

Luscious food, and an equally luscious vista of the Brooklyn Bridge are the recipe for success for Ignazio’s, a five-year-young eatery in the shadow of the span.

A Friday night dinner there was a culinary delight, featuring traditional Italian food reinterpreted with a modern, light touch, but without losing any of the classic charm of the original.

The loft-like setting reflects that feeling – with streamlined yet still warm furnishings in a room bathed in light from the ample windows.

Nearby tables were crowded with other patrons – some New Yorkers, but many from around the world. On this particular evening, they included Spanish and Italian families as well as a group of Navajos from New Mexico, noted the restaurant’s founder and native Brooklynite, Louis Salvatore Termini, who said that visitors from Italy find their way to the restaurant “all the time.”

We settled down with our up-close-and-personal view of the historic bridge and proceeded to enjoy numerous courses – three scrumptious salads, plus a trio of appetizers — before digging in to our pizza.

Chicory Salad ($8) was studded with cherry tomatoes and enveloped in a tart vinaigrette enriched with liberal lashings of Pecorino Romano, the cheesy and peppery dressing contrasting beautifully with the full-flavored greens.

The Three Apple Miso Salad ($11), a house specialty, is based on an employee’s family salad. In it, slices of fruit provide the perfect foil for a sizable wedge of Auricchio provolone on a bed of arugula and other greens, generously bathed in a sweet-tart miso dressing.

The House Salad ($10) is a classic, with tomatoes, cucumber and radish slices, celery wedges and black olives artfully arranged around a mound of lettuce topped with red onion rings, all enhanced by a perfectly balanced red wine vinaigrette.

Next up were the appetizers.

Estelle’s Meatballs ($10) – a re-creation of Termini’s mother’s version — are classic comfort food, bathed in sweet tomato sauce liberally spiked with basil. Unlike in many other places, these meatballs are served with thick slices of fresh Italian bread, because Ignazio’s does not serve pasta. But, you don’t miss the spaghetti. The meatballs are unequivocally the star here.

Stuffed Crimini Mushrooms ($9), redolent with garlic, are flavorful morsels indeed, enriched with Pecorino Romano and a sliver of black olive atop each.

Equally yummy are the Stuffed Artichokes ($12) – breaded on the exterior, and filled with piped-in ricotta, the whole creation topped with slices of red pepper and flecks of fresh parsley.

Finally, there was the pizza, which came to the table piping hot, its crust crackling in delightful contrast to the sweet sassy sauce and cheese topping. We tried the classic The Pizza ($17, medium; $21, large) – a very saucy creation topped with melted fresh mozzarella and fresh basil leaves.

The food, said Termini, is based on that prepared by his mother, Estelle, a Frenchwoman, for her Italian husband. “My Italian grandmother, Angelina, taught my mother to cook,” Termini recalled – lessons he in turn absorbed, and has put to good use in a career spent in the restaurant business.

Now, it’s the turn of Termini’s daughters, Valerie and Vanessa, the eatery’s co-owners, and they too revel in the opportunity to showcase the food that they love, prepared with love.

“These are my grandmother’s recipes,” stressed Vanessa. “It’s a joy to share them with the world.”


4 Water Street

Brooklyn, NY 11201


Monday-Thursday: 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

Friday: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Saturday: noon-10 p.m.

Sunday: noon-9 p.m.

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