Le Fanfare

The romantic Italian restaurant gets reimagined for the Greenpoint set

By James Oliver Cury

If you walk down Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint—past the trendy cafes and Polish butchers—you’ll enter an unnamed micro-neighborhood that draws both food and music fans. Here, a block away from both Lobster Joint and Saint Vitus punk-metal bar, sits Le Fanfare, an Italian-American restaurant-cum-jazz-club from the team that runs Epistrophy Café in Nolita.

Ask co-owner (and trumpet player) Luca Fadda to explain his concept for the place, and he’ll cite Italian futurism as an inspiration; you can see it in the menu’s typography and in the retro-modern-industrial lamp designs. Fadda has carved out separate spaces in the room by having dining booths at left, communal tables in the center, bar stools at right, and a glittering sound stage in back where live music is featured on weekends (Check their calendar to see who’s playing; it could be Fadda himself). The result: Le Fanfare’s appeal suits anything from beer-infused brunches to romantic dinners—as Brooklyn Magazine raved.
The menu plays it straighter: Chef Adam Ross sticks to Italian classics but makes them his own, literally—the bread, pasta, and ricotta are all made in-house. Of the entrées, the most popular is the pork loin, but it’s a pasta dish and a side that really steal the show: Spaghetti neri takes what could have been humdrum ingredients (pasta and mussels) and delivers a sublime, squid-ink pasta sauce infused with green chiles and bottarga, while the farro melds the chewy-nutty grain with small chunks of sweet butternut squash, bits of mint, and a light-as-air dollop of ricotta.

Many ingredients are sourced locally, as is much of the beer selection—in fact, it’s Ross’ goal to have an entirely New York and Italian beer list, so you’ll find several Brooklyn-based breweries (Kelso, Coney Island) as well as an Italian option (Menabrea). The wines, on the other hand, almost all hail from France or Italy, and, impressively, not a single bottle sells for more than $48. It’s the kind of finishing touch that guarantees you’ll be heading back to Greenpoint sooner rather than later for another taste of Italian-American retro-modern cabaret.

Brunch at Le Fanfare (Creekstone Farm Hanger Steak and Eggs)


Dinner: Mon–Thu 5:30 PM–midnight (kitchen closes at 11 PM); Fri–Sat 5:30 PM–1 AM (kitchen closes at 11 PM); Sun 5:30 PM–10 PM (kitchen closes at 10 PM)
Brunch: Sat–Sun 11:30 AM–4 PM

price range

$15 (malloreddus pasta) to $26 (Creekstone Farm hanger steak)