Williamsburg might be overflowing with Italian restaurants, but Antica Pesa (115 Berry Street) is offering something a little different, operating out of the space previously occupied by Planet Thai. It's the first American spin-off of the Roman restaurant of the same name, and though the original has been operating since 1922, this location offers a decidedly modern twist.
Take the Calamaro Arrostito, an appetizer of fish stuffed with squid, bread, and any available spices. Antica Pesa has refashioned it, complete with spinach and a horseradish yogurt sauce. The BaccalĂ alla Romana uses the same ingredients, but the cod is cooked two different ways, and then all the pieces are assembled like a tower.
Brothers Francesco and Simone Panella left their other four brothers in Italy to open Antica Pesa in Williamsburg, and are impressed at how similar the neighborhood is to their hometown.