I’m iffy when it comes to Italian food. Growing up in south Brooklyn, I got accustom to my local Italian joints and for me to leave out o...

Ferdinando's Focacceria


I’m iffy when it comes to Italian food. Growing up in south Brooklyn, I got accustom to my local Italian joints and for me to leave out of my realm is difficult. A friend of mine would constantly bother harass me about going to this place Ferdinando's Focacceria located in downtown Brooklyn. But he's a shithead and I never listen to him.  One day he suggested we should go to a place called Jakes. A B.B.Q joint that is conventionally located right around the corner from Ferdinando's . Upon arrival to Jake's we noticed a sign saying "closed for vacation". Clever. He's lucky I didn't punch him in the dick. So after much obscene name calling, we walked over to Ferdinando's

Located on Union Street, most people will recognize the entrance of Ferdinando’s from the bar scene in the movie The Departed. But instead of Irish gangsters, the room was filled with secondary yuppies. You know, the type who are too cheap to live in Manhattan and say “fuck it, Brooklyn is cool.” The room is 100% old school: dimly lit, wooden tables and chairs, exposed brick walls and a sign out front spelling “Ferdinando’s Restaurant” in gold lettering. We opted to sit outside because it was a beautiful summer evening and I was trying to soak up as much of the summer as I could.

As I scanned the menu, I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary - a few pasta dishes, some cold and hot appetizers. My friends and I decided to order the rice ball special, fried calamari and a pasta dish called Pappardelle alla Boscaiola. 

As our entrees came out, some bread came out with a plate which olive oil was poured into. Which was a good sign, if they brought it to the table first.

The Calamari : The Calamari was decent, definitely not out of the bag type. Tender pieces of lightly dusted, lightly fried calamari, served with a homemade sauce that would put any Italian grandmother to shame. 

The Rice Ball Special : A huge rice ball stuffed with ground beef and peas, served with the house special red sauce, and topped with mozzarella and fresh ricotta cheese. I was actually disappointed with this dish. The rice ball was cold and had a stale taste to it. What’s worse is the mozzarella wasn’t fresh. Come on! Fresh mozzarella comes with the place! 

Pappardelle alla Boscaiola : The menu described this dish as hand-cut pasta, fried with eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms. Yeah, the pasta was hand-cut; about 10 years ago. It was cooked well, though, and the dish had a homey taste, as if your mother made it. Well, not my mother; she’s a terrible cook. Thank g-d for my father. If it wasn’t for his cooking skills, I’d be the type of asshole who makes eggs in the microwave. 

My mouth was full of the savory so I opted for something sweet. As soon as our extremely vulgar waitress returned I asked what kind of desserts they had, and before she could finish, I said canoli.

The Canoli : I was told it was a house made canoli. I'm pretty sure it was made in someone else's house. A heavy sweet cream stuffed in a hard canoli. The cream was cool, dense and sweet, perfection. The canoli shell was soggier than a new york city cab drivers ass in august. Fail.

 The bill came to $100 for 3 people, including the tip. Would I return Ferdinando’s? Probably not. If you’re looking for nostalgic places to eat in Brooklyn, and don’t expect anything more, check-out Ferdinando’s.  

Ferdinando's Focacceria
151 Union Street Brooklyn, NY
(718) 855-1545

1 comment:

  1. Your mention of a cab driver's ass in August definitely turned me off about this place... now that image isn't going anywhere. Thanks a lot -_-

    I'm always on the fence about Italian restaurants. I think they fall into 2 groups. Group 1: dependable, local family-owned places that serve huge portions of classic pastas with lots of sauce. Even though the food is meh, you never leave a group 1 resto hungry. Group 2: fancy, overpriced pastas that sound great while read off a menu, but fail to impress off the plate. With group 2, the chance for any kind of satisfaction is tiny.