Dining Out: Osteria Il Paiolo

By ANNE MARIE BOGAR

Anne Marie Bogar If you happen to be in Williamsburg overlook the hipster spots and opt for delicious Italian cuisine at  Osteria Il Paiolo.
Anne Marie Bogar If you happen to be in Williamsburg overlook the hipster spots and opt for delicious Italian cuisine at Osteria Il Paiolo.

On North sixth Street, one of the many streets lined with vintage boutiques, trendy restaurants and industrial warehouses in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, sits the Northern Italian restaurant of Osteria Il Paiolo. The deceivingly modest exterior houses an elegant, white table-clothed table restaurant. The staff inside the restaurant was surprisingly friendly. The waiters were very attentive, but not overly-bearing, refilling our water glasses often, but also letting us eat in peace. However, but the best part of the experience was definitely the meal.

To start, we ordered the fromaggi, an assortment of cheeses and jams to accompany the complimentary sun-dried tomato focaccia bread. The portion was fairly small to share between my three friends and me, and way too small for the price of the appetizer, but the cheeses and jams were tasty and the bread was delicious.

For the main course, I ordered the meat lasagna, which was one of the specials for that day. The lasagna was unexpectedly rich because a creamy, cheesy sauce replaced the usual tomato sauce. However, the change was rather enjoyable and resulted in a delicious entrée. The portion was a reasonable size, but quite pricey. The specials are displayed on a chalkboard in the restaurant, but the prices are not written up there, so it is a good idea to ask the waiter before ordering any special of the day.

I shared a chocolate cake topped with vanilla gelato with my friend for dessert. The cake was not very rich, which was a little disappointing at the beginning. However, I appreciated the subdued flavor, as it was not overwhelming after the first few bites. Overall, I felt that the food was satisfying.

Based on the prices, the décor and the ambiance (calming yet elegant), Osteria Il Paiolo is not the place for a casual dinner with friends; it is, however, ideal for special occasions and dates. We were able to get a table right away without a reservation, which is surprising for a Saturday night. The service was prompt for both the appetizer and main course, and the complimentary bread kept us occupied until our meal came. The dessert, on the other hand, took noticeably longer to arrive, which made me almost regret ordering it; that is, until I tasted it.

I would recommend this restaurant if you are in the mood to splurge a little, but if you are on a tight budget, there are cheaper Italian restaurants all over New York City with food that is just as delicious. However, I would definitely recommend checking out Williamsburg—the streets are alive with people looking to go out for a fun time and there is an abundance of restaurants of all types.