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Fabbrica: A Groundbreaking Italian Restaurant

Tommaso Cartia (March 31, 2017)
Journalist, writer, interior designer, filmmaker, and restaurateur, Alberto Baudo used all of his experience and creativity to open Fabbrica, his Italian restaurant near the Williamsburg waterfront–a formerly industrial area in Brooklyn. More than just a simple restaurant, Fabbrica is a “factory” of ideas that puts a modern twist on traditional Italian gastronomy, all in a space that is rich in events–from live concerts to art and poetry.

“I wanted to eat how people eat in Italy,” Alberto Baudo told us when we asked him why an accomplished journalist, writer, director, and producer decided, at a certain point in his life, to dive into New York’s Italian dining scene.

After arriving in the Big Apple twenty years ago as a correspondent for RAI (Italy's national public broadcasting company), the Roman journalist began to feel nostalgia for home, Italian cuisine, and typical Italian products. He realized that there are many Italian restaurants in New York, but few of them are truly authentic. To fill this void, he decided to open Acqua near Wall Street. Beginning as a fun adventure with the goal of offering the American public traditional Italian cuisine, the restaurant became a great success and launched Baudo into the world of food.

The Opening of Fabbrica

With this important experience as his base, the restaurateur then opened Fabbrica in Williamsburg, near the waterfront, which is also the neighborhood to which he later moved. “Five years ago, this area wasn’t very alive. It was an industrial area that subsequently became residential thanks to restoration work conducted by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration. The area was full of factories (fabbrica in Italian), so I chose the name as an homage to the neighborhood’s history.”

Modern Italian Style

Fabbrica grew with the neighborhood, which today is very alive, dynamic, and full of artists and musicians. Alberto always stayed true to his philosophy of offering purely traditional cuisine, from Roman fare like Cacio e Pepe and Carbonara to other recipes from Italy’s various regions. However, just as art and music change and evolve, so does Italian cooking. Thus, the restaurateur wasn’t afraid to introduce some culinary experiments to his menu, proposing some variations to some of the most typical dishes: “We have fusion cuisine for a clientele that is young and fresh. It’s the “Modern Italian” food wave that caters to New York’s new taste preferences, which are greener and healthier. When cooking, we’re using more organic and macrobiotic products.”

One example is the famous Tuscan dish Pici all’aglione. I pici is a type of handmade pasta that is similar to spaghetti but thicker. It’s traditionally prepared with tomato sauce and garlic. Fabbrica’s spin on the dish presents an innovative matching of ingredients: pistachio and lemon. The pistachio is made into flour and mixed with lemon juice and lemon rinds in order to form a sauce. Then mashed pistachio is added on top. This fresh, summer recipe is a best seller among the restaurant’s clients, and it’s served all year thanks to its popularity.

Excellent Service

Fabbrica has truly become a point of reference and a standard for those who are looking for a comprehensive Italian experience in New York. Their entire food selection, everything from their cappuccinos and brioche in the morning to their traditional lunches and dinners, knows how to make clients happy, even the most hard to please who love trying new dishes. The excellent staff and service pamper diners and make them feel at home. In fact, the restaurant was recently awarded with the Targa della Repubblica Italiana Ospitalità ed Eccellenza. This prestigious plaque for top-notch hospitality was given to the restaurants by Italian Consul General Francesco Genuardi.

The New Factory

With Fabbrica, thanks to enterprising spirit of Alberto Baudo, the surprises never stop coming. The building that houses the restaurant is very large and has that typical Brooklyn industrial style. Thanks to a space that is already theatrical in itself, the place has always lent itself to hosting artistic events and musical performances. However, starting on April 7th of this year, the restaurant is launching a new project that will be even more event-focused and have a richer calendar. Baudo thought of calling this new initiative “The Factory,” which reminds us a bit of Andy Warhol’s famous studio in New York that hosted great artists and celebrities of ‘60s. Fabbrica’s new program is in line with that spirit, and it will include evenings full of music, poetry, and videographic performances.

In an attempt to highlight the theatrical aspect of the space, Alberto installed red velvet curtains and new set designs. But the restaurateur has yet another great surprise in store for his clients, and he gave us a preview: “Starting on April 7th 2017, we will begin ‘The Factory’ evenings. Fabbrica is getting a new soul in its body. These new musical evenings will be organized by an exceptional artistic director–Andy Rourke–the historic bassist from the British band The Smiths. Together with Andy, we will offer jazz, alternative rock, and Brazilian music. We will have regular house bands, and we’ll also have special guests.”

We can’t wait to participate in one of these beautiful evenings at Fabbrica’s new Factory!

For more information on the restaurant and the upcoming events check out Fabbrica's website here >>

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