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Carroll Gardens
This Carroll Gardens spot, located in a former video store, has traded its DVD racks for romantic Victorian-inspired decor—tapestries, thick rugs and mismatched lamps. It’s an odd design choice for an Italian trattoria, but the plush chairs and elegant wraparound bar are perfectly comfortable places to graze on the menu of well-executed snacks. Steer clear of the doughy pizza; better bets include crisp panini (serrano and Manchego, prosciutto with fresh mozzarella), bruschette topped with a pleasingly salty olive tapenade, or crunchy fennel-orange salad. The wine list is international and refreshingly cheap: About $10 buys one of a dozen quartini.
Venue name: Calpurnia
Address: 387 Court St

Cross street: at 1st Pl
Opening hours: Daily 4pm–1am
Transport: Subway: F, G to Carroll St
Price: Average small plate: $10. AmEx, Disc, MC, V
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