One nice side effect of our warmer winter is emerging at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden: The 220 cherry trees, as well as some daffodils and other plants, got a few weeks' head start on flowering. When the organization's annual Hanami festival began on April 1, many of the trees already looked like clouds of cotton candy. Don't worry if you missed the blooms last weekend; plenty more petals will be popping out during the monthlong event. In the meantime, check out our slide show.
Song E Napule
On the far west end of Houston Street, catty-corner from the MacDougal handball courts, sits this tiny, cash-only Neapolitan pizza kitchen. With only a counter and five tables, plus a few more out front, this bustling hole in the wall seems like a throwback to an earlier time. Delivering a complimentary basket of crackly bread with a ramekin of fresh ricotta cheese, the waiter assures us the food is “very authentic,” pointing outside for veritas, where Naples-born owner and chef Ciro Iovine is helping a patron select a bottle of wine. Clad in a red apron and kerchief, chef Ciro is just the kind of burly guy you would hope was behind your dish of macaroni. He takes time to stop at our table, and so lovingly explains a dish of paccheri alla genovese ($18) that we feel compelled to order it. The fresh loops of jumbo rigatoni arrive smothered in a toothsome veal and caramelized onion ragu, generously studded with savory pieces of veal and chunks of carrots, which give it an unexpected yet pleasant sweetness. Paired up with a simple tower of fresh insalata caprese ($13) with ruby red tomato slices and crisp sprigs of basil, it makes for a satisfying meal. One look at the blasting wood-fired pizza oven lets you know this place is also serious about its pies. With more than 20 different variations on the menu, there’s sure to be something for everyone’s taste. On a recent night, we tried the salsicce friarielli pizza ($18), which arrives layered with smoked mozzarella, sausage, br
Venue says: “Lunch special - everything $10....11:45pm to 4pm.....7days a week”