Welcome To Faro, Bushwick’s Newest Hot Spot
Between now and, say, mid-September is traditionally the best time to check out NYC's hottest restaurants, as tables (and bar stools) are much easier to snag when everyone is still away and/or trying to get their nightlife-bearings back right after Labor Day. This is generally true of established crowd-magnets such as Charlie Bird, Roberta's, and The Dutch (though more neighborhood-ish spots in densely residential areas–like Parm and Jin Ramen on the Upper West Side–will likely be as packed as ever), as well as just-opened, critically-hyped restaurants that haven't been completely overrun yet. For example: Faro, in Bushwick, less than a block away from the Jefferson stop on the L, and one of the most exciting new restaurants I've eaten at all summer.
Welcome To Faro
Faro is the love child (so to speak) of Debbie and Kevin Adey, who have lived in the community for years and dreamed of opening a casual, fun, quality place where people could get excellent food at reasonable prices in a space that fit in with the neighborhood. Kevin is no stranger to cooking for these folks, that's for sure, as he was the long-term chef for the venerable Bushwick mainstay Northeast Kingdom, and his confidence in the kitchen, as well as Debbie's friendly professionalism running the front of the house, translate into a meal packed with bold flavors delivered in an exceedingly pleasant environment. The fact that all the ingredients are from local farms and suppliers using sustainable practices is a nice bonus.
What To Eat, What To Drink
Pastas dominate the Faro menu, all freshly made in house, and they all sound appealing. Not wanting to be too ridiculous, though, we only ordered one, an extra-thick Chitarra (there was plenty of bite, but without any gumminess) tossed with spicy megruez lamb sausage, some bitter greens, and a scattering of dark olives adding an additional spark to the mix. The balance here was superb, a textbook case in combining super-rich ingredients without everything getting overwhelmed by everything else. I am definitely going back for some more of (all the rest of?) Adey's noodles.
Other winners on the Faro menu include a thick, sweet, and satisfying Chilled Corn and Saffron Soup, and a special on the night we dined, an Escarole Salad that had about a pound of pig's head terrine laying in the leaves. And Adey's "surf-n-turf" option is terrific, a hefty octopus tentacle that he pulls from the big wood-fired oven in the open kitchen in the back, and a pairs with potatoes, peppers, and thinly sliced pig cheeks. This is a hearty dish that makes me doubly excited about what the crew will be cooking up come fall, and then winter.
For Menu and More Information on Faro
Faro is located at 436 Jefferson Street, between Wyckoff and St. Nicholas Avenues, and is open every day from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. For more information and the complete Faro menu, updated for each season, see here.