When Victoria Frignani and Ciro Verdi, co-owners of Da Ciro Ristorante, closed their Italian bistro in Manhattan after 20 years, they searched for nearly two years for a new location. They combed several neighborhoods throughout New York City, looking for the perfect new venue until finally they found it, in Brooklyn– Clinton Hill, to be exact!
The new location, at 458 Myrtle Avenue (between Washington Ave and Hall St), is the former home of The Runner, which closed this past September.
“We were looking for a while before stumbling upon the location on Myrtle,” said Frignani. “The key was the oven; it’s very difficult to come across a restaurant that has a wood-burning oven.” Plus, she added, they were wowed by the vibrancy of the up-and-coming neighborhood.
“Another reason we were sold was because our original location had two floors– one for casual dining, and the other for more formal dining. And so when we saw the space was divided into two stores, it gave us the idea of bringing back the old Da Ciro.”
The store is just about ready to open but is waiting on its liquor license. The owners are expecting a mid-April opening date– most likely on a Wednesday, to usher new customers into the weekend.
For 20 years, Da Ciro thrived with few changes to the menu: “We had the same locals that came to us from day-one and continued until our last day there,” said Frignani. So the new location will maintain the same winning menu, with about ten new additions, mostly Italian-American appetizers and bar food.
What’s so special about the food at Da Ciro? Well, we can start with the fact that the restaurant and its popular Chef Verdi have been featured numerous times on the Food Network’s Food Nation with Bobby Flay, as well as highlighted in the book, 100 Years of Pizza.
If that’s not enough proof, come sample for yourself: Start off with their Calamari Alla Griglia (grilled squid served over cucumbers, olives and red onions); then move to their Verdue al Forno a Legna (seasonal vegetables roasted in the wood-burning oven); Pollo Millanese, pounded chicken cutlet breaded then topped with Tri Colore salad and goat cheese medallion; or for something lighter, their Italian-style sliders (made of meatball or chicken parmigiana)
And of course theres’s always the option of Da Ciro’s formidable wood-burning pizzas, such as the Focaccia Robiola, made from double-crusted, aerated focaccia bread filled with Italian robiola cheese, prosciutto, arugula and oven-dried tomatoes, sandwiched together and drizzled with white truffle oil!
Frignani describes the Italian bistro as “casual and sophisticated, but not pretentious.”
“We’re welcoming to families and all age groups; the bar atmosphere will be super-cozy, and we always get to know our customers. It’s all about relationship-building for us.
Dining hours are 12:00noon, beginning with brunch, until late night for lunch and dinner.