Park Slope is known for being stroller friendly, but its restaurants are not quite at the destination-worthy level as places in Williamsburg or Bushwick. That may change, however, with the recent opening of Fausto, a dressy-casual Italian restaurant that took over the old Franny’s location. The team members are alums of West Village favorite L’Artusi, and they’ve brought the same attractive aesthetic and commitment to high quality pastas to Fausto. It’s by far the nicest restaurant on this particular stretch of Park Slope, a quiet block which is made up mostly of humble retail shops with the exception of a Sweet Chick restaurant at the corner of Flat Bush Ave and Park Pl.
The menu reflects the recent trend of offering an edited selection of seasonal, shareable small plates paired with an interesting wine list like at The Four Horsemen or Pasquale Jones. Everyone starts out with the slow poached egg antipasti, an earthy plate of egg, mushrooms and farro that feels like a warm hug in the middle of winter. We also tried the red snapper crudo as a lighter counterpoint, but it was disappointingly too much of a featherweight.
The whole wheat bigoli alla torchio duck ragu pasta was the star of dinner, outshining what normally would have been the high point in the form of the robust braised pork shank for two. We ordered two pasta dishes that night, and I would have gladly traded out the heavy handed lamb ragu tagliatelle for another order of the duck, whose flavors and preparation were just a bit more symbiotic than what was going on with its wide, noodle-y cousin. And not to say that the pork shank was a letdown, it was actually very homey and pleasant like Christmas dinner on a plate, all chubby beans and mirepoix bites, but it felt more like it was from an aunt’s kitchen than a refined oven.
Fausto looks like a godsend for the neighborhood, as it was packed when we were there. There are so many places that do this kind of food now, though, that for me, it’s not really worth the subway delays and trek out to Park Slope when I can get something similar, and frankly better, at Pasquale Jones. But for those stuck on this island of babies and brownstones, it doesn’t get much better than this.
348 Flatbush Ave (between Sterling Pl and St Johns Pl)
Brooklyn, NY 11238