Naked Dog is a misleading restaurant. It looks like a pretty low-key, unassuming neighborhood restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, the type you go to when you get turned down by Oxomoco or Paulie Gee’s. And it also doesn’t help that the name is a little strange–is this some sort of British pub you’re walking into? But when you get settled here, all those initial doubts you had about Naked Dog quickly disappear, because the caliber of its homestyle Italian cooking will impress you. The aspirations and skill level are way beyond humble hole-in-the-wall. By the end of the meal, you’ll wish you lived in Greenpoint so that you can take advantage of the better street parking and eat at Naked Dog every night.
I can’t help myself, but when it’s summer and the food is Italian, I want an aperol spritz and lots and lots of bread. The excellent house focaccia bread and the burrata bruschetta certainly met those expectations of good bread. But what was even better were the vegetables, different kinds of carb but in a good way. I’ve never been so excited by crispy eggplant and roasted cauliflower.
Since you can’t eat Italian without eating some pasta, we ordered the ravioli. There was definitely a very homestyle quality about it, in that it was like they rolled out the dough, filled it with some ground beef and didn’t mess around with it too much with herbs and whatnot. And just when I didn’t think it could get any better, and that I couldn’t eat any more food, out came the duck. Just looking at the plate of duck you knew it was going to be good. The meat was plump and tender, the surrounding skin crisp, and the accompanying pumpkin gnocchi just icing on top. I heated this up as leftovers the day after and somehow it tasted even better. The sauce had a chance to marinate even deeper into the meat, making for some fantastic flavor. This Naked Dog is one very good boy.
47 Java St (between West St and Franklin St)
Brooklyn, NY 11222
Outdoor seating from 4-10 pm daily. Walk-ins only.