You could tell from the flames glowing in the wood-ovens, reflecting all the way to the rainy sidewalk: the wait was over. SAVEUR was happy to host the preview opening of Fausto—a wine-focused restaurant with an Italian soul and Brooklyn heart.
The location in Park Slope is familiar for many: Franny’s, a restaurant beloved for its pizza and wine, stood here for years. Its closure was devastating news for many customers, including a restaurateur and sommelier Joe Campanale (dell'anima, L'Artusi and Anfora) and chef Erin Shambura (Lupa, Del Posto and L’Artusi). But for them, it also meant they had finally found a perfect place for their new restaurant. The wood-ovens stayed, but the pizzas were out: those flames are now use to cook fish, meat, and vegetables.
Fausto's menu is inspired by chef Shambura's previous work in Italian restaurants in New York, as well as her travels in Italy. The menu includes seasonal bites, vegetable-loaded antipasti, crudos, seven varieties of handmade pastas, meats, fish, and desserts. Chef Shambura is especially excited about her bigoli alla torchio, a duck-ragu topped pasta that she discovered while living in Treviso. The pasta is twisted with a hand-operated torchio. Bigoli was also the first dish Shambura knew she want to have on the menu in Fausto.
The space itself transports you to old-world Italy, with interiors inspired by post-World War II Rome, a vintage-fitted dining area, and a cavernous wine cellar downstairs that also serves as a private dining room. The wine cellar is the other heart of Fausto: Campanale's selection highlights bottles from small Italian producers—those who harvest their grapes by hand, ferment with ambient yeast and utilize organic or biodynamic growing methods.
Fausto opens on Saturday, December 9th at 348 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238.