Meet Ciro Verdi and Victoria Frignani, opening Da Ciro in Clinton Hill later this month.
Chef Ciro Verdi is prone to waxing poetic about the cuisine and regions of Italy because he spent an inordinate amount of time there visiting his grandparents for extended periods growing up. In fact, he still visits quite regularly. With parents from metropolitan Naples and godparents from the quaint, mountainous town of Pietracupa, both in southern Italy, and his wide exposure to various Italian regions through cooking education, teaching, visits and other experiences, Chef Verdi knows Italian cuisine like the back of his hand. It’s only fitting that he’d have a restaurant which puts Italian regional cuisine front and center.
Da Ciro (meaning ‘by Ciro’ in Italian) operated in Manhattan for 20 years. A neighborhood favorite, it closed it doors there almost to date two years ago. The restaurant will be reopening here on Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn later this month. “I’ve been trying to retire for the past several years,” shared Chef Verdi, “but my restaurant team and my customers, which are very much like family (60% of his staff has been with him for 20 years, since the beginning), won’t let me,” he continued. The brick oven at the center of the new space at 458 Myrtle (former home of the Runner restaurant) and the charm of the Fort Greene and Clinton Hill neighborhood sold Chef Verdi on coming to Brooklyn, assured that four things that Da Ciro is known for – food, charm, comfort and spirit – would continue here.
In addition to lots of great food, charm, comfort and spirit, the chandeliered and comfortable restaurant will include 75 seats inside plus use of the wonderful backyard space. A “kitchen away from home” is how Chef Verdi describes the experience.
Look for delicious regional items on the menu, including pasta, paninis, pizzas and desserts.
A few menu items include: Calamari alla griglia (grilled squid served over cucumbers, olives and red onions); mozzarella calda son pomodorini (warm mozzarella with grape tomatoes and basil); verdue al forno a legna (seasonal vegetables roasted in our wood-burning oven); pollo millanese pounded chicken cutlet breaded then topped with tri colore salad and goat cheese medallion.
“All of our dishes are very delicious, our Neapolitan casseroles, ravioli ,or any of the pastas, focaccia, white truffles, tiramisu, gelato (“the closest thing you will get to Italian gelato”) are some of my personal favorites,” shared co-owner, manager, Victoria Frignani. If the internet and food magazines are to be believed, highly acclaimed Ciro Verdi and his restaurant are a must visit. Surely some of Chef Verdi’s inspiration also comes from his Pietracupa-hailed godfather who was a pastry chef for years at Ferrara’s Bakery in Little Italy.
While still in the planning stages, Da Ciro has a lot of plans brewing to offer senior specials and family-friendly activities. Everyone will enjoy the delicious foods and excellent customer service planned for the restaurant.
“We have lots of classic dishes,” says Chef Verdi, and mostly we are known for putting a twist on the basics — our basics are not at all ‘basic’.”
The restaurant will be open from 12 noon to late night for lunch and dinner.
Da Ciro Ristorante, 458 Myrtle Avenue between Washington Avenue and Hall Street.