DINING OUT: Ravioli worth raving about at the Ravioli Wine Bar

January 21, 2016 Anna Spivak
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A restaurant specializing in one form of pasta is giving Cobble Hill locals something to rave about: one-of-a-kind, flavorful and cooked by Italian grandmother-style—ravioli.

Since October, 2015, customers – including members of the plentiful foodie scene in the area – have been singing the praises of the Ravioli Wine Bar, a unique take on Italian dining.

Offering over 12 different types of ravioli on its seasonal menu, the Ravioli Wine Bar is quickly becoming the savory star of Smith Street.

“I had the idea of having different women come and cook,” said Denise Ingrassia-Scaravella, who co-owns the restaurant along with Warren Wexelman and Gus Lorina. “Come home, just like my mom would do, and put together the menu.

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“I started interviewing women from all different parts of Italy that were living in New Jersey, some in Brooklyn, some in Staten Island,” she continued, “and every night it’s a different menu because every night it’s a different woman cooking.”

Originally, Ingrassia-Scaravella explained, the idea was implemented at a restaurant she co-started in Staten Island called Enoteca Maria. There, eight different women would rotate nightly, serving up all sorts of authentic cuisine from different parts of Italy.

At the Ravioli Wine Bar, she has Nina — originally from Salerno, Campania — and Elvira — from Palermo, Sicily — creating special ravioli recipes.

“Every week, they give me a list of the ingredients that they want to use and what they use at home,” said Ingrassia-Scaravella. “That’s the secret. They’re cooking for you like they’re cooking at their house.”

Our first dip into the savory, ravioli sea was Spinach and Gorgonzola Ravioli ($18) which feature a blend of five different cheeses along with arugula and walnuts. The creaminess of the sauce underneath the ravioli, paired with the zing of all five cheeses, really set this dish off and gave us a hint of what we were in for.

Next we sampled the Bacon Ravioli ($18), a crowd favorite according to Ingrassia-Scaravella. The dish features a creamy carbonara and bacon sauce, that Ingrassia-Scaravella says—and we agree—is so good, you can “drink it like it’s soup.”

The Roasted Sausage and Pepper ($18) ravioli was next. Packing just the right amount of meat, cheese and veggies into every bite, this dish boasted a fresh and flavorful profile. Coupling the salty richness of the cheese with the savory flavors of the meat and veggies, we thought, was just perfetto.

The Meat Ravioli ($18), stuffed and swimming in a Bolognese meat sauce, really put us over the edge. The tangy flavors of the sauce matched the tenderness of the meat perfectly and, the dough of the ravioli—as with all of them—really was the star of the show with its perfect al dente bite.

To go along with these creative entrees, the restaurant offers a selection of 22 different wines imported from Italy, which Ingrassia-Scaravella hand selects.

“If you came to my home, I wouldn’t serve you a wine because it was a good price,” she said. “I’d serve you a wine because I like it and I hope you would like it and the same with the food.”

If you have room after your entrée, the eatery also serves up a variety of house-made desserts including Nutella cookies, cannoli and various cakes.

So far, the community seems to approve.

“This neighborhood, I am so lucky,” Ingrassia-Scaravella said. “The competition is tremendous and the critics are really tough. But, they like us a lot.”

277 Smith Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Tuesday through Sunday, Noon to 10 p.m.

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