If you were wondering what ever happened to the Pig Guy, aka Thomas Perone, you will now find him at his red sauce joint called Brooklyn Roots. It originally opened in Sunset Park before settling in at its current location in Bay Ridge. The one thing we will say is come hungry. Even the heaviest of eaters will be leaving with a doggie bag at this family-friendly spot.
We first met up with Perone in the Meatpacking District when he was more focused on roasting whole pigs and catering to tailgate parties. His claim to fame was Bacon on a Stick made with slab bacon and a maple-sriracha glaze. At Brooklyn Roots, he's now focusing on over-sized plates of pastas and Italian classics.
Start with some Crispy Polenta with creamy shrimp scampi dripping down the sides or a batch of baked clams made simply with toasted breadcrumbs, garlic and lemon butter. Other options include Mussels Fra Diavlo with white wine or red sauce, Pan-Fried Meatballs made with a ribeye and filet mignon blend, and Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms topped with whipped parlsey-butter.
Larger plates bring the "Matty Guns Special," a huge platter of rigatoni swimming in vodka sauce topped with hot & sweet sausage, meatballs, whipped ricotta and fresh mozzarella on top. One plate could easily feed three people comfortably. Other pasta-bilities include Spaghetti Carbonara with pancetta; Lobster Pasta with mafaldine, a ribbon shaped pasta, creamy tomato sauce and lobster; and Pumpkin Ravioli with toasted walnuts and honey.
Brooklyn Roots is also serving up classics like Veal and Chicken Parmigiana, Berkshire Pork Chop with Chianti pear sauce, and Shrimp Puttanesca over pasta with olives, tomatoes, onion, capers and toasted garlic. During our visit, the special of the day was a flattened bone-in breaded pork chop that took up the size of a large plate served over a bed of rigatoni. We didn’t think we could finish it, but we did (it took three of us), and it was delicious to the very last bite.
For dessert, the tiramisu was sold out, so we shared tartufo, a ball of pistachio ice cream dipped in chocolate with nuts and cherries which made for a fantastic sweet finish. Now that's Italian! Be sure to pack a hearty appetite.