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River Deli, Brooklyn

32 Joralemon Street (at Columbia Place)
Brooklyn Heights
Brooklyn , New York
Tel: 718 254 9200
Subway: 2/3 to Clark Street's insider take:

Cheers were heard throughout Brooklyn Heights when the River Deli opened in May 2010 (yes, it's by the river; no, it's not a deli). Sure, there are dozens of eateries on Montague Street, the neighborhood's main commercial drag, but they tend to be old stalwarts that coast on their reputation, or ethnic joints and national chains that cater more to office workers. Sardinian couple Giovanna Fadda and Andrea Mocci pay homage to their homeland with mussels in Vermentino wine and pappardelle with rabbit ragù. The meat platter overflows with cured meats and cheeses as well as Sardinian-style flatbread called pane carasau, and the all-Italian wine list has varietals you may never have heard of (the staff is happy to explain them all). If there's a wait for a table, the best way to kill time is to gawk at the stellar architecture along Columbia Place and then seek out one of the neighborhood's more curious attractions: the town house at 58 Joralemon, which is actually a ventilation shaft for the 4/5 subway line.—Danielle Contray

Open Tuesdays through Sundays.

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