The Early Word--Bklyn Larder

Rapini and ricotta sandwich

Andrew Feinberg and Francine Stephens, the owners of the cultish pizza place


, have opened a new specialty foods and sandwich shop, Bklyn Larder. I stopped in yesterday, on opening day.

The shelves are stocked with a rather twee selection of goods--sherry vinegar, expensive chocolates, Latini pasta, nice olive oils. But there are plenty of places to find those specialty goods at more affordable prices (such as Sahadi's), so the real draw of the place is the sandwiches and prepared foods.

The sandwiches will change day-to-day; yesterday's selections were: prosciutto and butter, rapini and ricotta, tuna and anchovy, salami, provolone and hot peppers, and bacon with hard boiled egg. Plus, there was a assortment of cold salads and sides, including sugar snap peas, chickpea salad, octopus salad, couscous and raisin salad, and so on.

The rapini and ricotta sandwich ($8.50) was simple and delicious. The bottom half of the bread was soaked with good olive oil, and piled with billowy, mild ricotta and the peppery greens.

The chickpea salad was seasoned with caramelized onions and paprika, and the octopus salad featured tender hunks of cephalopod in a tart sauce with celery and carrots. Unfortunately, that octopus salad was $35 a pound, meaning that a half pint, the smallest size, rang up as $16.45! No more Bklyn Larder octopus salad for me. For dessert, the homemade rhubarb sorbet ($9 pint) was vibrantly rhubarb-y--tart and sweet.

Franny's is a destination, a restaurant people travel from other boroughs to experience, but Bklyn Larder isn't, really. The sandwiches and salads are lovely, and clearly have a lot of care put into them, but they're not something to travel for. However, as a neighborhood sandwich spot, Bklyn Larder is fantastic.

228 Flatbush Avenue 718-783-1250

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