The Pines - New Restaurant In Gowanus

The Pines joins drive and hospitality in equal parts

This restaurant is now operating with a new chef.

The food at Gowanus's newest restaurant, The Pines, is ambitious. The restaurant's hospitality may be even more so.

Having worked at Roberta's, Lupa and the late, great Masten Lake, Angelo Romano is new to the neighborhood and determined to create food and an atmosphere that is all grace and moxie, in equal measure. (Note: The restaurant is cash only, but it does provide an in-house ATM.)

On a recent visit, an amuse-bouche (normally a flag for stuffiness) of Concord grape granita was sweetly served in a wee cordial glass. A starter of testa, huckleberries and pumpkin bread ($12) eaten together with a smoking apple and bourbon cocktail ($12) conjured autumn's essence.

Oxtail-filled pasta and nasturtium leaves rested in a matte crab broth ($24), and crunch, crisp and snap were the starring textures in a dish of compressed jicama and whorls of dehydrated pancetta ($10).

And there is a sweet ending at meal's end: When your bill is settled, mosey to the backyard. A fire pit and s'mores fixings, including wondrous house-made marshmallows flavored with cherry pits for an almond kick, await.

The Pines, 284 Third Ave. (between President and Carroll sts.), Brooklyn; 718-596-6560 or