And now she's struck out on her own by launching a small-but-bright sandwich shop and bakery nearby.
Saltie--which Fidanza opened with baker Elizabeth Schula and chef Rebecca Collerton--is already being hailed for its ingeniously crafted, nautically themed square sandwiches ($6 to $9).
They include the "captain's daughter" (pictured, far left) which marries sardines with pickled egg and salsa verde, and the "Spanish armada," freighted with potato tortilla, pimentón and roasted pepper. They're framed by superb focaccia, which is also pillowy enough to partner with soft-scrambled egg and fresh ricotta in the modestly named "ship's biscuit."
The sandwiches can be wrapped for travel, but they're loosely assembled and you'll need a fork (or nimble fingers) to capture every last tidbit. Instead, sit at Saltie's narrow counter, where you can also enjoy a bowl of curried butternut squash ($8) that's combined with fingerling, purple and yellow potatoes in a yogurty sauce.
A small display case houses desserts that are more subtle than cupcake-sweet: a moist olive-oil cake; a cookielike, currant-studded Eccles cake (pictured, far right); and a rich slab of ricotta cake. These offerings vary from day to day, but the prevailing wind from Saltie's door is always delicious.
Saltie, 378 Metropolitan Ave. (at Havemeyer St.), Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-387-4777 or saltieny.com