A wood-burning oven at the back gives off the aroma of a toasty campfire while the pizzas inside bubble up to perfection. Our noses tell us we're in for somethin' great.There’s something instantly comforting about any place that breaks things down to a small-town feel in this big city. Stepping foot into Claudine’s in Cobble Hill, it’s easy to see why this is one of those spots. The building itself has been in the family for years. Forty years before brother and sister Cesare and Stephanie Mandelli decided to open up their restaurant, their grandfather ran a barber shop within these same walls. Today, even though the scissors and combs have been swapped out for pizzas, pasta and vino, the friendly family vibe still fills this joint to the brim. A wood-burning oven at the back gives off the aroma of a toasty campfire while the pizzas inside bubble up to perfection. Nearby, in the kitchen, the chef simmers veal, chicken and other wondrous Italian eats. Our noses tell us we might be in for some comforting home-cooked favorites, and they would be correct.
From crunchy bruschetta to creamy polenta, the antipasti kick off a good meal either indoors in the winter or out back in the garden during the warmer months. Classics like the Vitello Sorrentino, a layered veal and eggplant dish with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella cheese and a light brown sauce, keep neighborhood regulars coming back for more. Plus, pies like The Feast are just as the name implies: filling and satisfying in a way that only a wood-fired pizza can be, especially when it’s made with fresh dough then topped with sausage, peppers, onion, fresh mozzarella and house-made tomato sauce. Cesare and Stephanie named their restaurant after their mother, Claudine, as a surprise for her when they first opened. Today, we certainly feel at home munching on this savory family-made fare at her namesake.
Polenta con Salsiccia e Funghi, $9
Insalata di Pere e Noci, $12
Vitello Sorrentino, $18
Salmone Cartoccio, $18
The Feast, $15
The Guido, $15
Sunday - Thursday, noon to 10 p.m.
Friday & Saturday, noon to 11 p.m.