It’s not difficult to find panini in Brooklyn,
but finding perfectly grilled panini with interesting fillings
takes a little work. Joe Eloriagga, the chef and owner of Tost,
a panini and wine bar in Park Slope, offers plenty of the grilled
sandwiches with great fillings such as sardines with roasted
tomato and red pepper mayonnaise; prosciutto San Danielle, mozzarella
and fig compote; and Gorgonzola dolce, slivers of green apple
and caramelized onion.
All are served on thin slices of Sullivan Street Bakery bread. (At left is a sopressata panini, with fontina, arugula and white truffle oil.)
Eloriagga, who was the executive chef at the Park Slope French bistro Belleville before he opened Tost (sounds like toast) in May, presents a full wine list of unusual, mostly Italian bottles, and a casual dining room with a small bar in which to enjoy them. Each evening, diners can indulge in a wine tasting of three small glasses of red or white Italian varieties that are a bargain at $12.
For the carb-phobic, there’s fennel, dried apricot and speck (smoked prosciutto) tossed with balsamic vinegar, one of Eloriagga’s five carefully conceived salads that you won’t find anywhere else.
If you’re craving a dessert that’s far from ordinary, the lavender panna cotta served with fig compote and house-made biscotti is superb.
Tost (427 Seventh Ave. between 14th and 15th streets) accepts MasterCard and Visa. Panini $7; cutting board (either an array of mixed salads; cured, sliced meats; or assorted cheeses): $10-$15; salads: $6-$9. The restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Closed Mondays. Take out available. For more information call (718) 965-1075.