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Don’t pass this torch

for The Brooklyn Paper
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When Frank and Peter Costabile built the kitchen at Il Torchio, their new Fort Greene restaurant, they didn’t only shop for new hardware, they also hand-picked a chef from one of Brooklyn’s favorite Mediterranean spots.

Charles Giangarra, formerly a chef at Park Slope’s Convivium Osteria, is now manning the stove at Il Torchio, putting his signature touch on all of its dishes. Giangarra specializes in seafood, with small plate servings of grilled baby octopus over greens, and pan-seared sea scallops atop spicy chickpea puree and fried polenta. Entrees include roasted Cornish game hen with Yukon gold potatoes and grilled zucchini.

For dessert, diners can take a square of the house special, tiramisu, baked by Peter’s wife, Irene, and, at least until the weather bottoms out, eat their finale in the 50-seat, brick-paved garden.

The garden, like the rest of the space, was built by the Costabiles, who own the building. It took eight months to transform the space, formerly a store, into a rustic, 30-seat Italian boite, but the effort shows.

Now, with the bar and wine racks made from recycled ceiling beams and floor boards hauled in from an old barn, Il Torchio is a showcase for Giangarra’s regional Italian menu and the carefully chosen, all-Italian wine list.

Attention to detail is apparent in every aspect of the restaurant; here’s hoping that diners notice it, too.

Il Torchio (458 Myrtle Ave., between Washington and Waverly avenues in Fort Greene) accepts American Express, MasterCard and Visa. Entrees: $6-$30. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily. Subway: G to Clinton/Washington. For information, call (718) 422-1122.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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