Jason and I have driven past Patricia’s of Brooklyn‘s Staten Island location about a million times, since they opened three years ago. I don’t know. How many Italian places does one island need? But, alas, we finally made our way there last night. And, I’ll admit, there were a few moments of glory for this popular spot.
First of all the bread and its delicious super salty garlic oil… I loved this stuff. Except for when something in it almost broke my tooth… I can’t quite figure out what that could have been and I accidentally swallowed it before a thorough examination could be conducted. But the dipping oil alone at this place was worth a trip.
Oysters. I probably wouldn’t send you here for raw bar options. They were good enough, but when you’ve had perfectly cleaned and shucked oysters, it was easy to find a few flaws. We found several barnacles attached to the outsides of the shells. And while these don’t effect the taste or freshness of the oyster in any way, they’re usually scrubbed and removed in the cleaning process. Which makes me wonder how well these bad boys were really cleaned. And I got some grit and shell broken up in two of them, too.
Next we did the roasted king crab legs… a very messy endeavor. These were pretty good, too. They threw in some mussels and clams. However, the high heat cooking process made many of the clam and mussel shells crack and break into the rest of the sauce, which was again a hazard to anyone with teeth. I bit down hard on quite a few clam shells, and am thankful I left with all my teeth in tact. The crab was good. I hate to be a total snob, but after having some giant hefty hunks of king crab meat in Brooklyn, I have to say these legs were small to medium sized at best. I’ve had bigger king crab legs from Costco. Great flavor, and great sauce. I’m just not 100% sure if the yield of meat was worth the work, mess, and time.
Next we did the tripe, and I’m pretty sure we got a heaping mountain of it because no one else in Staten Island will dare to order it. This was a highlight of our meal. We’d never had such a generous portion, with pieces so big in it. The acid of the classic tomato/potato sauce left the tripe itself completely tender. It makes me crazy that people are too grossed out to try these kinds of things. I know, it’s all about what people are used to and what’s comfortable, but really… what’s the difference between eating a chicken’s leg, a pig’s belly fat, or a piece of organ meat? All I have to say to all you “safe” eaters is you really, really don’t know what you’re missing.
We couldn’t resist the soft shell crab pasta special. ‘Tis the season! However, this dish was pretty disappointing. The pasta could have been great. But it was overcooked and gummy. And the crab which should have been crispy and crunchy was soggy. So this dish was soft on soft. The flavors were great, but the texture was a big time miss.
This pasta was our favorite of the two. They were little cheese filled purses with a prosciutto and mushroom creamy sauce. Really flavorful and porky. Again slightly overcooked on the pasta, but Jason and I prefer ours a little more al dente than most people. It was a very generous portion, and we have tons of leftovers.
After dinner we did the zabaglione, described as an Italian custard. We were expecting something heavy, like the custard in a creme brûlée, and were pleasantly surprised but a really fluffy and light version instead. Very good.
To drink we did our standard dirty gin martinis. Their booze options are limited and mostly middle shelf stuff. No Hendrick’s gin here… I’m guessing most people go with wine at a place like this. The martinis were a little too heavy on the olive juice.
I don’t know. Patrizia’s was good enough. Flavors were strong. The dining space is a big open area with high ceilings and glass windows, so the noise of the guidos and guidettes echoes throughout the room. A small child hit me in the head with a piece of bread, so it’s a family friendly spot. It’s loud and busy and perfectly Staten Island. So it probably is a good place for someone to check out if they’re visiting and want to feel the ambiance of our great land.
But for me, it wasn’t my favorite. Six different guys checked on us throughout our meal. One asked me how things were, and when I replied he wasn’t looking at me and was instead directing a bus boy to clear another table… so I basically talked to myself. At the end of our meal, the manager (I think?) asked how everything was, but was already beginning to set our table up for the next party before I answered or picked up my leftovers. They brought out the oysters, crab legs, and tripe at the same time. Those crab legs take some time to work through. So by the time we got to the tripe, it was cold. I don’t like feeling rushed, and I felt that throughout the meal. The near broken tooth incidents, both in the oil and in the crab’s sauce were irritating. And the overcooked pastas were disappointing. Overall, the flavors were good, the tripe was really great, and they did offer some unusual dishes that you won’t find in a lot of other Italian places on the island. So I’d suggest you give it a try and see for yourself.
Patrizia’s earned a perfectly average three star Baconboozer rating. But I think the next time I want pasta I’ll be heading back to my favorites Villa Paradiso or Capizzi for some al dente perfection.