After cofounding Baked, one of the most famous and appreciated bakeries in Brooklyn and Tokyo, the Italian-American Renato Poliafito returns to his roots by opening a restaurant that combines American style and Italian tradition.
Poliafito opened, with Matt Lewis, Baked in 2005, but stepped away from it about two years ago to follow his desire to open a place of his own in Prospect Heights, a Brooklyn neighborhood that today is experiencing a moment of great ferment, not only from a gastronomic point of view. In late September, his dream is expected to come true with the opening of ‘Ciao, Gloria’ at 550 Vanderbilt Avenue.
The coffee, desserts, and sandwiches menu of the all-day multi-purpose space has an Italian soul, but it has been created together with former Baked baker Ginger Fisher Baldwin. The counter will be full of delicacies like croissants filled with pistachio and almond cream, bomboloni, fruit tarts, and Sicilian brioches. However, for lunch, it will be possible to enjoy delicious soups, toasts, pizzas, sandwiches, and focaccia. No dinner at the moment, but Poliafito plans to organize monthly theme nights, like the ones dedicated to pasta and the traditional recipes of the different Italian regions.
The owner’s goal? “To create an informal and welcoming place to sit for a quick lunch break or stop for a coffee.” But above all, ‘Ciao, Gloria’ wants to be “a return to my Italian-American origins,” a space where the ancient Italian gastronomic culture and traditions blend with modern techniques and American formats.
Ilona Catani Scarlett