Updated on October 12th, 2021
A lot has changed in Bushwick since the early 2010’s. Now, Roberta’s sells frozen pizzas, groups on private graffiti tours waddle down Jefferson Street, and many of the cool bars where you can dance exist in Ridgewood or beyond.
Despite time moving forward, though, Faro remains largely untouched - stuck serving the same rustic seasonal American food in the same L-train adjacent warehouse space. It’s still a useful place for date nights or any time a relative is in town. And, yet, it also feels like the nicest restaurant in New Hampshire or, more simply, a Bushwick time capsule from the year 2015.
They serve half a dozen kinds of freshly-extruded pasta, as well as garlic-lathered sourdough focaccia baked in a wood-burning oven that makes the whole place smell like a park ranger forest facility. To Faro’s credit, their pastas are served in such generous quantities that even the $16 half-portions prove more substantial than what you get at the city’s top carbohydrate spots like Rezdora and Lilia.
But even still, the concrete-and-shiplap minimalist space, which once may have felt chic, now creates a perpetually empty atmosphere even when the restaurant is busy. The pastas might occasionally confuse you. “Why is there pulled, confit chicken lubing up my bucatini?” you might wonder about the oily chicken in your midst. A broccoli-fior di latte-filled agnolotti with lemony breadcrumbs might sound light and refreshing, but if it’s the same one that we tried from a recent summer menu, it’ll be too dense and salty.
After such pasta-dominated meals here over the years, we wish the menu took more advantage of their beautiful wood-burning oven in the middle of the open kitchen. That’s like deciding to be the hottest HBO series protagonist for Halloween when you have a perfectly good Ms. Frizzle costume in your closet. Use what you’ve got.
There aren’t a lot of restaurants like Faro in Bushwick, and that’s what makes it valuable for anyone planning dinners in the neighborhood. Our advice? Refrain from going all out on pasta, and use the rundown below for guidance on which kinds we recommend. Get a couple seasonal vegetable starters and the airy focaccia that tastes like garlic in every bite.
Even as the neighborhood’s restaurant scene has ballooned since 2010, few Bushwick spots have blurred the line between a neighborhood night out and a fine dining experience. Faro is still one of them.
Much of Faro’s food changes seasonally, but you’ll probably encounter a menu that looks something like this.
Big open air pockets, a bubbly crust, and a serious smack of garlic in every bite. Get this no matter what.
The first section of the menu changes seasonally, but there’s typically a salad that highlights the best produce of the moment. You might find juicy tomatoes in the summer with a horseradish cream, or caraflex cabbage in the winter. We’ve had a lot of success in this department. Faro knows how to treat veg like the princess she is.
Imagine a couple massive gnocchi made with chard, kale, or spinach. Apparently the name comes from priests in Trentino eating so much of this, they would choke. While that’s certainly an aggressive image, we relate to the sentiment of the priests. This is our favorite pasta we’ve tried.
Overseasoned and greasy, we aren’t fans of the pulled chicken in this bucatini dish. Having said that, the bucatini itself is cooked nicely -- as are most of Faro’s pastas. Most of the other options change but this one always seems to be on the menu.
Sometimes served with broccoli and ricotta, sometimes with pork ragu. They take a maximalist approach to pasta toppings here (whether that’s parmesan, bread crumbs, almond pangrattato, or crispy garlic slices). We’d recommend eating a half-portion of this, but a whole bowl might weigh you down.
If you’re looking for an entree, go with the duck breast. It’s got a sweet, crispy-seared outside, and sometimes comes with beets or another root vegetable. Even if you don’t usually order duck on random Wednesday nights, this one will be worth it.