Betto 138 North 8th Street btwn. Berry and Bedford Aves.
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Brooklyn may already be rich with Italian-inspired restaurants, but Jason Denton (owner of 'ino and ‘inoteca) has raised the (already high) bar with this new Williamsburg joint. The design nods to a minimalist hunting lodge, complete with wooden tables, dim lighting and high ceilings. Sit near the front and dine al fresco near the large (often open) barnyard doors while sipping hooch from bartender Matt Carr's drink program, which includes French and Italian wines ($7-$13) but is particularly heavy on American spirits and Brooklyn-crafted brews (including a soon-to-come house-made amaro). The "Carpetbagger" (Breucklen gin, bourbon, lemon, mint and bitters, $11) is a cocktail that would make ol' Poppi Giovanni proud. Snack on cheese-adorned toasts and salads, such as grilled plums and burrata laced with purslane and vincotto vinegar ($10), or bring your appetite and try one of Betto's large-format entrees—seasonal whole fish and meat prepared simply and served in feast-like portions with a variety of vegetal sides. Either way, kick back in the rustic lodge and remember—it doesn’t get Betto than this.