Eating Along the A Line: Pizza, sports bar fun and a Parisian style bistro at Jay St.-MetroTech

ccEating Along the A Line Pizzasports bar fun and a Parisian style bistro at Jay St.-MetroTech

These days, once-quiet streets near the Jay St.-MetroTech subway station are crowded, as high-rise condos and upscale hotels arrive and new shops move into the business district known as MetroTech. These three restaurants offer a taste of Brooklyn’s newly happening downtown.

All about the oven

The two-month-old Forno Rosso Pizzeria — named after its red-tiled pizza oven, or forno rosso in Italian — is blessed with a stunning, high-ceilinged space that was once a former paper plant.

It’s also lucky to be led by co-owner/chef Giuseppe Marrone, who is originally from Naples, the southern Italian city largely considered to be ground zero for good pizza. As served at Forno Rosso, Neapolitan style pies typically have a puffy, wood fire-charred crusts and gooey centers, thanks in part to the fresh, milky buffalo-milk mozzarella Forno Rosso imports from Italy. Made with house-made tomato sauce, basil and extra-virgin olive oil, it’s $12 for an individual “Regina margherit” pie, while one with fennel sausage and broccoli rabe is $13.

Happily, Marrone, who moved to the U.S. six years ago to work as a culinary consultant, has more than heritage to provide inspiration. “I have a passion for pizza,” he says, adding that he’s also proud of his short menu of seasonally changing specials and entrees like house-made potato gnocchi served Sorrento-style with cherry tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and basil ($15).

Don’t be surprised if tourists find out about The Brooklyn Brewhouse before you do. It sits inside the sleek new Hotel Indigo on Duffield St., just across from a new Sheraton and the party-friendly Hotel Aloft.

Open from 6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., the spacious sports bar is nearly always crowded not just with hotel guests, but officemates or construction workers grabbing one of the spot’s Guinness-marinated burgers (with Irish cheddar and fries, $14), appetizer towers (mozzarella sticks, hot wings and egg rolls, $24) or draft brews.

French pastries and coffee drinks at La Defense in Brooklyn
French pastries and coffee drinks at La Defense in Brooklyn
Part of a growing group of restaurants owned by New York City natives Brendan and Sean Straw — the brothers’ empire began more than 20 years ago with Broadway Station in Astoria — it also provides room service for Hotel Indigo, and runs a swanky second-floor lounge that’s open to the public on Thursdays and Fridays

La restaurant

For the past three years La Défense has served as MetroTech’s most refined gathering spot — a fancier place for housemade croissant and cappuccino or a business lunch over a buttery-crusted quiche Lorraine ($9.50) and a complexly layered arugula salad topped with a fall-friendly mix of cranberries, walnuts and thinly sliced apples. (Served with honey dressing and toast points topped with chive-flecked goat cheese, it’s $13.)

Run by three French partners — a caterer, a Brooklyn restaurateur and an interior designer — the place is modeled after a Parisian bistro both in its all-day feel and its retro looks. In addition to the dining room — where breakfast begins at 7 a.m., dinners like hanger steak or braised lamb shanks are prepared till 10 p.m. — there’s also a coffee shop serving real French pastry and baguette sandwiches to go.

Then when it’s time for happy hour, try a seat at the central bar with a cocktail like the French 75, made with Plymouth gin, lemon juice and Champagne ($9).

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