Go Brooklyn
Go Brooklyn
Celebrating the Ordinary: Latent sandwich freak finds a few Brooklyn temptations
by Tina Barry

Tom Perez serves a panini at his Le Petit Cafe on Court Street in Carroll Gardens that reminded me of my first panini in Rome. (Eat the panini al fresco, in the cafe's new garden -- which recently opened after five months of renovations that tripled the size of the cafe.) Perez buys ciabatta bread specially baked with semolina flour from nearby Caputo's bakery. The bread is crusty outside, tender inside and, when pressed, creates a delicate yet chewy panini.

His panini No. 1, from a menu of 16, sports thin layers of prosciutto, fontina cheese, mushrooms marinated in vinegar and a touch of oregano, and a few leaves of argula. It is that little touch of vinegar that cuts through the richness of the cheese and prosciutto and gives the sandwich an acidic spark.

The panini No. 2: roasted eggplant, scamorza (mozzarella made from cow's milk), and a smoked prosciutto called "speck", was drizzled with a little fruity olive oil. Both panini, with their perfect balance of bread to filling, make the overstuffed, knife-and-fork sandwiches Americans are used to seem vulgar.

Travel & Leisure
Travel & Leisure / April 2001

The art of panini-making has reached perfection at Le Petit Cafe (502 Court Street; 718 596 7060; lunch for two $12), an elegant cafe on the quiet southern end of Court Street, a block West of Smith, across from the church where Al Capone was baptized.

The Daily News
The Daily News / September 2002
The Outback of Court Street merits a trek

If you cruise down Brooklyn's Court Street through Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill, you'll notice how rapidly this restaurant scene is picking up speed. Dotting the landscape of Italian bakeries and paticcerias, pork stores and meat markets, shops stocked with "snap coats" or funky vintage is a wealth of smart, simple restaurants. And on a balmy September day, it's nice to know that almost all these places offer alfresco dining. In fact, Court Street has so many gardens, patios and backyards, it could be called Courtyard Street.

Le Petit Cafe:
The newly expanded and neatly landscaped backyard is the perfect place to enjoy juices like Liquid Garden (carrots, beets, and spinach), curried carrot soup with cilantro, panini ($4.75), wraps or espresso and gelato.