Every neighborhood deserves a spot like Speedy Romeo. There’s a crowd-pleasing menu, centered upon eight wood-fired pizzas of varying degrees of complexity. There’s a kitchen crew, in this case led by Chef Justin Bazdarich, formerly of Jean Georges, who clearly love what they’re doing, and back it up with talent and creativity. There’s an overall friendly vibe, the sort of place you can drop by any night of the week, with the kids or some buddies, on a date or even solo, and relax, re-energize, get a little silly, and feel as if once again everything is right with the world. That’s Speedy Romeo.
Flame-cooked Food Fills the Menu at Speedy Romeo
It was our first time at Speedy Romeo the other night, a warm spring Friday evening, and the place was jumping. Lots of families with young children running around. A noticeably awesome mix of ages, ethnicities, personal styles. Big industrial fans line the ceiling; raw, semi-crumbling brick walls bounce the sound around; random, vintage signage pay homage to the space’s former tenant, an auto body shop… all in all Speedy Romeo may just be the most Brooklyn-y Brooklyn restaurant there is.
All of which would be of little interest to anyone except Bedford-Stuyvesant and Clinton Hill residents (the restaurant sits squarely on the border of the two nabes), except that Speedy Romeo serves up such a killer array of flame-cooked food (there are no gas lines here, so no stoves, or convection ovens, just fire) that it’d be a shame for the locals to have ALL the fun.
Wonderful Appetizers Start Your Speedy Romeo Meal
We made our way through a good portion of the Speedy Romeo menu, and plan on returning for more. A trio of appetizers were all exceptional: the crunchy, refreshing Caesar Salad with its flavors–mustard, vinegar, anchovy–cranked up to eye-watering; the House Mozzarella, luscious and salty, paired with intense basil crostini and marinated tomatoes; and the Grilled Octopus, an exceptional example of this increasingly ubiquitous dish, the cephlapod tender, the accompanying potatoes crisp, the thick almond romesco an unusual but welcome touch. That’s three for three winners, if you’re keeping score at home.
Pizzas are a Specialty at Speedy Romeo in Brooklyn
And then came the Speedy Romeo pizzas, a lovely pair of chewy, charred, and slightly “wet” pies, each displaying a balanced hand with the toppings. The Saint Louie was our meaty selection, decked out with pepperoni, sausage, and provel, a processed cheese, apparently popular in Missouri, that combines cheddar, swiss and provolone. This was good, but better was the creamy Kind Brother pie, with mushrooms, bechamel, smoked mozzarella and a wonderfully runny egg.
And if you need something sweet to end your feast, go with the gooey Chocolate Cake, smothered in toasted marshmallow, surrounded by graham cracker pieces. The first thing I noticed when I walked into Speedy Romeo was how happy everyone seemed to be. After one meal, it’s easy to understand why.
Speedy Romeo is located in the Bedford-Stuyvesant / Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, on the corner of Classon and Greene Avenues, a couple of blocks from the Classon G train station. Speedy Romeo serves lunch during the week, brunch on the weekends, and dinner every night starting at 5:00 p.m. More info and the complete Speedy Romeo menu can be found here.