Officine Brera is a highly polished operation, a grandiose yet welcoming Italian restaurant. Housed in a large, brick-and-steel space with high glass ceilings in the Arts District, it's the latest addition to downtown's growing roster of industrial locations repurposed as restaurants. The kitchen is focused on what servers describe as the rustic "peasant cooking" of Northern Italy, specifically the Po River Valley. For the most part, that means a parade of aged cheeses, hearty ragus and braised cuts. The best salads here are served with long furls of house-cured lardo or soft slices of pickled beef tongue, which come draped over a handful of arugula. Even the few vegetable-centric dishes are enhanced with crispy bits of guanciale or shaved raspadura cheese. But you'll discover the heart of the meal when Auriana's pastas begin to arrive. Read our full review.
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